Recap: Boston Bruins win season opener over Dallas Stars

The Boston Bruins are on pace to go 82-0.

The Bruins kicked off the 2021-22 NHL season with a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night in Boston. Brad Marchand had two goals and Jake DeBrusk had the other as Boston begins the year 1-0-0.

It was a dominant start for Boston, but the Stars found their footing and made it difficult throughout the final 40. But at the end of day, it wasn’t enough to put away the Bruins and Boston walked away with the win.

1st period

The Bruins could not have come out any better. Boston was skating circles around the Dallas, firing shot after shot on Braden Holtby.

The first goal of the season came on a successful penalty shot from Brad Marchand. Just like everyone predicted.

After picking off an errant defensive zone pass from Roope Hintz, Marchand was taken down by Ryan Suter as he walked in all alone on Holtby and was awarded a penalty shot. He came down and beat Holtby on the blocker side to open the scoring.

The Bruins dominated the period in shots, peppering Holtby with 17 shots while the Stars managed just four in the period. The Dallas goaltender swallowed up everything, not allowing many rebounds or second-chance opportunities.

Hintz may have had the second-best chance in the period, ringing a shot off the post earlier in the frame, but Dallas couldn’t generate much else. A thoroughly dominant period from the Bruins.

2nd period

As expected, it was a completely different Stars that came out after the first intermission. It was a much more even period across the board, but it was the Stars that would even it up about halfway through the frame on a Luke Glendening goal.

The second line for the Bruins was caught in a long shift. Taylor Hall and Craig Smith failed to get the puck out of the zone, then three Bruins collapsed in on Tanner Kero in the corner. No one covered Glendening in the slot, Kero found him and Glendening found the back of the net.

Both teams headed into the second intermission tied 1-1.

3rd period

Jake DeBrusk needs a bounce back season. What better way to get that started than a goal in the opener.

DeBrusk just hacked at a loose puck and was able to beat Holtby five-hole to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead early in the third.

Alexander Radulov nearly knotted things up a bit later. A poor rebound from Jeremy Swayman allowed a second shot where the puck bounced up, rolled down his back and sat in the crease. Radulov dove at it, but shot it right into Swayman’s pads as Boston held onto the lead.

The Stars had some chances late on the power play, but couldn’t get anything else past Swayman. Marchand added an empty-netter late in the third and the Bruins opened the season with a 3-1 win.

FINAL: Bruins 3, Stars 1

Notes:

  • Too many avoidable penalties from Boston. Charlie McAvoy covering the puck. McAvoy again with a hook after he turned the puck over that ended a Bruins power play. A too many men on the ice call that negated a power play. Mike Reilly with a delay of game in the final minute. Early in the season, but Bruce Cassidy won’t be happy with those
  • Speaking of penalties, what the heck was that interference call on Nick Foligno?
  • By taking so many penalties meant the penalty kill got plenty of looks. And those units look very good. Dallas went 0-for-6 on the man advantage and Marchand even had a prime opportunity to score on the kill
  • On the other side of special teams, 0-for-3 on the power play for the Bruins. Not a ton of great chances either, outside of a David Pastrnak one-timer in the first
  • Jeremy Swayman looked extremely comfortable in net. 27 saves for the rookie and he remains undefeated at the Garden. A few rebounds that he needs to control better, but not much to complain about from Swayman
  • Staying on the topic of goaltenders, Dallas was only in this game because of Holtby. He didn’t give up second or third-chance opportunities for Boston, ending the night with 38 saves. Without him it easily could have been more than 1-0 after the first. He continues to play well in his career against the Bruins
  • Marchand was far and beyond the best Bruin/skater on the ice
  • Jake DeBrusk … back? Back. For now. The hustle was there and he was rewarded with the goal
  • Derek Forbort is going to be a big piece of this team going forward. Like Cassidy said after the game, if you don’t notice him, that means he’s doing his job. Was hard to play against tonight with his physicality
  • That fourth line played well, especially Tomas Nosek. Not a ton of chances outside the Nosek wraparound, but they were in hard on the forecheck when they were on the ice
  • An uncommon sub-.500 night at the faceoff dot for Patrice Bergeron, finishing with a 45.5 win percentage. No one had an answer for Jamie Benn (76.5%)

Next up is a matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, Oct. 20 in Pennsylvania as the Bruins look to build off the opening win.