By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It took a good six periods to get them warmed up, but The Bergeron Line rocked and rolled their way through Vegas on Tuesday night, scoring three of Boston’s four goals in a 4-3 win over the Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.
Down by two goals just 8:20 into the first period, the Bruins responded by way of a David Pastrnak finish just three minutes after Reilly Smith made it 2-0 in favor of the Golden Knights. And though the line got on the board in last Saturday’s win over the Coyotes, this strike was your classic Bergeron Line goal. Sparked by a strong defensive play from Patrice Bergeron, which recovered the puck and gave the Bruins possession in the Vegas zone, Brad Marchand faked a Golden Knight defender out of his skates, and beat two Vegas backcheckers with a pass to find Pastrnak for a chip-in through Marc-Andre Fleury.
Granted a late-period power-play opportunity thanks to Brandon Pirri’s slash on Danton Heinen, Boston’s top power-play unit regained their form (and with the help of Tuukka Rask reading the play to spark it the other way), the B’s displayed excellent puck movement to give Marchand enough room to fire home his first goal of the night (and second of the new season).
Marchand’s goal, scored with just 1:02 left in the opening period, was enough to knot things up at 2-2 through 20 minutes.
And Marchand didn’t wait long to come up with an even prettier sequel. In fact, No. 63 needed just 33 seconds, thanks to a Pastrnak bounce-pass and a ridiculously tight shot that beat Fleury at the perfect angle.
Playing with the lead for the first time all night, the Bruins extended their edge to two just 1:54 after Marchand’s second goal of the evening with a Torey Krug shot that appeared to tip off the stick of Ryan Reaves and through Fleury.
It was a fast and furious (quick shoutout to Vin Diesel) start to the second period, but proved to be a deserved one.
Even after their strikes, the Bruins seemed to dominate play from a puck-possession standpoint and had enough juice to deny the would-be chances the Golden Knights generated in their unsuccessful) attempts to bring themselves within one before the end of the middle frame, with strong support that prevented odd-man rushes from turning into unprompted Panic! At The Disco listening parties for Bruce Cassidy’s squad.
The Golden Knights would make the third period interesting, though, as Max Pacioretty made a Marchand cross-checking penalty a costly one, as he ripped home a goal to make it a one-goal game with just 5:18 remaining in the game.
But Rask held the fort and stopped 31 shots en route to his second win in as many 2019 starts, while Fleury took the loss (his first of the season) in the Vegas crease with a 31-of-35 effort. There could be some concern with the 32-year-old Rask, though, as he was slow to get up to his skates and had to be helped off the ice following the final horn.
David Backes returned to the Boston lineup after sitting out Saturday’s game as a healthy scratch, and finished with a hit and three shots on goal in 12:08 of action on Boston’s fourth line with Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner. Backes really deserved an assist on the Krug goal, as it was his forechecked that forced the Vegas turnover.
The win was good for Boston’s first 3-0-0 start to the year since 2001-02.
The Bruins will conclude this four-game road trip with a Thursday night head-to-head against the Avalanche.