Boston Bruins: 3 Studs Against the Penguins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 28: Jason Zucker #16 of the Pittsburgh Penguins defends Chris Wagner #14 of the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden on January 28, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 28: Jason Zucker #16 of the Pittsburgh Penguins defends Chris Wagner #14 of the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden on January 28, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Bruins finished off their season-opening 2021 four-game homestand Thursday night with a very impressive 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It was the most complete team effort of the season for the full 60 minutes to help the Bruins hit the road on a four-game trip against the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers on a winning note.

Here are three Bruins that stuck out in their fourth consecutive win.

1. Anders Bjork

Bjork seems to be in coach Bruce Cassidy’s dog house after he was dropped to the fourth line two games ago, but the 24-year-old responded and he responded in a big way Thursday night.

He played his best game of the young season and possibly his best game since joining the Black and Gold. He had one assist on a Sean Kuraly goal that went into the net after the bouncing puck hit him in the leg in front of the net in the first period. More importantly, the Bruins were called for three penalties and Bjork was a big part in successfully killing all three Penguins power plays.

He spent 1:43 on the ice killing penalties and nearly scored a shorthanded goal at the end of the second period when Kuraly collected a loose puck at center ice and dropped a pass to Bjork, who fired his shot just over the crossbar. In 20 shifts, he finished the game with a plus-2.

2. Brandon Carlo

Carlo did not find his way onto the scoresheet, but 6-foot-5, 212-pound blueliner played a much bigger role than producing any points.

Along with Jeremy Lauzon and Charlie McAvoy, he took a team-leading 29 shifts, lost his partner Matt Grzelcyk for the third period with a lower-body injury, and still managed to finish the game with a plus-3. He led the Bruins in time-on-ice shorthanded at 3:33 and helped to keep the front of the Bruins net clear for goalie Jaroslav Halak to make his night easier.

It not always the stuff that shows up on the scoresheet that is the difference and Carlo proved that Thursday night.

3. Chris Wagner

The Bruins fourth line of Wagner, Bjork, and Kuraly was arguably the best of the game for Boston. Wagner, like Bjork, was a pest for the Penguins all night and made them pay early in the game for sloppy play in their own end.

With the trio flying around the Pittsburgh zone, the Pens defense failed to clear the puck from in front of their net and Wagner jumped on the loose puck and fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry for a 1-0 lead six minutes into the game.

Wagner finished with a plus-2, two shots on net, and two hits in his 12:32 minutes on ice. Like Bjork, he spent time killing off the three Pens power play chances in what was the fourth line’s most complete effort of the season.

More. Bruins Defense Frustrated Penguins Thursday. light

With the Bruins facing injuries with the forwards and Cassidy shuffling bodies around, the fourth line brought it Thursday night for Boston to help secure their fourth consecutive victory.