Boston, MA – The Boston Bruins took the game to the visiting San Jose Sharks early and often in the opening period only to see their three-goal lead vanish in the third. The Bruins held on for the 4-3 win in front of 17,850 at the TD Garden Sunday matinee. Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Jake DeBrusk continued their scoring ways while defenseman Derek Forbort tallied his first goal as a member of the Bruins. Linus Ullmark earned his second straight win while the Bruins handed the Sharks their first loss of 2021-22.
Marchand kicked things off twenty-eight seconds into the game. Marchand deposited a Patrice Bergeron feed past Sharks goalie Adin Hill (10 saves) to bring the sell-out crowd to life. It was tic-tac-toe Pastrnak to Bergeron to Marchand for Marchand’s fourth of the year.
Derek Forbort added to the early lead when he slapped a Marchand pass past Hill from the blue line to make it 2-0 Bruins at 3:18. Forbort was a force on both ends at both ends in this game.
San Jose had a power-play at 9:44 when Bruins forward Tomas Nosek was sent off for Tripping. The Sharks pepperedUllmark (23 saves) but the Bruins keeper was on his game. The Sharks thought they scored when Alexander Barabanov had a wide-open look at an empty Bruins goal but he shot the puck wide as defenseman Brandon Carlo hurled himself in front of Barabanov.
The Sharks followed up with another power-play at 13:01 and again threw multiple shots on Ullmark but to no avail.
Boston had their first power-play opportunity when defenseman Brent Burns was whistled for Interference at 16:12. The Bruins wasted little time in making it 3-0. Pastrnak blasted a one-timer from his customary spot at the left face-off dot past Hill.
Jasper Weatherby pulled a goal back for San Jose at 16:44 with a nifty give and go with Jonah Gadjovich. Weatherby feathered a shot past Ullmark from the side of the Bruins goal. The goal was Weatherby’s second this season.
In the second period, DeBrusk added insult to injury when he beat Hill with a slapshot from the top of the left circle. This chased Hill from the game in favor of James Reimer at 5:41 of the second period. Reimer held the Bruins scoreless for the remaining 34:42 of the game, stopping twenty shots.
Towards the end of the middle frame, Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton put a big hit on Sharks forward Andrew Cogliano. A few Sharks players took exception to hit, defenseman Mario Ferraro and forward Nick Bonino were quick to hack at and whack Clifton. Bonino jumped Clifton but earned himself a four-minute Double Roughing minor. Clifton got the better of Bonino in the brief skirmish and only came away with a two-minute Roughing penalty for his troubles.
Boston’s Trent Frederic and San Jose’s Jacob Middleton squared off behind the Sharks’ goal early in the third. The tussle between the pair of 6′-3″ grinders gave the Sharks a bit of zip and then they caught a few breaks along the way.
At 13:19 Tomas Hertl deflected a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot from the blue line past Ullmark to cut the Bruins lead in half, 4-2. Hertl’s goal was his second of the season and the secondary assist went to Barabanov.
Almost two minutes later Timo Meier tipped a Logan Couture shot by Ullmark to pull the Sharks to within a goal, 4-3. The goal was reviewed for high-sticking but the call on the ice stood. It was a game again with just under five minutes to play.
San Jose pulled Reimer with 1:45 left in regulation in hopes of sending this one into overtime. There were a few scrums in front of Ullmark but the Bruins went with their big lineup on the back end with Carlo and Forbort and the Sharks (4-1-0) suffered their first loss of the new 2021-22 season.
“They’re pushing hard to score,” said Forbort of the action in front of Ullmark in the final minute. “Once they pull the goalie it’s going to be hectic out there. You just have to keep your head, try to get on your stick when you can, box out and just be hard in that area.”
“I love it,” said Forbort, “being out there with a one-goal lead, goalie pulled is kind of my favorite time to play hockey.”
“I wouldn’t say we unraveled,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “I think we gave up nothing. They (San Jose) had two deflections that happened to find their way in. I didn’t mind the way we played.”
“We extended the lead 4-1, the power-play was good, no odd-man rushes. San Jose’s good,” added Cassidy. “No way you’re losing games if that’s the best they got in the third period.”
San Jose travels to Nashville (2-4-0) for a Tuesday night match-up against the Predators while the Bruins (3-1-0) head to Florida for a Wednesday tilt against the Panthers (5-0-0).