TD Garden hasn’t been kind to the Boston Bruins for the better part of the past 365 days, but on Monday night things were different. Boston brushed off a sluggish start, scoring three times in the second period — twice on the power play — en route to just their second win in five home contests.
Brad Marchand notched his 5th goal of the season 5:44 into the middle frame, wristing a loose rebound past Robin Lehner — screened by David Pastrnak and Matt Beleskey, who each picked up assists on the play. For Beleskey, a healthy scratch last week in Florida, it was his first point of the season.
A pair of double-minors against Buffalo — Zemgus Girgensons (high sticking) and Jake McCabe (tripping, unsportsmanlike conduct) — gave Boston a golden chance some five minutes following Marchand’s goal.
With Beleskey’s pointless streak over, David Krejci became the latest Bruin to end a drought. Krejci fired a slap shot past Lehner, giving the much-maligned Czech center his first goal of the season — a welcome sign on a team desperate to establish consistent secondary scoring.
Riley Nash concluded Boston’s dominant middle frame, firing a shot from along the left boards. The fluttering puck deflected off the skate of defenseman Dmitry Kulikov — engaged with a net-driving Beleskey — and past Lehner. It’s Nash’s first goal as a member of the Bruins and his second point in as many games.
Rask bailed the Bruins out in the opening frame, making 13 saves, including a highlight reel glove-save on Sabres winger Kyle Okposo with Boston shorthanded. He later stoned Brian Gionta’s second period breakaway to preserve Boston’s then 2-0 advantage.
Rask finished the game with 32 saves, which was truly fitting, as the Finnish savior earnied his 32nd career shutout — passing Tim Thomas for 3rd among Bruins goalies.
Boston’s final goal came courtesy of David Pastrnak, slamming home a rebound on Boston’s eighth power play try of the night. The B’s finished 3 for 8 on the man advantage, hopefully building some much needed confidence heading into tomorrow’s night tilt against Montreal.
Behind the bench, head coach Claude Julien picked up his 400th career win as a member of the Bruins. Now that’s a spicy meatball.