Bruins bounce back, remain undefeated on home ice
BOSTON – Jake DeBrusk, Patrice Bergeroni Frederic Trent all scored as the Bruins bounced back with a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night at the TD Garden. Boston improved to 7-0-0 on home ice this season and 11-2-0 overall with the win.
“It was great to be back in Boston,” coach Jim Montgomery said. “You can tell our players are really excited. I thought we started the first period really well; we had a little bit of penalty trouble that derailed us. I think the second period wasn’t very good for us. I thought St. Louis came at us and we didn’t respond to their push, but we pulled away in the third and I liked how we took over the game in the third.”
The Bruins’ undefeated start on Causeway Street is just the second streak of seven or more home wins to start a season in team history, joining an 8-0-0 start in 1983-84 .
“I think good teams do that [play well at home]” said Frederic, who scored an insurance layup in the third period to put the Bruins ahead, 3-1, with 3:32 left. “It’s fun to play TD. I feel like we’ve always had a packed crowd. It’s like a Saturday every night. It’s easy for us.”
The Bruins’ special teams carried the day as the power play converted both chances, while the penalty kill was a perfect 3-for-3, all over an 8:19 stretch of the first period.
“We have a lot of confidence in our penalty kill,” Montgomery said. “I think our special teams won the game. Our power play was 2-for-2, our penalty kill was 3-for-3 … great job by both coaches. [Joe Sacco on the PK] i [John Gruden on the PP].”
After killing three consecutive Blues power plays in the first half of the opening period, the Bruins took advantage of their first man advantage with 6:26 to play in the first when DeBrusk buried. To David Pastorthe reverse of the entrance from the door.
“Think so [give us momentum]” DeBrusk said of the penalty kills. “Anytime we get kills like that, especially down the stretch — it felt like we were in the box there for the first little bit — there’s no rhythm or time for multiple guys in the game, so it’s one of those things where you just try to do the job and kill the penalty. And being able to get one on the power play right after that was a good way to set the tone for our game.
“You always want to make a difference on special teams, and it was nice to have some fat ones and also some of the plays we were making. It was a good time, for sure.”
Boston won the power play, once again, midway through the third period as Bergeron tallied the winner from his patented bumper position with a quick snap of a nifty dish. Brad Marchand with 7:15 remaining.
“We’ve liked our power play the last two games. We’ve created a lot of chances, we haven’t really had the finish, and tonight we got the finish,” Montgomery said. “The desperation and the work to get the second and third try chances in the offensive zone, I think, paid off in both goals.”
with Derek Forbort Out of the lineup with a broken finger suffered last week in Pittsburgh, Montgomery has had to move around his back line quite a bit. One of the movements has been the coup Connor Clifton to play alongside Hampus Lindholm the Bruins’ top pairing over the past three games. The 27-year-old played 25:34 – just two seconds shy of Lindholm’s game-high – and had two shots on goal, twice, to go along with two blocked shots against St. Louis.
“He’s always very involved,” Montgomery said. “He’s just a hockey player. He’s physically involved, he’s around the puck, he comes out with loose pucks. He’s one of those guys that gives us momentum.”
Clifton, who thrived with Forbort as the B’s second partner before his partner’s injury, is relishing the opportunity for a bigger role.
“I think it’s great. I get to play with a great player. It’s been great. We’ve been working together. It all starts in training. We’ve been doing some reps and it’s been good so far,” Clifton said. “Obviously we’re down a man, we still are. We’re playing a great team offensively, defense. But obviously there’s an opportunity to play a few more minutes … so it’s been good.”
Wait, there’s more
- Per NHL stats, Linus Ullmark (9-1-0) tied the B club record for most wins in his first 10 starts of the season, tying Tuukka Rask (2016-17), Gerry Cheevers (1976-77), Ross Brooks (1973- 74) and Frank Brimsek (1938-39).
- The Bruins are 8-0-0 when scoring the first goal this season.
- Patrice BergeronThe winning goal was his 311th career power point (124 goals, 187 assists) to pass Bobby Orr (74 goals, 236 assists) for fourth place on Boston’s all-time list.
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