Jake DeBrusk’s second period goal proved to be the game-winner as the Boston Bruins withstood a third period surge and held off the San Jose Sharks in a, 4-3, victory at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon.
Linus Ullmark (2-0-0, 2.00 goals-against average, .935 save percentage in two games played) turned aside 23 out of 26 shots against in the win for the Bruins.
Meanwhile, Adin Hill (3-1-0, 2.93 goals-against average, .890 save percentage in four games played) and James Reimer (1-0-0, 0.65 goals-against average, .980 save percentage in two games played) split the effort in the loss for the Sharks.
Hill made 10 saves on 14 shots faced for a .714 save percentage in 25:41 time on ice before he was replaced by Reimer, who stopped all 20 shots against in relief.
Boston improved to 3-1-0 (six points) on the season and– at the time of this writing– moved into 3rd place in the Atlantic Division, while San Jose dropped to 4-1-0 (eight points) overall and remained in command of 2nd place in the Pacific Division standings.
The B’s also improved to 2-0-0 at home this season, as well as 25-12-5-0 all time against the Sharks in 42 regular season meetings.
The Bruins were without the services of Curtis Lazar (upper body), Nick Foligno (upper body), Anton Blidh (upper body) and Craig Smith (undisclosed) on Sunday afternoon.
Foligno was placed on injured reserve, while Jack Studnicka and Oskar Steen were recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL). Veteran defender, John Moore, was assigned to Providence as a result.
B’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, told reporters prior to Sunday’s matinee with San Jose that Foligno and Blidh are unlikely to play in the team’s upcoming road trip on Wednesday and Thursday.
As a result of the recent rash of injuries, Cassidy continued to tweak to his lineup, promoting Tomáš Nosek to center the second line and sliding Charlie Coyle to the right wing in place of Smith as a result.
Cassidy inserted Steen on the third line in Nosek’s usual spot and returned Trent Frederic to the fourth line left wing with Studnicka at center and Karson Kuhlman on the right wing.
On defense, Connor Clifton returned to his spot on the third pairing alongside Derek Forbort with Moore assigned to Providence.
Jakub Zboril was the only healthy scratch on Sunday.
It only took 28 seconds into the action on Sunday afternoon for David Pastrnak to work the puck to Patrice Bergeron through the trapezoid behind the net before Bergeron found Brad Marchand (4) in the high slot for a catch and release goal to give the Bruins a, 1-0, lead.
Bergeron (2) and Pastrnak (3) notched the assists on Marchand’s goal as Boston got off to a fast start in the first period.
Less than a few minutes later, Clifton worked the puck to Marchand, who sent the rubber biscuit along the point to Forbort (1) for a wrist shot that floated past Hill’s blocker side as a Sharks defender partially screened his own goaltender– extending Boston’s lead to two-goals in the process.
Marchand (3) and Clifton (1) had the assists on Forbort’s first goal in a Bruins uniform and the B’s led, 2-0, at 3:18 of the first period.
Almost midway through the opening frame, Nosek tripped up Tomáš Hertl and cut a rut to the penalty box with a minor infraction at 9:44.
San Jose’s power play, however, could not convert on the skater advantage.
The Sharks got another chance on the power play moments later when Charlie McAvoy caught Logan Couture with a high stick at 13:01, but once again Boston’s penalty kill stood tall as Ullmark kept the puck out of the back of the net.
Shortly after killing off McAvoy’s minor, Brent Burns knocked down Taylor Hall away from the puck and was assessed and interference minor at 15:59– presenting the Bruins with their first power play of the afternoon as a result.
It didn’t take long for Boston to capitalize on the ensuing skater advantage as Bergeron rang a shot off the crossbar before setting up Pastrnak (2) for one of his trademark one-timer power-play goals from the faceoff circle– right above the dot– to give the Bruins a three-goal lead.
Bergeron (3) had the only assist on Pastrnak’s goal as the B’s extended their lead, 3-0, at 16:12 of the first period.
Less than a minute later, however, San Jose got on the scoreboard with a quick break into the attacking zone and a little bit of a give-and-go that resulted in a short side goal for Jasper Weatherby (2) to cut Boston’s lead back to two-goals.
Jonah Gadjovich (1) and Andrew Cogliano (2) tabbed the assists on Weatherby’s goal at 16:44. With the primary assist, Gadjovich recorded his first career National Hockey League point in his second career game (Gadjovich made his season debut with the Sharks on Sunday and appeared in one game last season for the Vancouver Canucks).
After one period of action, the Bruins led the Sharks, 3-1, on the scoreboard despite both teams amassing 11 shots on goal each.
Boston also held the advantage in blocked shots (10-2), while San Jose led the way in takeaways (3-1), giveaways (4-3), hits (13-7) and faceoff win percentage (58-42).
The Sharks were 0/2 and the Bruins were 1/1 on the power play heading into the first intermission.
Early in the middle frame, Forbort sent Steen up through the neutral zone on a rush with DeBrusk before Steen bounced an indirect pass to DeBrusk off the boards.
DeBrusk (2) entered the attacking zone and wired a shot over Hill’s glove to put Boston ahead by three goals once more, 4-1, at 5:41 of the second period.
Steen (1) and Forbort (1) recorded the assists, marking the first career NHL point for Steen and the first assist as a Bruin for Forbort in the process.
Sharks head coach, Bob Boughner, replaced Hill with Reimer as a result of DeBrusk’s goal and tried to spur momentum in San Jose’s favor as a result of the goalie change.
Late in the period, Nick Bonino and Clifton exchanged pleasantries in a post-whistle scrum that resulted in minor penalties for roughing for each player as well as an addition two minutes for slashing for Bonino at 17:29.
As a result, the Bruins finished off most of the rest of the second period on the power play, though they couldn’t muster anything past Reimer as the second intermission commenced.
Through 40 minutes of action, the B’s led, 4-1, on the scoreboard and, 22-16, in shots on goal, including an, 11-5, advantage in the second period alone.
Boston also held the advantage in blocked shots (12-6), while San Jose led in takeaways (8-5), giveaways (10-5), hits (20-13) and faceoff win% (53-48).
The Sharks were still 0/2 on the power play, while the Bruins dropped to 1/2 on the skater advantage heading into the final frame.
With tensions rising as the second period came to an end, Frederic and Jacob Middleton kicked things off in the third period with five-minute majors for fighting at 3:02 of the final frame in the first fight of the 2021-22 calendar for Boston.
Less than a couple of minutes later, Mario Ferraro took an interference penalty at 5:48 of the third period, but the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on the final power play of the afternoon.
Midway through the third, the Sharks scored a pair of quick goals as Hertl (2) deflected a shot from Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the point amidst net front traffic to pull San Jose back to within two goals, 4-2, at 13:19.
Vlasic (2) and Alexander Barabanov (1) tallied the assists on Hertl’s goal.
Minutes later, Timo Meier (3) redirected a shot from Couture from outside the slot to bring the Sharks to a one-goal deficit, 4-3, at 15:08 of the third period.
Couture (5) and Burns (4) had the assists on Meier’s goal which was reviewed for a high stick, but determined to be a good goal– the call on the ice was confirmed.
Boston’s lead had shrunk to a close, 4-3, game in the dying minutes of Sunday’s action.
Boughner pulled Reimer for an extra attacker with 1:45 remaining in the game and used his timeout with 1:02 left on the clock after a stoppage, but it wasn’t enough to rally his team to force overtime (at least) as the Bruins managed to hold off San Jose’s comeback.
At the final horn, Boston had won, 4-3, and finished the afternoon leading in shots on goal, 34-26, including a, 12-10, advantage in the third period alone.
The Bruins finished the afternoon leading in blocked shots (14-6) and faceoff win% (52-48), while the Sharks exited TD Garden with the advantage in giveaways (16-7) and hits (25-23).
San Jose went 0/2 on the power play, while Boston went 1/3 on the skater advantage on Sunday.
The B’s improved to 3-0-0 (2-0-0 at home) when scoring the game’s first goal, 3-0-0 (2-0-0 at home) when leading after the first period and 2-0-0 (1-0-0 at home) when leading after two periods this season.
The Sharks dropped to 2-1-0 (1-1-0 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 2-1-0 (1-1-0 on the road) when trailing after one period and 0-1-0 (0-1-0 on the road) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22 as a result of the loss.
The Bruins hit the road for a pair of games against the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes at FLA Live Arena on Wednesday and PNC Arena on Thursday, respectively, before returning home to finish the month of October against the Panthers on Saturday (Oct. 30th).