Looking to build off a Saturday win in Buffalo, the Boston Bruins will have three opportunities to continue their season-opening home success this week.
A rare Sunday night game against the Vancouver Canucks both begins Boston’s homestand and completes a back-to-back weekend set for both teams.
The Bruins boast a franchise-record-tying 8-0-0 record at home this season, making them the only NHL team without a blemish in their home arena to start the campaign.
Following Saturday’s 3-1 win in Buffalo, the Bruins return home with a three-game winning streak. Captain Patrice Bergeron scored twice, while Jakub Zboril’s first NHL goal fell in between and stood as the game-winning tally.
All three Bruins goals came unanswered after Buffalo scored a short-handed goal in the first period.
“(Saturday) was the first time, I think, in the whole year where I thought we were on our heels and didn’t have our skating legs for 40 minutes,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “There wasn’t a Picasso moment out there in the first two periods besides the special teams and our goaltender.”
The goaltender was Keith Kinkaid, who made 30 saves in his first start since he was recalled in the wake of Jeremy Swayman’s injury.
Like Zboril scoring, it was yet another sign of the organization’s depth and ability to win in different ways.
“We can score, we can defend and we can check,” Montgomery said. “And if you wanna play rough and physical, we can do that too.”
The Bruins have outscored their opponents 23-7 in third periods this season. Two of those goals came on Saturday.
“We’re successful when we play Bruins hockey, especially in that last 20 — we got back to playing on our toes and playing hard, and being on the forecheck, and getting some pucks back,” Bergeron said.
Sunday’s contest marks Vancouver’s fourth stop on a five-game road trip. The trip started in Ottawa and continued in Montreal and Toronto. The Canucks will finish it off in Buffalo on Tuesday night.
The Canucks dropped a 3-2 decision in Toronto on Saturday despite captain Bo Horvat continuing his stellar pace with his team-leading 13th goal, a mark that he didn’t reach until the 38th game of last season.
Toronto’s three goals all came in the second period, erasing Vancouver’s 2-0 lead. Spencer Martin made 27 saves, but a tying goal to support him wasn’t in the cards.
“I don’t think we quit or anything. We tried to the end,” Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “At that point we didn’t get shots through, and you’ve got to get shots through. … If they got through, maybe it would have been a different story.”
Horvat’s seven goals in November are the most among all NHL players, while only Edmonton captain Connor McDavid has a higher season total (15) entering play on Sunday.
“I just want to play hard, I want to prove to myself that I’m a good hockey player, a guy that can be a leader, score and be a 200-foot player,” Horvat said. “I want to prove that to myself and to everyone else.”
Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes is on a run of his own, having recorded at least one assist in nine consecutive games. The only Canucks defenseman to put together a longer streak is Dennis Kearns, who had assists in 11 straight games in 1976-77.
–Field Level Media