Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

The Bruins could not find their home-ice magic nor their third-period magic Thursday night at TD Garden, and that combination was enough to deliver the Bruins their first home-ice regulation loss of the 2022-23 season, as Jim Montgomery’s squad fell to the visiting Kraken by a 3-0 final.

“I think I felt there was a belief the whole time that we were going to come back,” Montgomery said of his team’s first zero-point home-ice effort. “The biggest difference I noticed from previous games was in the third period we didn’t have the charge in us. And so it just tells me our batteries are a little low.”

The loss ended what was a 26-game home point streak dating back to last season for the Bruins, with a 23-0-3 record since their last home-ice loss (Apr. 14, 2022 against Ottawa), and with the streak up to 29 games (26-0-3) if you included the Black and Gold’s first-round playoff series with the Hurricanes last May.

“You know, it’s our first loss at home [and] it’s our 23rd game of the year, [so] I guess we’re fortunate in one way,” Montgomery noted. “We’re not happy about how we played and we’ll address it tomorrow.

“We’ll regroup and we’ll be better Saturday night.”

  • It’s really just about as simple as that, too.

    The Bruins knew they weren’t going go an entire 41-game home slate without a regulation loss or two along the way. And when an as-advertised Kraken defense failed to give the Bruins much of anything out of the gate, the chances at the other end became magnified, especially when the Kraken put themselves on the board.

    The goals surrendered by the Bruins were backbreaking ones, too, as Brandon Tanev capitalized on an awkward-looking bounce around the Boston net to put the Kraken up 1-0 through 20 minutes of play, while Eeli Tolvanen doubled Seattle’s edge with under 40 seconds remaining in the middle frame.

    They weren’t backbreaking in the sense that they were shots that Ullmark, who finished with a 28-of-30 line in the Boston net for what was just his second regulation loss of the season, should have stopped. But rather the momentum they seemed to suck out of the B’s sails on a night where they needed the boost.

    It’s a big reason why Montgomery opted to pull Ullmark with five minutes remaining in the third period and with the Bruins trying to erase a two-goal hole.

    The Bruins possessed the puck for over two full minutes on their initial 6-on-5 advantage, too, but failed to beat the Kraken’s Martin Jones at all.

    And no miss was more painful than David Pastrnak’s ‘just wide’ shot that kept the Bruins off the board.

  • “We had no urgency to our game and we had some great looks there,” Montgomery admitted. “But, you know, unfortunately it didn’t work. We were missing the ‘it factor’ tonight that we’ve had all year.”

    This was the most noticeable issue for the Bruins in this contest, really.

    The team simply couldn’t generate enough momentum to shift into the ‘takeover’ mode we’ve time and time again. Whether that was the late power-play opportunity in the first period that fell by the wayside or a 10-shot second period that resulted in nada, the Bruins just couldn’t find that one spark they needed to ignite the bench.

    It was all more than enough for Jones to become the first goaltender to shut the Bruins out this season, as he stopped all 27 shots he faced for the victory.

    With Jones’ 27-of-27 on the board, opposing goaltenders have now posted a combined .938 save percentage in Boston’s nine losses this season.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 12: Joona Koppanen #45 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Seattle Kraken in his first NHL game during the first period at TD Garden on January 12, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 12: Joona Koppanen #45 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Seattle Kraken in his first NHL game during the first period at TD Garden on January 12, 2023. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

  • Up front, Joona Koppanen got the nod as the Black and Gold’s fourth-line center.

    Koppanen’s NHL shot came after 216 games with the P-Bruins, which is tied for the 26th-most in franchise history, and in the midst of an AHL year that’s come with five goals and 19 points in 34 games.

    The 6-foot-5 Koppanen began his NHL career with a faceoff win, and finished Thursday’s contest with one shot, two hits, and wins in five of his seven battles at the dot in just 8:50 of time on ice.

    The Bruins will return to action Saturday night when they play host to the Maple Leafs. The B’s dropped their only prior head-to-head with the Leafs this season by a 2-1 final back on Nov. 5.

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