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.
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.