Powered by goals from four different scorers, including some much-needed tallies from a pair of slumping second liners, the Bruins bounced out of their scoring drought with a 4-0 shutout win over the Rangers at TD Garden.
Following a familiar pattern from their last outing, the Bruins put themselves on the board first by way of a long-range blast from David Pastrnak, scored just four minutes and change into the opening frame. The Bruins then doubled their lead with some just ridiculous shorthanded wizardry from Brad Marchand to Patrice Bergeron at the 17:34 mark.
The goal was not only Bergeron’s 10th of the season, but it was also the Bergeron-Marchand duo’s 12th shorthanded goal since the start of the 2018-19 season. That’s more than the total shorthanded goal production of seven teams, and as many three other clubs, over that same span. Just a ridiculous one-two punch for the Bruins.
Marchand’s assist, meanwhile, was good for the 47th shorthanded point of his career, moving him into a tie with Bobby Orr and Ed Westfall for the most shorthanded points in franchise history.
But this win really was about the goals that came after Pastrnak and Bergeron, with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk ending their devastating cold spells, and in just 81 seconds of hockey.
Krejci, while not known as a true sniper by any measure, entered tonight’s contest as one 291 forwards with at least 300 minutes of hockey to his name. Krejci was just one four among that group yet to score a goal (the Canadiens’ Phillip Danault got on the board with his first of the season late Wednesday night).
A long-distance shot on the man advantage changed that, however, and gave Krejci his first of the season.
Then came DeBrusk’s first even-strength goal of the season, and just his second goal of the season, 1:21 later.
Speaking after the win, DeBrusk admitted that he’s seen some of the recent articles written about him and people thinking that he’s “kinda done here,” and that he’s become an “easy target.” He said that it helped him bring a little anger to his game tonight, and that “it’s not going away anytime soon.”
“It’s time to build,” the 24-year-old DeBrusk said.
As for the goal he scored and the mental relief it provided, DeBrusk’s reaction said it all.
A sigh of relief for Jake DeBrusk. pic.twitter.com/NNhQZmzehK— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) March 12, 2021
The goal was enough to end New York netminder Alexandar Georgiev’s night behind a 10-of-14 effort.
Halak, meanwhile, stopped all 27 shots faced for his sixth win of the season, and for his second straight 2021 shutout over the Rangers. That made Halak the first goaltender in team history to post back-to-back shutouts over the Rangers. (Not a bad honor to have in a rivalry that dates back nearly a century, huh?)
Bruins winger Zach Senyshyn made his 2021 debut on a fourth line with Jack Studnicka and Sean Kuraly, and had his chances, with three shots on goal in 11:46 of action. Senyshyn was also part of a couple of odd-man rushes the other way, too, as he seemed to be a natural fit with the speedy Kuraly.
“I certainly thought he impacted the game with his foot-speed offensively, and didn’t hurt us defensively,” Cassidy said after the win. “We saw a more confident player tonight.”
With the win, the Bruins improved to 4-1-0 against the Rangers this season, and the Blueshirts will remain in Boston as the sides reconnect for a Saturday matinee rematch.