The forwards never let their foot off the gas, providing 35 of 45 shots on goal. Six forwards registered points - including a three-assist night from Taylor Hall. AND finally the power play broke through for the first time since February 8.
Jeremy Swayman made 28 saves, including big ones in the second period to keep it a close game as the Avalanche began to find some life.
But most notably - the defense’s engagement to keep pucks in the offensive zone and jump into the play were crucial to generating sustained pressure. Four of the B’s goals were started by defensemen.
The B’s dominated the shot clock and offensive-zone coverage from the game’s opening minutes. They drove to the net and were stronger along the wall and end boards, using the defensemen in the play to keep the puck in the o-zone.
The Bruins’ only power play of the period didn’t capitalize on the opportunity, but landed six quality shots on net, including a few bumper spots from Patrice Bergeron. That pressure would continue on their subsequent man-advantages.
High danger shots continued throughout the period and a strong shift from Charlie Coyle’s line to keep offensive-zone time led to Pastrnak’s tally to make the score 1-0 at the end of the first.
The Bruins continued to move the puck better than the Avs throughout the three zones to begin the second period. Those breakouts kept momentum in the Bruins’ favor.
Defensemen continued to play a factor in the B’s offensive game by holding down the blue line and winning board battles. A good read by Matt Grzelcyk started the play that led to Patrice Bergeron making it a 2-0 game.
But the Avalanche pressed in the middle frame, including some slot presence from Nathan MacKinnon which led to a few chances.
On their power play, Colorado added a fast goal by MacKinnon to cut into their deficit. 2-1 game.
But overall, the Bruins’ defense kept most shots to the outside with only a few getting released from the slot.
The Bruins quickly regrouped and by three minutes later, were up two additional scores on goals from Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk. 4-1 Bruins to end the second period.
The third period was the same story as the previous 40 minutes. The forwards continued to shield the puck away from Colorado’s defense and all five B’s players in the offensive zone created opportunities with strong cycling.
To cap off the win, the first power-play unit secured a four-goal lead as Coyle potted a backhander from the goal line. Final score: 5-1 Bruins.
The B’s held on to the substantial lead despite a few period-ending penalties. Colorado never pulled goaltender Darcy Kuemper in the final minutes as the game was already out of their control.
The Bruins will head out west now for a six-game road trip. They’ll first face the Seattle Kraken on Thursday 24 at 10 PM ET.
Here are the highlights by period!
The Bruins opened the scoring at 17:30 of the first period.
Charlie McAvoy sent a pass out front intended for Bergeron. The pass was deflected and found the stick of Pastrnak crashing the net where he put a quick wrist shot past Darcy Kuemper’s stick. 1-0 Bruins.
The Bruins extended their lead at 8:01 of the second period.
Hall sent a pass through Samuel Girard’s legs over to Bergeron who potted his second effort over Kuemper’s glove. 2-0 Bruins.
The Avalanche broke through on the power play at 12:58 of the second period.
Mikko Rantanen bumped a pass to MacKinnon at the top of the right-wing circle for a one-timer top-shelf over Swayman’s blocker. 2-1 game.
The Bruins retook their two-goal lead at 14:35 of the second period on Pastrnak’s second goal of the night.
Hall fed a short pass to Pastrnak where from the top of the right-wing circle, he let a one-timer fly over Kuemper’s stick. 3-1 Bruins.
Yet another second serving. pic.twitter.com/n8iEO065HD— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 21, 2022
The Bruins cushioned their lead at 15:42 of the second period.
McAvoy kept the play alive at the blue line for Curtis Lazar to pick up the puck and send it forward to DeBrusk in the slot. DeBrusk put an in-close, wrist shot on Kuemper that trickled through his five-hole. 4-1 Bruins.
The Bruins netted a power-play goal at 4:04 of the third period to cap off their win.
Coyle picked up the loose puck from Pastrnak’s shot that bounced off the end boards. Coyle threw a backhander at Kuemper which deflected off his back and into the net. Final score: 5-1 Bruins.