Bruins Extend Streak Further
The Boston Bruins haven’t lost in their past eleven regular season games, defeating the ailing Colorado Avalanche 2-0 at the Pepsi Center tonight.
Patrice Bergeron netted the first score for the Bruins on a wonderful lead pass from young defender Dougie Hamilton in Colorado’s zone. The Avs’ D-men pushed up too high, and Bergeron snuck past them, receiving Hamilton’s look, jamming his first shot off of Semyon Varlamov‘s left pad and then squeezing its rebound just inside of the post.
At times during the contest’s opening twenty minutes, the Bruins were certainly on their heels defensively.
About midway through the period, David Krejci made an uncharacteristic turnover in his own zone, and Gabriel Landeskog almost took advantage of the mistake, clanging his one-timer off the post. Chad Johnson was beat.
Minutes later, Matt Duchene crashed the net on a loose puck that Johnson failed to secure properly. The Bruins stick-less goaltender managed to make the stop, nonetheless.
You could definitely argue that the Avalanche were the more complete team in the 1st period. They created more scoring opportunities than the B’s, but Boston was able to actually capitalize on their chances.
In that vein, one could make a stronger argument that the Bruins brought forth a true “winning style” of hockey in the first period.
The second period began, and offensive action was somewhat calm to start. Krejci’s whipped a backhand shot on net; Reilly Smith nearly connected with Bergeron on a redirection chance.
At about the halfway point, Maxime Talbot broke free from the Bruins’ defense, snatching the puck at Boston’s blue line and hustling up ice on a breakaway. Johnson smartly read the backhand move and stopped another Avs’ scoring prospect.
The Avalanche maintained the puck in the Bruins’ end shortly, and Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda jumped into the slot, as Duchene patiently looked to center a threatening pass from the low slot. Hejda had rushed to the doorstep, ready to flick a quick pass into the back of the net. Johnson, though, was available for the blocker stuff.
On the powerplay about two minutes later, Carl Soderberg boldly zipped a shot at a tough angle near the right faceoff circle. Loui Eriksson dropped in front of the goal to screen Varlamov, allowing Soderberg to snipe an excellent wrist shot in the upper netting.
The Bruins showed why they are the best third period team in the NHL. The Avalanche couldn’t throw themselves into full desperation mode.
Smith’s active stick at the Bruins’ blue line forced a turnover that opened up a breakaway for Marchand. The pugnacious Canadian unselfishly decided to pass it off to a trailing Smith, and the play was broken up by Avalanche defense.
Realizing that his squad wouldn’t find any success at even-strength, Avs’ coach Patrick Roy pulled Varlamov with almost five minutes left to play in the game.
Still, the Avalanche couldn’t slink even one goal behind a rock-solid Johnson, who notched a 31 saves.
The clock winded down, and the Bruins were victorious, handing the Avalanche their first shutout loss of the season and clinching a playoff berth, the first team in the league to do so.