David Pastrnak sandwiched a pair of goals around a Taylor Hall tally as the Boston Bruins beat the Seattle Kraken, 3-2, at TD Garden in their first-ever regular season matchup in franchise history.
Seattle joined the league as an expansion team this season and nearly forced a comeback– tying things up, 2-2, in the third period courtesy of goals from Joonas Donskoi and Mason Appleton– before Pastrnak’s second power-play goal of the game buried the Kraken.
Linus Ullmark (16-6-1, 2.64 goals-against average, .913 save percentage in 24 games played) made 25 saves on 27 shots against in the win for Boston.
Kraken goaltender, Chris Driedger (3-7-0, 3.18 goals-against average, .895 save percentage in 12 games played), stopped 23 out of 26 shots faced in the loss.
The Bruins improved to 26-14-3 (55 points) overall and remain in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division, as well as the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, Seattle fell to 14-27-4 (32 points) on the season and stuck in 8th place in the Pacific Division.
The B’s are now 1-0-0 against the Kraken all-time and will face Seattle again on the road on Feb. 24th at Climate Pledge Arena.
The Bruins were without the services of Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Trent Frederic (upper body), Nick Foligno (upper body), Tuukka Rask (lower body) and Erik Haula (COVID-19 protocol) on Tuesday.
Frederic and Foligno took part in morning skate in full-contact, but won’t return to the lineup until after the All Star break.
Bruce Cassidy made a few changes to Boston’s lineup from Sunday’s, 6-1, loss in Dallas to Tuesday’s, 3-2, victory against Seattle.
Craig Smtih suited up on the first line right wing alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, while Tomáš Nosek centered the second line with Hall and Pastrnak on his wings.
Charlie Coyle was reunited with Jake DeBrusk and Oskar Steen at left and right wing, respectively, on the third line, while Steven Fogarty centered Anton Blidh and Curtis Lazar on the fourth line.
On defense, Matt Grzelcyk was partnered with Charlie McAvoy as the top-four defenders returned to their usual positions with Mike Reilly alongside Brandon Carlo.
Derek Forbort started the night next to Urho Vaakanainen, though Cassidy would be forced to rotate five defenders by the end of the game as Vaakanainen (upper body) sustained an injury as a result of a bad hit from Yanni Gourde early in the second period.
Frederic, Foligno, Jesper Frödén, Rask, Tyler Lewington, Haula, Zboril and Connor Clifton made up the long list of injured players and healthy scratches for Boston on Tuesday.
Blidh tripped Riley Sheahan and presented the Kraken with the night’s first power play at 3:00 of the first period.
Seattle didn’t convert on the ensuing advantage.
Midway through the opening frame, McAvoy tripped Jared McCann, yielding another power play to the Kraken at 10:16.
Once again, however, Seattle wasn’t able to capitalize on the resulting special teams play.
Entering the first intermission, the Bruins and Kraken remained tied, 0-0, despite Seattle jumping out to a, 9-7, advantage in shots on net.
The Bruins led in blocked shots (3-2), hits (11-8) and faceoff win percentage (60-40), while the Kraken led in giveaways (6-4).
Both teams had one takeaway each, while Seattle was 0/2 on the power play and Boston had yet to see time on the skater advantage.
Early in the middle frame, Gourde checked Vaakanainen from behind– driving the Bruins defender face first into the glass from the numbers.
Vaakanainen was bloodied from a cut from his visor and Gourde was initially assessed a five-minute major penalty, but upon official review, it was downgraded (rightfully or wrongfully) to a two-minute minor for boarding at 1:38 of the second period.
Boston didn’t convert on the resulting power play.
Shortly after emerging from the penalty box, on an ensuing faceoff, Fogarty and Lazar tried to engage Gourde in a physical response– rendering roughing minors for all three players while Forbort and former Bruins defender, Jeremy Lauzon, dropped the gloves and fought separately.
Forbort and Lauzon each received five-minute majors for fighting at 4:00 of the second period.
Seattle’s power play remained powerless as the Bruins made the kill and resumed even strength.
Former Bruin, Marcus Johansson, tripped Hall at 8:49 of the second period and presented the B’s with their first power play of the night.
It didn’t take long for Boston to capitalize on the skater advantage as Hall worked a pass through the slot to the dot where Pastrnak (21) one-timed a goal inadvertently off of Donskoi and over Driedger’s blocker side for his tenth power-play goal of the season at 9:06 of the second period.
Hall (19) and Marchand (27) tallied the assists as the Bruins pulled ahead, 1-0.
Shortly thereafter, Grzelcyk made a hit on Jordan Eberle along the boards in the neutral zone, whereby Eberle accidentally speared his own teammate in the face– rendering Johansson down the tunnel for a few minutes before returning to the night’s action.
Minutes later, Carlo cut a rut to the sin bin for interference at 11:57 and DeBrusk presented Seattle with a 5-on-3 advantage shortly after that when he sent the puck over the glass and out of play– yielding an automatic delay of game minor at 13:20.
Boston’s penalty kill continued to get its job done, however, as the Kraken remained scoreless on the power play.
Late in the second period, Nosek won a battle along the endboards– freeing the puck to Hall in the process, whereby Hall forced it to the slot in an attempt to connect on a pass back to any open teammate.
Instead, Sheahan briefly corralled then fumbled the loose puck and Hall (10) scooped it back up before scoring on Driedger’s stick side from point blank.
Nosek (7) and Pastrnak (21) tallied the assists as the B’s extended their lead, 2-0, at 16:09 of the second period.
Through 40 minutes of play, Boston led, 2-0, on the scoreboard despite both teams amassing 18 shot on goal each.
The Bruins held an, 11-9, advantage in shots in the second period alone, while also maintaining control in blocked shots (7-4), giveaways (9-8), hits (17-12) and faceoff win% (57-43).
Seattle led in takeaways (4-2) and was 0/5 on the power play heading into the second intermission.
Boston, meanwhile, was 1/2 on the skater advantage entering the final frame.
Less than a minute into the third period, Boston failed to clear their own zone and the Kraken took full advantage of the Bruins getting caught a half-step behind the play.
Donskoi (1) ripped a shot, high, glove side from just outside the left circle for his first goal of the season in his 44th game (45th overall for Seattle)– cutting Boston’s lead in half, 2-1, in the process.
An unassisted individual effort, Donskoi’s goal was also just 42 seconds into the third period– making matters worse for the Bruins as they took their time getting out of the lull of the second intermission back into the frantic pace of a 60-minute hockey game.
Momentum certainly was not on Boston’s side as Marchand went off to the box for interference at 4:47 and the Kraken nearly tied things up on the ensuing power play.
Instead, Seattle caught Boston in the vulnerable minute after special teams play as a ricochet off of Appleton (4) and McAvoy before the puck found its way behind Ullmark worked in the Kraken’s favor.
Adam Larsson (10) and Colin Blackwell (4) notched the assists on Appleton’s goal as Seattle tied the game, 2-2, at 7:30 of the third period.
As a result of their lackluster play to start the final frame, Cassidy used his team’s timeout to rally the B’s into shape.
Moments later, Seattle’s captain, Mark Giordano, tripped Fogarty in his own zone and presented Boston with the night’s final power play at 10:28.
As the penalty was being announced, the Bruins tweeted that Vaakanainen would not return to the night’s game with an upper body injury.
A mean 21 seconds into the skater advantage, Boston capitalized on the power play opportunity thanks to some quick work from their first power play unit.
Marchand sent a pass to Bergeron, who promptly setup Pastrnak (22) for a one-timer that may not have even intentionally been a shot, but rather a chance to feed Hall in the slot on a shot pass.
Instead, Pastrnak picked up his second power-play goal (as well as his second goal of the game in the process) and the Bruins led, 3-2, at 10;49 of the third period.
Bergeron (22) and Marchand (28) had the assists this time around.
With about 2:19 remaining in the action, Kraken head coach, Dave Hakstol, pulled Driedger for an extra attacker, but it was to no avail even after Seattle used their timeout after a stoppage with 1:48 left in the game.
At the final horn, the Bruins had won, 3-2, and emerged with two points in the standings, despite trailing the Kraken in shots on goal, 27-26, overall, as well as, 9-8, in shots on net in the third period alone.
Boston left their own ice leading in blocked shots (14-8), giveaways (15-11), hits (26-16) and faceoff win% (51-49), while Seattle exited TD Garden empty handed.
The Kraken finished the night 0/6 on the power play, while the B’s went 2/3 on the skater advantage.
Boston improved to 6-5-1 (3-3-0 at home) when tied after the first period, 17-5-0 (9-3-0 at home) when scoring first and 18-1-1 (7-1-0 at home) when leading after two periods this season.
Seattle fell to 5-6-4 (2-3-2 on the road) when tied after the first, 8-20-3 (2-10-1 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal and 1-20-1 (0-9-0 on the road) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.
After kicking off the month of February against the Kraken, the Bruins venture on their 2022 All Star Break before returning to action on Feb. 8th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boston then hosts the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 10th before hitting the road for four games.