(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By: Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter / X @adbblue

The Boston Bruins defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 at TD Garden Thursday night in one of their most impressive wins of the season. Boston had a tremendous offensive opening period and played great team defense in the third period without yielding a goal.

David Pastrnak was the star of the show, recording the 16th hat trick of his NHL career. Hampus Lindholm also had one of his most impactful games of the season, posting an assist and a +2 rating. It was just an overall great win against a quality opponent, which head coach Jim Montgomery spoke about after the victory. “I like the way our game is building; you can see the confidence throughout the lines and how we’re playing with the puck.”

First Period

It was an excellent start for the Bruins as they scored on their first shift. David Pastrnak lit the lamp, beating Georgiev’s top shelf for a 1-0 lead 44 seconds into the game. Boston kept pouring on the pressure and struck again, with Morgan Geekie feeding Jakub Lauko, who potted his first of the season to make it 2-0. After the game, Lauko expressed his releif: “I didn’t really have much this season going good for me, so it’s good to get something. I was trying to play hard the last few games, and I’m glad it paid off.” The Bruins had their momentum halted momentarily after Oskar Steen was called for tripping.

Colorado got one back with Miles Wood slipping one by Swayman from a bad angle, making it 2-1. It was not recorded as a power play goal, but it occurred just as Steen was exiting the box. Boston largely controlled the play in the opening frame, and their cycle was clicking, generating plenty of chances.

The Black and Gold regained their two-goal lead after Parker Wotherspoon put a puck onto Jake DeBrusk’s stick, who tipped it home from the high slot. That made the score 3-1. After allowing a bit of a shaky goal, Swayman responded, making some timely saves and finishing the period with 11. Boston had the shots on goal advantage 14 to 12.

Second Period

Colorado generated some early zone time, but the Bruins took away shooting lanes well. They continued to control the play, forcing the Bruins to take multiple icings. Boston was able to withstand it and got back to more of the structure they had in the first period. Charlie McAvoy had a great chance wide open from the right face-off circle but opted to go across to Brad Marchand, who couldn’t handle the pass.

The Avalanche then had some more attacking zone time with a great shift from their top line, but again, they could not finish. The Bruins had a golden opportunity when James van Riemsdyk fed Pavel Zacha, who walked in alone, but he airmailed the puck wide. The Avalanche made it a one-goal game when a loose puck got behind Swayman, and Nathan MacKinnon tapped it home.

That made things 3-2 late in the second. The Bruins had a brief power play, but it was offset after Charlie Coyle was called for tripping, and it was four on four in the final 40 seconds. Swayman made 16 saves, and Colorado had the edge in shots on goal 17 to seven. 

Third Period

The Bruins had some solid zone time and puck movement early on but couldn’t get any traffic to the front of the net. Colorado then accumulated some zone time of their own and almost cashed in on a Matt Grzelcyk turnover, but the Bruins were able to clear the puck. Boston answered with some strong shifts, highlighted by Geekie getting his nose dirty behind the net and forcing an offensive zone face-off.

They then had a two-on-one opportunity with Boqvist taking the puck down the left side but opting for a pass, but it was broken up. The start of the second half of the period featured a lot of stalemate hockey, with teams having strong perimeter play. There was limited action until the final four minutes of play.

Boston took advantage of a late power-play goal when DeBrusk hit Pastrnak with a great feed for his second of the night, making it a 4-2 game. The Bruins’ top goal scorer then sealed the game with an empty netter, completing the hat trick to make it 5-2, which was the final score. Pastrnak touched on his hat trick post-game with an ear-to-ear grin. “I had a couple of opportunities to score a hat trick earlier in the season. It was kind of tough, so It was nice to get that first hat trick of the season.”

Up Next

Next, the Bruins will host their hated rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, on Saturday night for a 7:00 puck drop. It will be the third meeting between the two teams this season, with the series tied a game apiece. Montreal won the first meeting 3-2 in overtime, and Boston won the second 5-2.