Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) hugs goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) after a game against the Nashville Predators at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night’s showdown at TD Garden between the Boston Bruins and visiting Nashville Predators came with about as gutsy a performance a team can put forth in the second game of the regular season.

And while both teams threw the kitchen sink at the other, it was the Bruins who managed to fill their bucket before the Predators by way out of a survivor-style 3-2 victory in Boston’s barn.


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But in a night that featured a penalty-shot goal from David Pastrnak, and two tallies from the Predators’ Colton Sissons, it was the goaltenders that stole the show, as Nashville’s Juuse Saros and Jeremy Swayman went head-to-head with one of the better goaltending duels you’ll see this early into a season.

Both goaltenders traded highlight reels stops for the full 60, too, but it the Black and Gold’s special teams that proved to make the difference by the night’s end, as Boston matched their 7-for-7 mark on penalty kill with a 2-for-5 night on the man advantage to secure the two points by way of their one-goal victory.

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    Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars from a 3-2 win at TD Garden…

  • No. 3 Star: Juuse Saros

    Oct 10, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 10, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement Neitzel/USA TODAY Sports)

  • To be honest, the Bruins probably should’ve have put this one away early. They were generating some serious looks on the Preds’ Juuse Saros, and were downright dominant in the five-on-five play. In fact, by the end of the second period, the five-on-five shot attempts favored the Bruins by a 33-19 edge, while the Bruins were doubling the Preds up in both scoring chances (16-8) and high-danger scoring chances (6-3).

    But Saros kept this one locked down and tight throughout. In fact, it took a downright sick move from David Pastrnak on a penalty shot for the Bruins to jump ahead at the 14:46 mark of the second frame.

    Saros, who had a 23-save shutout in his last outing prior to Saturday’s start, finished his night with a strong 28-of-31 night in the Nashville crease, and by all means did everything he could to will his club to victory.

  • No. 2 Star: Jeremy Swayman

    Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Luke Evangelista (77) attempts a shot against Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) during the first period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Luke Evangelista (77) attempts a shot against Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) during the first period at the TD Garden. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

  • But for a good as Saros was at his end of the rink, Boston’s Jeremy Swayman upped the ante every single time.

    Swayman was especially strong in the second period, and with the Bruins in the midst of a parade to the penalty box, and finished with a ridiculous 13-for-13 line with the B’s down a man.

    The only bummer for Swayman: He did finally surrender a goal — two of them, actually — to the Predators. The 24-year-old Swayman entered this contest with two shutouts in as many appearances against the Predators in his career. But, hey, a 3-0-0 record and .981 career save percentage against the Predators is preeeeetty decent.

  • No. 1 Star: James van Riemsdyk

    Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) high-fives defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (12) after scoring a goal against the Nashville Predators during the third period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) high-fives defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (12) after scoring a goal against the Nashville Predators. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

  • It took just two games for free-agent addition James van Riemsdyk to already match his power-play goal total from a year ago, with the veteran wing on the board with two power-play tallies in Saturday’s win.

    ‘JVR’ was certainly aided by a kind bounce off a Predator and through Saros for his first goal in a Bruins uniform, but his second goal of the night was Vintage van Riemsdyk, as he tipped a heavy Charlie McAvoy shot through Saros for what held as the game-winning goal by the night’s end.

    The two-goal performance was good for JVR’s first two-goal effort since Apr. 21, 2022.

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