The Boston Bruins extended their current winning streak to four games with a, 4-0, shutout victory over the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night at TD Garden.
Tuukka Rask (19-4-6 record, 2.15 goals against average, .929 save percentage in 30 games played) made 25 saves on 25 shots against in the win for his 3rd shutout this season (48th career shutout).
In addition, Rask tied Gilles Gilbert’s Bruins franchise record set in 1970-71 for the longest home point streak to start a season. Rask is 11-0-6 through 17 individual games played on home ice this season.
Canucks goaltender, Jacob Markstrom (20-14-3, 2.74 GAA, .917 SV% in 37 games played), stopped 38 out of 42 shots faced for a .905 SV% in the loss.
Boston improved to 32-10-12 (76 points) on the season and remained in command of 1st place in the Atlantic Division, while Vancouver fell to 30-19-5 (65 points), but held onto their 1st place standing in the Pacific Division.
The B’s have won five out of their last six games and also improved to 18-2-9 at home this season as a result of the win.
Editor’s note: Welcome back to our regular coverage of Bruins recaps after a little extended vacation on both ends of the All Star break. It might happen again, possibly forever. Stay tuned.
If you weren’t already aware, Boston defeated the Vegas Golden Knights (3-2, on Jan. 21st at TD Garden), as well as the Winnipeg Jets (2-1, on Jan. 31st at Bell MTS Place) and the Minnesota Wild (6-1, on Feb. 1st at Xcel Energy Center) while our coverage was on holiday.
The Bruins were without the services of Kevan Miller (knee), Connor Clifton (upper body) and Joakim Nordstrom (allergy complications) against the Canucks on Tuesday.
Boston head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made minor changes to his lineup from Saturday night’s win in Minnesota.
The first line comprised of the usual “Perfection Line” trio of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, while the second line featured Jake DeBrusk at left wing, David Krejci at center and Karson Kuhlman on the right wing.
Sean Kuraly was back in the lineup on the left side of the third line with Charlie Coyle down the middle and Anders Bjork on the right side, while Anton Blidh, Par Lindholm and Chris Wagner made up the fourth line.
On defense, Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy continued to serve as the top pairing with Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo filling out the rest of the top-4 defenders.
Matt Grzelcyk suited up on the third pairing alongside Jeremy Lauzon, while John Moore and Danton Heinen served as Boston’s only healthy scratches Tuesday night.
Late in the opening frame, Coyle (10) scooped up a loose puck on a rebound and elevated a quick backhand over Markstrom’s glove to give Boston the game’s first goal.
McAvoy (18) and Bjork (8) tallied the assists on Coyle’s goal at 14:24 of the first period and the Bruins led, 1-0.
But there was a catch (sort of).
Canucks head coach, Travis Green, used his coach’s challenge on the basis that Vancouver was asking to review whether or not McAvoy had entered the zone offside– therefore negating the play that ultimately led to the goal, thus getting rid of the goal.
However, after review, it was determined that the call on the ice stood and the Bruins had indeed scored a good goal when the officials confirmed via video that McAvoy did not actually skate over the blue line with the puck on his stick while Kuraly was making an effort to get back onside.
McAvoy had somehow sidestepped for a split second while Kuraly checked up, then proceeded to touch the puck after assuring that he and his teammate were in the clear.
Boston led, 1-0, and Vancouver was charged with a bench minor for delay of game at 14:24. Jake Virtanen served the time in the box for the Canucks.
Entering the first intermission, the B’s were ahead on the scoreboard, 1-0, and led in shots on goal, 13-6.
The Bruins also held the advantage in takeaways (4-3), giveaways (5-3), hits (9-7) and faceoff win percentage (53-47). The Canucks led in blocked shots (4-2) after one period.
Vancouver had yet to see any time on the skater advantage, while Boston was 0/1 on the power play through 20 minutes of action Tuesday night.
Early in the middle frame, Troy Stecher sent the puck over the glass and out of the playing surface– yielding an automatic delay of game minor infraction at 5:45 of the second period.
The Canucks followed up their already shorthanded bid with another penalty about a minute later after Alexander Edler tripped up Marchand at 6:46.
Boston had an abbreviated 5-on-3 advantage, but could not convert on the power play.
Instead, the Bruins followed suit with a minor penalty of their own in the vulnerable minute after their advantage as Bjork hooked Canucks captain, Bo Horvat, at 9:48 of the second period.
Vancouver did not capitalized on their first power play opportunity of the night.
Late in the second period, Grzelcyk kickstarted a play from his own zone through the neutral zone whereby Marchand sent the puck to Bergeron for a quick redirection to McAvoy as the Bruins defender was gathering speed into the attacking zone.
McAvoy then sent the puck back to Bergeron who then found Marchand (23) to give Boston a two-goal advantage at 15:35.
Bergeron (21) and McAvoy (19) had the assists and the B’s led, 2-0.
Less than 30 seconds later, Wagner cut a rut to the penalty box for hooking against Oscar Fantenberg and presented Vancouver with another power play opportunity at 15:57.
Once more, the Canucks were denied on the skater advantage, however, and the Bruins carried a, 2-0, lead into the second intermission, as well as a, 30-15, advantage in shots on goal through 40 minutes of play.
Boston dominated in takeaways (6-4) and hits (20-17), while Vancouver led in blocked shots (12-6), giveaways (11-6) and faceoff win% (51-49) heading into the final frame of regulation.
The Canucks were 0/2 on the skater advantage and the B’s were 0/3 entering the third period.
Midway through the final frame of the game, Krug slashed Virtanen and was promptly sent to the sin bin at 12:38 of the third period.
Canucks rookie defender, Quinn Hughes, slashed Kuraly about a minute later and yielded 4-on-4 action for a 1:01 span before the Bruins had an abbreviated 5-on-4 power play.
While at even strength with four skaters aside, Boston extended their lead to three goals after Krejci sent Kuraly into the corner before No. 52 in black and gold fished the puck back out to Krejci (13) in the slot whereby No. 46 sent a shot past Markstrom’s glove side at 14:09 of the third period.
The Bruins led, 3-0, as Kuraly (14) and Carlo (13) collected the assists on Krejci’s goal.
About a minute later, Jay Beagle didn’t make an effort to avoid contact with Rask and bowled into the Boston goaltender at 15:11– receiving the ire of McAvoy, a goaltender interference minor and a misconduct at the same time.
As a result, the B’s had about 28 seconds worth of a 5-on-3 advantage until Tyler Myers sent the puck over the glass at 16:22 and reset the 5-on-3 advantage clock to 50 seconds worth of a two-skater advantage for Boston.
While on the advantage, Coyle fired a shot towards the net that Kuhlman (1) redirected in the slot off a Canucks defender before the puck caught Markstrom’s leg pad and strolled over the goal line for his first goal of the season.
Coyle (19) and Grzelcyk (13) tallied the assists on Kuhlman’s goal and the Bruins led, 4-0, at 18:10.
At the final horn, Boston secured the shutout victory and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 42-25.
The B’s also wrapped up Tuesday night’s action with the advantage in hits (29-27), while Vancouver left TD Garden with the lead in blocked shots (14-9), giveaways (12-9) and faceoff win% (54-46).
The Canucks went 0/3 on the power play and the Bruins went 1/6.
Boston improved to 3-0-0 out of the All Star break and bye week, while outscoring their opponents, 12-2, in that span.
The Bruins also improved to 20-7-8 when scoring the game’s first goal, 19-5-3 when leading after the first period and 17-1-6 when leading after two periods this season.
The B’s take on the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center in Chicago on Wednesday before returning home for a matchup with the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday before traveling to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Sunday.