What a difference a day makes…. or in this case, three days since the Bruins lost in overtime to the Toronto Maple Leafs, they come back to Garden ice with a strong performance and emerge with a 4-2 victory. Benefitting from some secondary scoring from newcomers, Brett Ritchie (2) and Par Lindholm (1) in the third period, the Bruins added to the scoring from their usual suspects – the first line, with goals from David Pastrnak (10) and Brad Marchand (5) for the win. Add to the 28 save performance of goaltender Tuukka Rask who was playing in his 500th game as a Bruin, and it was a definite ‘team effort.’
David Pastrnak continues to amaze, putting up his 300th NHL point with a mind-boggling between the legs pass to himself, and then tapping it by a mesmerized Michael Hutchinson in the Toronto net. Pastrnak’s NHL leading 10th goal was doubly rewarding for him, after his previous goal was waived off due to an offside call. Coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t hold back when asked about the play of Pastrnak, responding with: “He’s just on it, he’s on pucks, he’s strong, his conditioning seems great. He’s playing a lot of minutes, hard minutes against good players every night. Playmaking ability, he’s making plays as well, getting his shot off. I think last year he was fighting the puck a little bit in the playoffs, for whatever reason. He’s spot on this year.”
Tuukka Rask playing his 500th game as a Bruin posted his 269th victory. As Toronto’s 21st pick of the first round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Rask never pulled on a Maple Leafs jersey in a regular season game, but instead was traded to the Bruins in exchange for goaltender Andrew Raycroft. While Raycroft just played two seasons for Toronto, Rask on the other hand with Boston has experienced winning both the Stanley Cup and Vezina Trophy. Ironically, Rask earned his first NHL victory on November 20, 2008, just shy of 11 years ago with an identical 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs. Not to be lost in the mix is coach Cassidy coached his 200th game behind the Boston Bruins bench.
The Bruins issued injury updates, noting that General Manager Don Sweeney has placed David Krejci on Injured Reserve. Krejci suffered an upper-body injury during the October 14th game versus Anaheim. Karson Kuhlman has sustained a non-displaced fracture of his right tibia in the team’s game with the Maple Leafs last Saturday, October 19th. Kuhlman will be reevaluated in approximately four weeks.
Enjoying a rare three days off between games, the Bruins next game will be Saturday (Oct. 26 at 7:00pm), and a chance for Boston to extract some revenge as they host the Stanley Cup Champion – St. Louis Blues. It will be the two teams’ first meeting since Boston earned the ‘blues’ on Garden ice, losing Game 7 (June 12, 2019) of the Stanley Cup Final to St. Louis. Boston will travel to New York on Sunday (10/27 at 7:00pm) as the Rangers host the Bruins, who will return to Garden ice on Tuesday (October 29 at 7:00pm) to host former Bruins’ first round pick (1997), Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks