Boston Bruins hang on to defeat Predators 4-3 in season opener

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 5: Jake DeBrusk
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 5: Jake DeBrusk /

Rookies come up huge for the Boston Bruins as they take down the reigning Western Conference champion Predators without Bergeron, Backes, and Krug.

Boston Bruins’ rookies generated a lot of buzz this preseason and they delivered on opening night.  Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk, and Anders Bjork all recorded points in their NHL regular season debuts Thursday night.  Despite a late comeback from Nashville, the Bruins are off to a 1-0-0 start to the 2017-18 season.


The Bruins got off to a 1-0 lead on a 5-on-3 goal from David Pastrnak.  The $40 million man unleashed a rocket from the point off a nice pass from McAvoy halfway through the first period.  McAvoy’s assist marked his first career NHL point.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 5: David Pastrnak /

With only 10 seconds left in the first period, Nashville tied it.  Ryan Johansson forced Pastrnak into a turnover in the defensive zone, resulting in a goal from Victor Arvidsson.  Arvidsson took the pass from Johansson in the slot and put it top shelf on Tuukka Rask.

The Predators took their late goal momentum swing into the second period.  One minute in, Nashville’s extended zone time caused McAvoy to take a holding penalty.  In a big spot tied 1-1 and the Predators surging, the Bruins’ penalty kill came through with Rask making some big saves.

Boston went on the powerplay only a minute after killing off the McAvoy penalty.  After generating several shots and scoring chances, DeBrusk scored seconds after the powerplay expired.  The Bruins caught Nashville on a bad change and DeBrusk beat Preds’ goalie Pekka Rinne on a quick stick move, putting Boston back on top 2-1.  DeBrusk scored his first career NHL goal in his first game with the Bruins.  Bjork added an assist on the goal for his first career NHL point.

Later in the period, McAvoy scored his first career NHL goal to give the Bruins a two goal lead. On an odd man rush, David Krejci found a trailing McAvoy who rifled a shot past Rinne from the slot.  McAvoy’s goal was the fourth point scored by a Bruins’ rookie.

Boston took their two goal lead late into the third period until a chaotic last three minutes.  Brad Marchand scored an empty net short-handed goal to give the Bruins a three goal lead with less three minutes to play.  However, the Predators weren’t dead yet as they put two powerplay goals past Rask in just over a minute.  Boston, now only one goal up with 30 seconds to play, hung on in the final seconds to send the Garden crowd home happy with a 4-3 victory.

Player of the Game

Although it was a game to remember for the Bruins’ rookies, David Krejci gets the honor in the opener.  Krejci led the Bruins in points with three assists.  The 31-year-old veteran had 54 points for the Bruins last season so we’ll see if he can surpass that this year playing with some explosive young guys.

Next: DeBrusk: Bust to top-6 forward

Looking Ahead

Boston will continue the 2017-18 campaign on Monday with a 1 o’clock matinee against the Colorado Avalanche.  The Avalanche finished last year with the league’s worst record.  We’ll see on Monday if the Bruins can carry this win into another.