Brad Marchand scored two goals in the Boston Bruins’, 4-3, victory over the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena Tuesday night, while Tuukka Rask (2-0-0, 2.00 goals against average, .937 save percentage in two games played) stopped 31 out of 34 shots faced (.912 SV%) for the win.
Golden Knights goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury (2-1-0, 2.02 GAA, .935 SV% in three games played) made 31 saves on 35 shots against for an .886 SV% in the loss.
Patrice Bergeron recorded an assist, Marchand had three points (two goals, one assist) and David Pastrnak had a three-point night (one goal, two assists) as Boston’s “Perfection Line” led the way in the Bruins’ comeback win.
The B’s improved to 3-0-0 (6 points) on the season and are now 1st in the Atlantic Division, while Vegas fell to 3rd in the Pacific Division with a 2-1-0 (4 points) record.
For the third game in a row, Kevan Miller (knee), John Moore (shoulder) and Joakim Nordstrom (foot) were all out of Boston’s lineup due to injury.
Bruce Cassidy told reporters late last week that Nordstrom could return at some point on the road trip and indicated prior to Tuesday night’s matchup that the veteran forward was medically cleared and targeting a return to game action on Thursday in Colorado.
Cassidy made one change to his lineup– he jumbled his fourth line.
David Backes was inserted on the right wing, Chris Wagner slid over to the left side and Sean Kuraly was placed at center while Par Lindholm was a healthy scratch on Tuesday.
Lindholm joined Steven Kampfer as Boston’s healthy scratches in the press box of T-Mobile Arena, while the rest of the lineup remained the same.
Just 35 seconds into the first period, Bruins defender, Matt Grzelcyk, blocked a shot with his left leg and did not partake in another shift in the opening frame. He did return for the second period, however.
Early in the period, Brett Ritchie collided with the Golden Knights goaltender and was assessed a minor penalty for goaltender interference at 5:15 of the first period.
It didn’t take Vegas long to convert on their first power play of the night as Mark Stone (2) gave the Golden Knights their first lead of the night, 1-0, with a power play goal.
Max Pacioretty (2) and Cody Glass (1) notched the assists on Stone’s goal at 6:36 of the first period.
Less than a couple of minutes later, Reilly Smith (3) sneaked his way past the Bruins defense and elevated a one-timer under the crossbar from point blank, while the B’s defenders were out of position.
Jonathan Marchessault (1) and William Karlsson (4) tabbed the assists on Smith’s goal at 8:20 of the first period and the Golden Knights jumped out to a, 2-0, lead.
After a dismal first half of the opening frame, Boston turned on their offensive prowess– kickstarted by a much needed boost from “The Perfection Line” as Pastrnak (1) tallied his first goal of the season.
Bergeron worked the puck to Marchand, who sent Pastrnak a pass into the low slot, whereby the Bruins right winger scored on a one-timer while Fleury stretched across the crease.
Marchand (1) and Bergeron (2) recorded the assists on Pastrnak’s goal at 11:21 and the B’s cut the lead in half, 2-1.
Vegas thought they had pulled ahead with another two-goal lead almost 15 minutes into the first period, but despite Marchessault’s best efforts to redirect Nic Hague’s shot from the point, Marchessault did so with a high-stick.
Late in the period, Brandon Pirri slashed Danton Heinen and sent the Bruins on their first power play of the night at 17:38.
Boston found the back of the net less than a minute into the power play thanks to Marchand’s (2) short-range blast that deflected off of Golden Knights defender, Jon Merrill, and found its way behind Fleury to tie the game, 2-2.
Pastrnak (1) and Torey Krug (1) had the assists on Marchand’s first goal of the game at 18:58.
After one period in Vegas, the scoreboard was very ill.
Tied, 2-2, in goals, the Golden Knights led in shots on goal (12-11), blocked shots (7-4) and hits (13-9), while the Bruins led in takeaways (8-5), giveaways (3-2), and faceoff win percentage (59-41).
Both teams were 1/1 on the power play entering the first intermission.
Marchand (3) kicked things off less than a minute into the second period with his second goal of the game after picking up the puck in the neutral zone, entering the attacking zone and unloading a wrist shot past Fleury’s glove side.
Pastrnak (2) had the only assist on Marchand’s goal 33 seconds into the second period as the Bruins took their first lead of the night, 3-2.
Almost two minutes later, Krug (1) rocketed a shot from the point past the Golden Knights netminder to give Boston a two-goal lead, 4-2, at 2:27 of the second period.
Brandon Carlo (1) and Kuraly (1) picked up their first assists of the season on Krug’s first goal of the year as the Bruins scored a pair of goals in a span in 1:54.
About a minute later, Backes was penalized for interference and the B’s were shorthanded at 3:18.
Vegas did not capitalize on the ensuing power play.
Cassidy had adjusted his second and third lines when his forwards looked flat in the opening frame and continued to utilize Brett Ritchie on the second line right wing with Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci, while Karson Kuhlman took Ritchie’s spot on the second line with Heinen and Charlie Coyle.
Through 40 minutes of action, Boston led, 4-2, on the scoreboard.
Meanwhile, Vegas led in shots on goal (27-24, including a, 15-13, advantage in the second period alone), blocked shots (10-7), takeaways (10-9), giveaways (8-6) and hits (23-20).
The Bruins led in faceoff win% (56-44) entering the second intermission.
Heading into the third period, the Golden Knights were 1/2 on the power play and the B’s were 1/1.
Hague hooked Heinen two minutes into the third period and was sent to the penalty box, resulting in a Boston power play, but the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on the scoreboard on their second skater advantage of the night.
Almost midway through the final frame of regulation, Brayden McNabb was penalized for holding at 9:34 of the third period, but once again the B’s couldn’t score on the ensuing power play.
Late in the game, Marchand was guilty of cross checking McNabb at 14:22, yielding another power play to the Golden Knights.
This time, Vegas made sure to capitalize on the skater advantage opportunity as Pacioretty (1) scored his first goal of the season from the faceoff dot to left of Rask– firing a shot past the Bruins goaltender’s short side over his glove while Glass acted as a screen in front.
Shea Theodore (2) and Stone (4) had the assists on Pacioretty’s power play goal at 14:42 and the Golden Knights pulled to within one, 4-3.
With about 90 seconds left in the action after a stoppage in play, Vegas head coach, Gerard Gallant, used his timeout to rally his skaters and pull his goaltender, but it was too little too late as time expired about a minute later.
The Bruins had defeated the Golden Knights, 4-3, on road ice.
Boston finished the night leading in shots on goal (35-34) and faceoff win% (56-44), but Vegas dominated in just about every other statistical category– holding the advantage in blocked shots (14-12), giveaways (12-8) and hits (33-24).
The Golden Knights finished the game 2/3 on the power play, while the Bruins went 1/3 on the skater advantage.
Vegas had a 96-56-14 record all time entering Tuesday night and remain four wins away from their 100th in franchise history. They are now 96-57-14 in 167 regular season games in their existence.
The Bruins are 3-0-0 on their current four-game road trip and will finish their current trip Thursday night in Denver with a matchup against the Colorado Avalanche.
Puck drop is expected a little after 9 p.m. ET.
For the first time since the 2001-02 season, the Bruins are 3-0-0 to begin the regular season.
Boston will take on the New Jersey Devils in Saturday’s home opener at TD Garden.