It wasn’t the best streak of games the Bruins will play this season. In fact, it will hopefully be the worst. The Bruins opened their four-game road trip in Calgary last Wednesday night, losing 5-2 to the Flames. The very next night, the Bruins took on Edmonton where they lost 3-2 in overtime.
David Backes and Kevan Miller were both injured during the Oilers game. Meanwhile, Charlie McAvoy wasn’t feeling well and headed back to Boston for tests. When the Bruins took the ice in Vancouver Saturday night, three of their top defensemen were injured. Urho Vaakanainen made his debut, where he was on the ice for a goal against on his first shift. After a poor opening period, the Bruins outplayed the Canucks in the remaining frames, but ultimately lost in overtime again.
Heading into the Canadian Tire Centre Tuesday night to face the Ottawa Senators, it felt like a must-win game for the Bruins. Although they fared well in their first eight games, posting a 4-2-2 record, three straight losses and injuries caused concerns for Bruins fans. Coming off of a three-game home stand featuring two hat tricks, the trip to western Canada was a dose of reality for fans.
Early in the first period, Urho Vaakanainen was injured after receiving an elbow to the face from Mark Borowiecki around the net. He would play out the remained of the first period, but did not return to the game to start the second period.
David Pastrnak managed to score the first and last goal of the Bruins 4-1 victory. He became the sixth different Bruin to score 10 goals in the opening nine games. David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron also notched powerplay goals for the Bruins.
Perhaps the story of the night was Tuukka Rask’s night in net. After watching from the bench in Edmonton and Vancouver, Rask got the start in Ottawa where he saved 38 of 39 Ottawa shots on goal. According to Corsica, Rask saved 1.86 goals above the average goaltender, frustrating Ottawa’s shooters. However, Rask may owe Brandon Carlo dinner.
The 6’5” defenseman saved a goal after the puck found a way through the goaltender’s pads. Carlo would go on to make another similar play on the puck later on, but that play wasn’t as close to a goal.
The Bruins managed to control play at even strength against their division foes. Steven Kampfer, the Bruins’ eighth defenseman in a healthy lineup, led the Bruins in CF%. He played responsible defensively while igniting the Bruins’ transition into the offensive zone.
This was the first game of the 2018-19 season in which every Bruin took a shot attempt at even strength. David Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk led the team in that regard with 7 shot attempts each. The Bruins will face the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night at TD Garden.