Thursday, October 20, 2016
Unlike Last Season, Bruins Decide to Actually Win Their Home Opener 2-1 vs. Devils
The Bruins (3-1-0) continued their promising start to the 2016-17 season as they beat the Devils (1-2-1) 2-1 tonight at TD Garden in their home opener. While the teams that they've beaten so far are not exactly Cup contenders (Blue Jackets, Jets and Devils), anything is better than their horrid 0-3 start last year (all blowout home games). Patrice Bergeron played his first contest of this campaign (after nursing a minor lower-body injury) so of course he scored the game-winning goal with 1:15 left in regulation. His best friend forever Brad Marchand assisted on Bergy's patented one-timer from the slot with David Pastrnak picking up the second helper.
Marchand (3 goals, 6 assists) currently leads the NHL in points while both he and Pastrnak are riding four-game point streaks. It was a good night for Boston's stars as Tuukka Rask made 28 saves. If you missed the first two periods, believe me you won't need to see the highlights of it since there literally weren't any to speak of. All the action fittingly came in the third as Kyle Palmieri put New Jersey ahead at 4:14 with a power-play goal from Damon Severson and Jacob Josefson. The shot apparently was meant to be a pass and even more tricky, it took a slight deflection off of rookie Brandon Carlo's skate for Palmieri's second goal of the season.
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey apparently wasn't a fluke as Marchand is playing like one of the best players in the NHL. He beat Devils goaltender Cory Schneider (34 saves) with a wicked snap-shot top shelf, blocker side at 9:47 that tied it at one. John-Michael Liles and Colin Miller had the assists on Marchand's tally which quite honestly, was all due to his brilliance. With tonight's win, the Bruins now have an all-time record of 47-23-20-1 in home openers.
Boston hosts Montreal (3-0-1) on Saturday night (7, NESN) in what should be a much more entertaining tilt than tonight's mostly forgettable game. It is new Bruins like David Backes Dominic Moore and Carlo's first taste of the Boston-Montreal rivalry and you know that the Garden crowd will be very into it even if it is only late October. Carey Price (27 saves) made his first appearance of the season in the Canadiens' 5-2 victory against the Coyotes (1-2-0) so you can bet that he'll be between the pipes and opposed by Rask. The B's have allowed the first goal in each game this season which makes 3-1-0 all that more impressive. Needless to say, that bizarre trend won't last much longer.