Boston Bruins

  • After opening their season with four games of high-octane, back-and-forth hockey, the Bruins slowed back down to Earth on Thursday with a tight-checking, lack-of-finish head-to-head with the Ducks at TD Garden.

    It was the first such game under new head coach Jim Montgomery, and it was also the team’s first overtime and shootout game with Montgomery behind the bench. It was one ultimately one by the Bruins, too, and really on the back of two players who rose to the occasion in both overtime and the four-round shootout for Boston.

    Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars of the Game from another home-ice victory…

  • No. 3 Star: John Gibson

    Oct 20, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) skates to the net against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 20, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) skates to the net against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at the TD Garden. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

  • What a tough loss for John Gibson.

    I mean, the man did literally everything you could have reasonably asked him in an effort to will the Ducks to victory. In fact, his lone real screw up in this contest ended up in the back of his net, and ruined an otherwise stellar performance, as the veteran Anaheim netminder stopped 35-of-36 shots in the losing effort. Gibson also stoned the B’s first three shooters in the shootout, but failed to get a goal of support at the other end.

  • No. 2 Star: Taylor Hall

    Oct 20, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) skates with the puck across the blue line in front of Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg (3) during the first period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 20, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) skates with the puck across the blue line in front of Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg (3) at TD Garden. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

  • It’s been a relatively tough start to the season for Taylor Hall, all things considered.

    Injured late in the preseason with a vague, upper-body injury, Hall worked his way back to the lineup in time for Opening Night, and even found the back of the net. But Hall struggled to find his timing after that debut, and was even borderline benched for the third period of Tuesday’s loss in Ottawa.

    Thursday’s opening 20 looked like it was going to bring about more of the same, as pucks were bouncing off Hall’s stick or No. 71 was a step behind or ahead of the play. Just one of those days, as Fred Durst would say.

    But Hall caught a break with his second-period goal, and was flying from there, creating countless chances and using his speed all over the rink in what finished as an 18-minute night for the wing.

    “I thought Taylor Hall was our best skater tonight, and Linus was our best player,” Montgomery said. “I thought he was hard. I thought he protected pucks. I bet you he had the puck on his stick for about 45 seconds tonight, and when a gifted offensive player like Taylor Hall has the puck on his stick a lot, he feels better about himself. And then you saw the rest of his game — he made some good defensive plays, had a hard hit.

    “He was really involved in the game.”

  • No. 1 Star: Linus Ullmark

    Oct 20, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) reacts after a shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 20, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) reacts after a shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks at the TD Garden. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Montgomery with the spoiler there, but yes, Linus Ullmark was indeed the Bruins’ best player on Thursday.

    In net for his third start of the season, the 6-foot-5 goaltender put forth yet another masterful performance, with stops on 30 of the 31 shots thrown his way. Ullmark’s biggest stop came in the overtime session, too, when he stoned Ryan Strome on a breakaway (and with the Ducks having numbers the whole way), and even helped out with a zone clear to force Anaheim to retreat out of the attacking zone.

    Dragging the Bruins kicking and screaming to the skills competition, Ullmark then added saves on all four Duck shooters in the shootout, including the game-winning stop on Max Comtois.

    “[Ullmark] gave us an opportunity to get two points [and] I think he’s done it every night he’s been in the net,” Montgomery said after the victory. “He’s had a great start to the year.”