Bruins Trounce Avalanche in Matinee

Boston, MA – The Boston Bruins stopped by TD Garden for a one-game homestand against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday afternoon. The Bruins threw down the gauntlet at the skates of the NHL’s best team and met with little resistance as they peppered Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper with 45 shots on goal. Kuemper couldn’t stop five of them in the loss, while his counterpart in goal, Jeremy Swayman, turned back 28 of 29 shots to earn his 11th win. David Pastrnak continued to be the catalyst for the Bruins offense as his two goals led to victory.

The Bruins are in the middle of a ten-game road trip that has seen them go 2-1-1 before today. The Avalanche came into today’s game 4-1 in their last five, 8-1-1 in their previous 10, and riding a seven-game road winning streak. Colorado is sitting atop the NHL standings on 76 points.

“That was the best game of the year, if you talking full game, sixty minutes,” said Pastrnak of the team’s effort. “We just stayed in the moment, we were energized. It was a great win for us and a big two points.”

Cale Makar turnover in the Avalanche defensive zone led to the Bruins’ first goal at 17:30. Patrice Bergeronpressured the Avs defenseman as he looked for the puck in his feet. Charlie McAvoy swooped in to scoop up the puck before firing a shot on Kuemper. The rebound zipped right to Pastrnak, who one-timed goal number 26 for the 1-0 lead.

“Sometimes that’s what it takes to kind of flush whatever happened before,” said the 25-year-old Czech of his scoring prowess returning after a four-game stretch without one. Today, the two goals come on the heels of a goal in Boston’s 3-2 overtime win in Ottawa Saturday against the Senators, giving Pastrnak 27 on the season.

“I felt going into the game today, I love afternoon games,” said Pastrnak. “I’ve been fighting it lately so it’s a good bounce back.”

Bergeron made it 2-0 Boston at 8:01 of the second period. The Bruins captain fired off a shot from the slot Kuemper saved but couldn’t gather the rebound before Bergeron put it past him for his 13th season.

Colorado pulled one back on a Nathan MacKinnon power-play goal at 12:58. Bruins forward Taylor Hall (3 assists) was serving a Tripping call when MacKinnon buried a tic-tac-toe feed from Mikko Rantanen and Makar from the top of the circle past Swayman to notch his 12th goal. 

“It was frustrating because we knew they (Colorado) were going to run that play there,” said Cassidy. “They have a great power-play. We addressed it, we were just late in ur coverage.”

The Bruins wasted no time answering the Avs as Pastrnak struck again on a blast from the slot. Bergeron won the face-off back to Brandon Carlo on the blue line. Carlo dished to Hall along the boards before he threaded the needle to Pastrnak.

“Now all of a sudden, you’re thinking ok it’s 2-1 and we’ve been the better team, marginal call (penalty on Hall), now the lead’s cut,” said the Bruins coach of the MacKinnon goal and the Pastrnak response. “Make sure we take a deep breath after that, let it out, take a deep breath and get back to work. They did a great job there. Credit to the guys for keep pushing through. We haven’t been as good at that.”

Jake DeBrusk made it 4-1 Bruins just over a minute later when he beat Kuemper five-hole on a mini-break from a Curtis Lazar pass at 15:42. Lazar and McAvoy set up DeBrusk’s ninth of the year. 

Charlie Coyle added a power-play goal at 4:08 of the third to all but sealed the two points for Boston. Coyle banked the rebound of a Pastrnak shot that caromed off the end boards between the post and the backside of Kuemper to make it 5-1. Coyle’s 12th of the season as assisted by Pastrnak and Hall.

“We knew we could play with these guys, we could outskate them,” said Pastrnak when asked about the 4-3 overtime loss to Colorado in Denver on January 26. “They are very high-skilled guys, fast-paced team but I think we’ve done a really good job today.”

The Bruins travel to Seattle for a Thursday night game against the Kraken. The Avalanche continue to Detroit to wrap up their four-game road trip Wednesday.