Boston Bruins

  • A three-Bruin pile-up to the left of Ducks netminder John Gibson spelled massive, massive trouble late in the overtime frame of Thursday’s head-to-head between the Bruins and Ducks at TD Garden.

    In fact, you could hear all of TD Garden groan as three Anaheim skaters had nothing but ice in front of them, and with Linus Ullmark as the Black and Gold’s last line of defense in a bid for two points.

    “‘Please make another save,'” Bruins head Jim Montgomery revealed postgame when asked what he was thinking in that moment. “That’s the only thing going through my mind.”

    And Ullmark delivered, just like his 30 other times over 65 minutes of action — and another four times in the shootout — to carry the Bruins to a 2-1 shootout victory to improve to 4-1-0 on the year.

  • “At first, I thought it was going to be a 3-on-0,” Ullmark, who is now 3-0-0 with a .938 save percentage on the year, said of the win-saving stop. “Strome just took off and took it for himself for a breakaway. I don’t know if he fanned on it or if he wanted to go five-hole, but that’s how I read it.”

    Ullmark even bailed the B’s defense out with a non-save, as he extended and helped push the puck out of danger and across the Boston blue line, which forced the Ducks to retreat.

    “[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.”

    The Bruins’ one-two of Ullmark and second-year full-timer Jeremy Swayman has been cyclical in nature. Right now, it’s been Ullmark who has been white-hot, and it appears that he’s found a sound strategy for success.

    “I don’t plan on letting in goals,” the always-quotable Ullmark said.

  • At the other end of the rink, Boston’s lone regulation goal on John Gibson came off the stick of Taylor Hall, and it was Hall who scored the only goal of the four-round shootout.

    “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 second 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.”

  • Elsewhere on the sheet, defenseman Matt Grzelcyk made his season debut after missing the first four games of the season recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

    The 5-foot-9 Grzelcyk recorded an assist, along with two shots on goal and four blocked shots, and finished with 20:02 of time on ice by the night’s end. The Bruins also promoted Grzelcyk up to the right of Hampus Lindholm early in the contest, and Montgomery was more than pleased with what he saw.

    Center Jack Studnicka also made his season debut in this one, and sheesh, it was a day to forget. Deployed for 8:01, Studnicka turned the puck over on the play that led to Frank Vatrano’s game-tying goal, and was assessed two minors, including one in his first shift of the third period after what was a rather extensive benching.

    With the win, the Bruins snapped a two-game losing streak against the Ducks.

    The Bruins return to action Saturday afternoon against the Minnesota Wild.