By Nicole Belair, Staff Writer
Last week, the Boston Bruins played solid hockey. Led by goaltender, Tuukka Rask, the Bruins went 3-1.
On Monday, Rask posted his second shutout of the season, making 32 saves, as the Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 at TD Garden.
The game began with little action, as neither team was able to score in the first period.
Brad Marchand opened the scoring with a bit of luck on the power play at 5:44 of the second period; his shot ricocheted off of Sabre’s goalie Robin Lehner’s mask and stick before ultimately going in.
Less than five minutes later, the Bruins were once again on the power play, this time with a 5-3-man advantage. David Krejci consequently cashed in with his first goal of the season. The Bruins third goal of the game was just as lucky as the first. The shot of offseason pick-up, Riley Nash, deflected off the skate of Sabres defender Dimitri Kulikov and past Lehner.
Continuing his red-hot start, David Pastrnak scored his eighth goal of the season with 10:45 remaining in the third. Overall, the Bruins had 42 shots and went an impressive 3-8 on the power play. It was Claude Julien’s 400th win as the Bruins’ head coach.
On the second half of a back-to-back, the Bruins fell to the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 at the Bell Centre. Canadiens’ forward, Paul Byron, made his mark on the team’s top line, scoring with 1:02 left in the game.
Shea Weber gave Montreal a 1-0 lead on the power play at 3:58 of the second period. Less than a minute later, Colin Miller answered with a wrist shot that careened off the boards and bounced off Canadiens’ goalie, Carey Price, and into the net.
With 5:08 remaining in the second period, Alex Galchenyuk put the Canadiens back on top when he backhanded a pass from Alexander Radulov past Bruins’ goalie, Zane McIntyre.
David Pastrnak scored for a fifth straight game, tying the game at two on a power play at 6:58 of the third period. About thirteen minutes later with only 1:02 remaining, Paul Byron, assisted by Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov, scored his winning goal for the Canadiens.
The Bruins were back at home on Thursday night, defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 at the Garden.
Columbus took the lead two minutes in, when a giveaway by Zdeno Chara along the wall in the Boston end allowed Alexander Wennberg to pass to Nick Foligno who fired it past Rask. The Bruins responded five minutes later, when Torey Krug’s one-timer deflected off of Columbus’ forward, Scott Hartnell. Just one minute later, Austin Czarnik set up Matt Beleskey to put Boston ahead 2-1.
Czarnik extended the lead to 3-1 twelve minutes into the first period with a one-timer off a pass from Riley Nash and past Columbus goalie, Sergei Bobrovski. Twenty seconds later, Tim Schaller gave the Bruins a 4-1 lead with a backhand shot past Bobrovsky. Play continued after the shot, but the goal was awarded after video review.
Even though Bobrovsky was replaced by Curtis McElhinney, David Backes extended the Bruins’ lead even further in the second period. Backes scored on a one-timer from the left hash marks off a pass from David Krejci.
After a faceoff at 8:40 in the third period, Boston defenseman, Colin Miller, lost control of the puck and put it in his own net. Blue Jacket, Sam Gagner, got credit for the goal that cut the Bruins’ lead. The remainder of the period was scoreless, with Bruins coming out on top with a score of 5-2.
In the final game of the week, Tuukka Rask made thirty saves that would help the Bruins to a 2-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes at the Gila River Arena on Saturday. Rask is now 9-1-0 this season, and lowered his goal-against average to 1.68.
The first period was slow with neither team scoring. It wasn’t until 7:54 of the second period when Zdeno Chara’s one-timer deflected off of Ryan Spooner and past Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue. David Pastrnak put the Bruins up 2-0 at 9:44 with another one-timer, this time off a pass from Brad Marchand.
The Coyotes tightened the score to 2-1 in the third period on the power play. Anthony DeAngelo set up Radim Vrbata for a shot that hit the post before deflecting off Rask’s back and into the net at 12:05. The rest of the period remained scoreless, and the Bruins collected their third win of the week.
Over the four games, the Bruins outscored their opponents thirteen to six, while going 4-12 on the power play and giving up two goals on the penalty kill. Boston is now 9-6-0 on the season and sit in seventh place in the conference.