By: Claire Mountcastle
On November 26, 2019, the Boston Bruins had their second game of the season against long time rival, the Montreal Canadiens.
Both teams came out the gate flying. Jaroslav Halak made a great save within the first two minutes and Jack Studnicka had a great chance soon after that. The first 7 minutes of the first were very back and forth with a little more offense in favor of the Habs. With more than 13 minutes left in the period, Jaro Halak made a huge save on Brendan Gallagher. Almost immediately after the shot, the skater in red tripped David Pastrnak.
The power play had a bit of rough start with several missed passes and difficulty setting things up. Two shots were recorded on the power play by Matt Grzelyck and Jake Debrusk before Debrusk tucked one in. The assists were earned by Sean Kuraly and David Krejci. It was a great start to the game.
The play after the goal was choppy and sloppy. The B’s were missing passes left and right and missing significant layers which caused Halak to work incredibly hard to keep pucks out of his net. During that time, Charlie Coyle left the ice after a collision in which he sustained some sort of hand injury. Luckily, he rejoined his team sooner after.
With just a little more than 7 minutes left in the first, the Canadiens entered the defensive zone with speed, making several great passes before scoring a goal to tie the game. The Bruins defense had a small breakdown and should never have allowed the Habs to get that close.
With more than 5 minutes to go in the period, Nate Thompson was whistled for tripping Connor Clifton. Charlie Coyle won the first face off of the power play and helped the Bruins set up the play. David Pastrnak scored to put the Bruins up by 1. Brad Marchand and Charlie Coyle got the assists. Right after the ice was reset to even strength, Charlie McAvoy was called for interference.
The Habs were able to win the first face off of the mad advantage and start setting things up. They had several good looks before the B’s were able to clear the puck. The Bruins conducted a line change and the Canadiens were able to set up once again. The Bruins were able to clear the penalty but the play was still predominately dominated by the Habs. Still, the Bruins did a nice job killing it off.
With about 2 minutes left in the period, the Bruins turned the tables and established a solid 23 seconds of zone time and had several great chances. Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara each launched bombs towards Carey Price. With 37 seconds left in the period, Brad Marchand earned his 600th NHL point with a goal to put the Bruins up 3-1. Charlie Coyle posted an outstanding shift, being the sole reason Marchand was able to score.
The second period began with a goal from David Pastrnak just 8 seconds in. David Krecji won the opening face off that launched his line-mate to score the fourth of the game. Right after the goal, Krejci won the second face off of the period and Brad Marchand almost snuck another one past the veteran goaltender. With less than 19 minutes to go in the period, Anders Bjork scored on his first ever breakaway goal to put the Bruins up 5-1. At that point, Carey Price was retired for the evening.
The Bruins continued to dominate the period, playing physical and clean. Torey Krug and Danton Heinen each had good chances. With more than 12 minutes to go in the period, the Canadiens fought hard, earning 1:07 of consistent zone time. Halak stood tall during that time. Nothing went past him. With less than 11 minutes to go in the second, David Pastrnak scored once again to bring the Habs deficit to 5. That goal made his career hat trick count 6. What a treat it was for the Bruins and the fans to have a hat trick at the Bell Centre.
With more than 7 minutes to go in the second, Connor Clifton was called for a high stick. The Bruins penalty kill was causing problems for Montreal’s special team. They were able to clear every puck that came their way during that time. “Obviously our PP got us some goals,” Bruce Cassidy said after the game. “It’s been good for us all year in that regard but Halak made some big saves. We weren’t sharp or as hard on the puck as we needed to be. They were.”
Montreal attempted to shift the ice towards the end of the period, but Halak continued to stand on his head. The Bruins continued to put the pressure of the Habs and kept the hits coming. The B’s were able to finish the second period without disaster.
The third period opened up with fast play from each team. The Bruins recorded several terrific chances within the first 5 minutes – most notably, a potential fourth goal from David Pastrnak. The Habs attempted to push back once again earning 45 seconds of consecutive zone time with less than 13 minutes to go in the game. Fortunately, the Bruins managed to minimize the damage. With less than 12 minutes to go, Charlie Coyle scored the 7th of the night. The assist was awarded to Torey Krug.
The Bruins continued to be in charge for the remainder of the game. This frustrated the rival team. With more than 5 minutes to go, Max Domi cross checked Rookie, Jack Studnicka. The refs awarded the young stud with a roughing minor to go four-on-four. The Bruins pulled through even though there were a couple of scary looks.
With just two minutes to go, Danton Heinen stuck a needle in the already broken Montreal Canadians by scoring the 8th goal of the night. The assists were earned by Torey Krug and Jack Studnicka. What a perfect venue for Studnicka’s first NHL point! “I think as the game went on I got more comfortable,” Studnicka shared. “I don’t think my polish is where I expected it to be but the boys made it easy on me, scoring a couple early goals.”
Truly a remarkable game for the B’s. Halak played outstanding, Pastrnak got a hat trick and Jack Studnicka earned a point in his first NHL game. Not to mention the fact that they scored 8 goals and chased Carey Price within the first 15 minutes. I cannot wait to see if they can carry this energy into their next game against the Ottawa Senators.