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Recap: Special teams drive Bruins to 3-2 win over Predators

JVR netted two on the power play, while Pastrnak scored on a penalty shot.

Nashville Predators v Boston Bruins Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

James van Riemsdyk scored twice on the power play as the Boston Bruins battled through numerous penalty kills and capitalized on the man-advantage to top the Nashville Predators, 3-2, tonight at the TD Garden.

Special teams and man-advantage situations reigned supreme for both teams — from van Riemsdyk’s two goals to Nashville’s tying goal on a delayed penalty to even David Pastrnak’s penalty shot.

It was a night of adversity, as the Bruins found themselves on penalty kill after penalty kill in the first 40 minutes of the game.

But the team’s power plays and penalty kills drove the game and provided the Bruins with big momentum changes, especially in the second period when they killed off Jakub Lauko’s four-minute high-sticking penalty.

The game was gritty and not a pretty win despite Pastrnak’s undressing of Juuse Saros his top-shelf snipe and some sprawling saves from Jeremy Swayman who made.

While the power play got the credit with the goals, the PK kept it a one-goal game, blocking shots, getting the puck out of the paint and away from the goal line and making lengthy clears to lead aggressively penalty kills with offensive chances.

Here are the highlights!

First period:

The Predators opened the scoring at 3:29 of the first period.

Crashing the offensive zone, Kiefer Sherwood sent a pass to Colton Sissons who inside the right-wing circle put a snap shot past Jeremy Swayman’s blocker. 1-0 Predators.

The Bruins tied the game at 14:48 of the first period on the power play.

Brad Marchand found James van Riemsdyk at the goal line where he threw a shot out front that ricocheted off a Predator’s defenseman and past Juuse Saros’ five-hole. 1-1 game.

Second period:

The Bruins took the lead at 14:46 of the second period on a penalty shot.

David Pastrnak beat Saros top-shelf glove side. 2-1 Bruins.

ANDDDD here’s another look!

The Predators evened the game at 16:54 on a delayed penalty with Sissons’ second goal of the night.

Sissons tipped Roman Josi’s shot past Swayman. 2-2 tie game.

Third period:

The Bruins took the lead at 2:52 of the third period on van Riemsdyk’s second power-play goal of the night.

Charlie McAvoy threw a shot on net which van Riemsdyk tipped past Saros. Final score: 3-2 Bruins.

Game notes:

  • Head Coach Jim Montgomery said postgame he was happy with the power play tonight. He thought they had more of a shoot-first mentality and a better net front presence. Montgomery liked how they moved the puck.
  • JVR showed the type of asset he can on the man-advantage this year. He made plays down low as he hung out around the goal line.
  • With all the special team play, there were guys sitting on the bench who had to find their own footing in a harder game to get into a rhythm with less 5v5 play. Montgomery said it even affected how much time he wanted Pastrnak to be out there. He felt Pastrnak should have been out there at least three more minutes with the way he was playing tonight. But because he isn’t a part of the PK, his TOI was reduced.
  • Be it how things fell this game and last with penalty kills and line combinations after them, but there was a point tonight where Milan Lucic and Pastrnak nearly connected again on a goal. Lucic sent a forwarding pass to Pastrnak, allowing him to challenge Saros on a breakaway. You have to wonder if Montgomery may exercise the idea of putting the two together at some point this season because they have a natural chemistry.
  • Postgame soundbite: James van Riemsdyk on Pastrnak’s penalty shot: “He makes it look pretty easy. He’s so confident. He has a plan obviously when he goes down. He makes a lot of goalies look pretty foolish.”
  • The Bruins will head out west for a road trip, starting with the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, Oct. 19.

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