Boston Bruins

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

Jaroslav Halak and the Boston Bruins rebounded from a burn-the-tape 8-5 loss on Thursday in the best (and perhaps only) way possible — with a weekend Garden sweep completed by way of Sunday’s 4-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.

And it was behind a productive opening 21 minutes of hockey that the Bruins found their edge on Sunday night.

A successful two-on-one sequence from Danton Heinen to Anders Bjork and then back to Heinen put the Bruins on the board against Malcolm Subban just 2:54 into the first period, and it was a Subban adventure late in the opening period that put the Bruins up by a pair as Jeremy Lauzon collected the trash and smiled at an empty cage for his first NHL goal/point.

But the Lauzon goal really began in the Boston zone, as John Moore intercepted a pass that would have led to a no-doubt goal by the Golden Knights (Halak was stacking the pads to the left of his net and completely out of position) and sent the Bruins’ Sean Kuraly off the to the races. Moore, of course, picked up a deserved secondary helper on the Lauzon strike.

And beginning the second period with a power play, it was Brad Marchand that played pinball with his linemates in the attacking zone before connecting for his sixth goal of the season and a 3-0 Boston edge just 58 seconds into the frame.

The Golden Knights would, however, find finally themselves on the board and cut the Black and Gold lead back to two as Alex Tuch took advantage of a Moore miscue with the puck in the Boston zone and fed Cody Eakin for his fifth goal of the season.

Still, the pressure was all from the Bruins.

Propelled by their domination at the faceoff dot, the possession game favored the Bruins throughout the night, and Bruce Cassidy was able to trust his high-speed third line of Heinen and Bjork sandwiched around Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson to provide serious zone-time and chances generated in a back-to-back deployment of sorts ahead-or-behind the Bergeron Line.

But in case the two-goal edge was not enough late in the third period, the Bruins found added insurance behind a five-on-three bomb scored by David Pastrnak to put the Bruins up by three with just under four minutes to play.

Asked to step up as the club’s starting goaltender with Tuukka Rask on a personal leave of absence, Halak delivered and then some on short rest. And much like in Boston’s 5-1 win over the Leafs on Saturday, it seemed that Halak’s best work came early against the Golden Knights, as he was forced to make his handful of stops from in tight and with Vegas shooters on his doorstep. But even when Vegas brought themselves back within two, Halak remained calm, and came with a big stop on Jonathan Marchessault two minutes into the third period to keep the Boston lead at two.

Halak’s effort against the Knights ultimately required stops on 37-of-38 shots fired his way, and concludes his busy weekend with 77 stops on 79 total shots thrown his way, bumping his season save percentage up from .936 to .945.

The Bruins will have a couple of days in Boston before they head out to Colorado for the start of a four-game road trip.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a voting member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.