Boston Bruins

  • Bruins head coach Jim Montgomey’s birthday gift to Jake DeBrusk, who turned 26 on Monday morning, was the green light to return to action after missing last Saturday’s home opener due to a hand injury.

    But as with any birthday, DeBrusk knew how to truly treat himself on his day, as he gifted himself (and the Bruins) with a two-goal, three-point night in a 5-3 final over the Panthers at TD Garden.

    “If you look at my track record, I haven’t had good days on my birthday in hockey, so I wanted to break the curse,” a smiling DeBrusk offered after the win.

    And breaking the curse started with DeBrusk breaking this game open on his first shift and first shot, as DeBrusk chopped a puck free from Gustav Forsling and blazed down towards Sergei Bobrovsky’s cage.

  • “That was nice,” DeBrusk said of the quick strike off the jump. “Nice to help the team contribute. You know, watching Saturday’s game, it just felt like I was out for a while. So [it was nice] to get in the board that early, I think Bergy was wide open if you rewatched it, so I’m happy it went in for [that reason].”

    But the DeBrusk birthday bash was just beginning.

    Moments after Linus Ullmark kept the game tied with a broken play, breakaway save on the Panthers’ Sam Reinhart, DeBrusk jumped on his horse on a loose puck heading towards the Florida end, and was able to pull up and dish the puck towards the net and to Patrice Bergeron for the captain’s second strike of the season.

  • While DeBrusk nearly popped up out of his skin as Bergeron scored, Bergeron made sure to point to DeBrusk in an acknowledgment that it was his speed that made the entire sequence happen.

    And it’s been enough to surprise the new man behind the bench.

    “Like I knew [DeBrusk] could score goals, I knew he could skate, but I didn’t know he could make as many plays as he does,” Montgomery admitted after the win. “And I think his all-around game is continuing to develop. Like he was hard on pucks, hard on coming back to our end.”

    But in case that wasn’t enough, DeBrusk even capped his night with a spin-o-rama empty-net dagger.

  • Not bad for a dude who woke up this morning not knowing he’d be playing in a game later that night.

    “I felt good this morning, so I was thinking possibly tomorrow and then I got asked, ‘Why not tonight?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, why not tonight?’ So, I just made a decision,” DeBrusk said after the win. “I was like, ‘Yeah, why not? Let’s go. Is it gonna get worse or whatever?’ I got the green light. So that’s why I was here. I surprised pretty much all the boys. I told them all good luck tonight and I knew I was coming.”

    “The miracle cream works and thank god because he was really good tonight,” Montgomery cracked.

  • Elsewhere in the Boston lineup, Trent Frederic got the Bruins on the board with his first of the season, which made it a 4-1 game in the third period of play. Frederic’s goal put yet another Boston forward on the board with a tally, meaning that Jakub Lauko, Tomas Nosek, and Craig Smith are the only three Bruins forwards to appear in at least one game and not have a goal to their name through the opening 180 minutes of the season.

    But the true non-DeBrusk highlight in this game came with an absolutely bonkers goal from David Pastrnak, scored in the third period and at the expense of veteran Marc Staal.

  • My goodness. And on National Pasta Day no less.

    In net, meanwhile, Ullmark turned aside 38 of the 41 shots he faced for his second win of the year.

    The Bruins will have a quick turnaround with a Tuesday night showdown in Ottawa.