Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 18: Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with Pavel Zacha #18, Parker Wotherspoon #29 and Matt Grzelcyk #48 after scoring against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at TD Garden on January 18, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

An incredible poke-and-strip from the Bruins’ Charlie Coyle on Cale Makar did more than set up David Pastrnak for his 27th goal of the season and just 44 seconds into the drop of the puck at TD Garden.

It set the tone for what was a three-goal barrage in the opening 20 minutes of action, and in what finished as a 5-2 victory for the Bruins over the Avalanche at TD Garden.

“It’s big whether we score or not,” Coyle said of the first shift of the night. “As long as we play the right way and have that first shift to get that momentum and do things the right way. We set the tone doing that. For us to do that right off the bat, we’re saying, ‘Hey, this is the way we’re gonna play tonight.’ And the next line has to go out and follow.

“It’s definitely big for us.”

  • On the heels of the Pastrnak tally, it was a mixture of friendly bounces and strong poise that opened the door for Jakub Lauko’s first goal of the season, scored just 4:14 after the Pastrnak marker.

    In addition to this being Lauko’s first goal of the season, it was also a strong first impression with what was effectively his first promotion of the season, as Jim Montgomery moved Lauko up to the third line with Trent Frederic and Morgan Geekie with Matt Poitras still not ready for a return to the lineup.

  • Jan 18, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Morgan Geekie (39) congratulates center Jakub Lauko (94) after scoring a goal during the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 18, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Bruins center Morgan Geekie (39) congratulates Jakub Lauko (94) after scoring a goal during the first period against the Avalanche at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

    Down by two less than five minutes into action, the Avalanche sliced their deficit in half by way of a Miles Wood second-chance putaway on the Bruins’ Jeremy Swayman at the 7:32 mark of the game.

    The goal was Wood’s sixth against the Bruins since the start of the 2016-17 season, making him the 32nd-highest scorer against the Black and Gold over that span.

  • But the Bruins pushed their lead back to two before the end of the period, this time with a Jake DeBrusk tip through Alexandar Georgiev seven minutes after Wood’s tally.

    It was about as pretty a goal as the Bruins could’ve drawn up, too, as Bruins defenseman Parker Wotherspoon had nothin’ but daylight in front of him on the shot attempt while DeBrusk was able to get more than enough of his blade on the puck on its way to the net.

    Suspecting that Pavel Zacha was offside on the zone entry, Colorado’s Jared Bednar called for some additional forensics on the goal, but after a lengthy review, the goal was upheld and the Bruins carried a 3-1 back to their locker room through 20 minutes of action.

  • And though a Nathan MacKinnon goal with under four minutes to go in the middle frame would make this a one-goal game through 40 minutes, it was yet another third-period performance that left Montgomery more than pleased with his club. And beginning at the top of his roster, too.

    Speaking after the win, Montgomery praised the way his top line with Coyle between Pastrnak and Brad Marchand embraced the challenge of going against the MacKinnon line, and said that it was the best performance he’s seen from the Hampus Lindholm-Charlie McAvoy in his two years on the job.

    But in search of the insurance marker, some tremendous work along the wall from Pastrnak helped the Bruins maintain possession late in a power-play chance. And it was Pastrnak who drove right to the Colorado net and received a feed from DeBrusk to put home the dagger that gave Boston a two-goal lead with 2:36 remaining in the game.

    And just for good measure, it was Pastrnak who put the cherry on top in this one with an empty-net goal, good for his third of the game and his 16th career hat trick. He’s now within 10 tying Phil Esposito (26 career hat tricks with Boston) for the most in team history.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 15: Jakub Lauko #94 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with Jeremy Swayman #1 at TD Garden on January 15, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeat the Devils 3-0. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 15: Jakub Lauko #94 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with Jeremy Swayman #1 at TD Garden on January 15, 2024 in Boston, (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Prior to this one, the wait for center Matt Poitras and defenseman Brandon Carlo was extended for at least one more night, as both Carlo and Poitras were not thrown back into the lineup for this contest. Carlo’s absence marked his fifth straight absence as he works his way back from an upper-body injury, while Poitras (upper-body injury) missed his fourth straight game.

    The Bruins did, however, welcome Linus Ullmark back to the playing roster after the 6-foot-5 netminder missed the previous three games with a lower-body injury. Ullmark, who was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice, served as Swayman’s backup for this contest.

    The Bruins will return to action Saturday night against the Canadiens.

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