He’s back.

The lines may have shaken up, but the source of offense didn’t. With the return of Patrice Bergeron, forwards found themselves in new roles, but in a 2-1 rout of the Devils, the Bruins proved their top six forwards can be relied upon no matter which line they’re skating on.

He’s back.

The lines may have shaken up, but the source of offense didn’t. With the return of Patrice Bergeron, forwards found themselves in new roles, but in a 2-1 rout of the Devils, the Bruins proved their top-six forwards can be relied upon no matter which line they’re skating on.

Bergeron provided the dagger with just 1:15 left that claimed the win for the Bruins, one-timing a shot off a pass from Brad Marchand to put the Bruins up by the decisive margin.

Faced with a one-goal deficit and less than 10 minutes to play, left-winger Marchand danced his way from center ice into the offensive zone at 9:47 and wristed the puck through the five-hole of Devils captain Andy Greene as it made its way over the right shoulder of Cory Schneider.

With the return of Bergeron, David Backes slid from centering the first line to the right wing of the second, and was still a seamless fit — as was Bergeron in Backes’ vacated role.

The Devils lone goal came a little over five and a half minutes before Marchand’s. On the power play, Kyle Palmieri snuck a shot underneath Brandon Carlo before gliding between the legs of an unassuming Tuukka Rask.

The Bruins will take the ice again on Saturday in their first matchup this season against the Canadiens.

Here are four more things we learned in Thursday’s win.

David Backes will only help improve David Krejci

Backes skating to Krejci’s right has already started turning into a potent combination, even if it didn’t result in any points on Thursday. Even with Danton Heinen being virtually absent on the second line, both Backes and Krejci did a good job of opening up the ice and creating chances for one another.

Torey Krug can be serviceable on the right side, but should not totally reliable

It has not been a frequent choice of Claude Julien’s, and it should probably remain that way. Krug was moved to the right side so he could pair Joe Morrow, who was getting his first game action this season. While he certainly wasn’t awful, he looked visibly more comfortable offensively when he was playing left while on the power play.

He spent time playing on the right when he was coming up through Providence, and per Julien when he made the decision, “he’s very comfortable on the right.”

The reality appears after this small sample size, however, that given Morrow’s streakiness — especially with the lack of routine playing time — it’s not worthy to take offense out of Krug in order to get Morrow in the lineup.


The power play still needs work

At times, the power play was painfully underwhelming.

Giveaways in the offensive zone led to the Bruins falling to 1-for-14 on the power play this season after failing to execute on all four of their opportunities Thursday night.

Passing is going to create problems

While an excuse can be made that the situation will fix itself with time, the Bruins’ inability to pass effectively came close to detrimental at multiple points.

Nearing the end of the first period, Brad Marchand had a brutal giveaway at center ice that nearly allowed the Devils into the attacking zone without any pressure.

Colin Miller didn’t help the cause much on the power play, either, allowing an errant pass as he tripped to fall to a Devils stick and be cleared out of the zone.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen
Austin Czarnik

Austin Czarnik

Ahead of Wednesday’s home opener, Bruins head coach Claude Julien announced 23-year-old center Austin Czarnik had been sent to the AHL.

Czarnik started the season off centering the third line, but after the first two games was scratched in favor of veteran Riley Nash. Even with the demotion, however, he made a mark in his time with the Bruins.

“He had a tremendous camp. We just want him to go down there and play, and we’ll see what goes on from there,” said Julien“I was extremely impressed with his training camp. He’s a smart player. When we get to this type of situation, I think he’s playing to find his game again and we’re going to allow him to do that. With the way that he’s played, there’s a good chance we’re going to see him again.”

Julien also added that there is a “good chance” Czarnik gets called back up to the Bruins at some point.

Patrice Bergeron will play his first game of the season Wednesday, after missing the first three games with a lower body injury. On top of his offensive and defensive contributions, the mere presence of the 31-year-old is expected to give the Bruins a lift.

“It doesn’t matter what night it is. I think anytime Patrice comes back into the room, it’s a big lift. He’s regarded as one of the best players in the league,” Julien said.

“So, when you coach some games without him and you see him coming back, it’s a lift to everybody — players, teammates, organization, coaching staff, and hopefully the fans as well.”

Defenseman Joe Morrow, who has yet to play in a game this season, will likely start on Wednesday. He was paired with Torey Krug during morning skate, while Rob O’Gara stayed on the ice late, an indication that he will likely be scratched in favor of Morrow.

“When [Morrow] plays well, he’s a good addition to our team,” Julien said. “He skates well, he gets the puck out of our own end, with [Kevin Miller] out, the same thing. You’re looking for consistency from game to game. The sharpness and compete level are important aspects of playing in the NHL and right now, he needs both of those to get there.”

Also skating late at practice was winger Ryan Spooner, who has struggled to kickstart his season, with one assist in the first three games. Should he be scratched, Tim Schaller would replace him, having skated in Spooner’s spot on the fourth line left wing Wednesday morning.

“He’s just a smart player that plays hard, I think, in all aspects,” Julien said of Schaller. “He’s a centerman that can play the wing, he’s got good size, I think his hockey sense is great. Last time we put him in there, I thought he did a good job with that line which turned out to be one of one better lines against Winnipeg.”

Here are the Bruins projected lines for their tilt against the Devils.


Liles-C. Miller


Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

The Bruins are coming away with points early in the season. (Bruce Fedycyk/USA Today Sports)The Bruins are 2-1-0 through three games. That’s pretty damn impressive when you consider that they’ve done it without their best player. 

So far, so good.

The Bruins will take these kind of performances as they find their way early in the season, claiming their second win of the season with a 4-1 victory over host Winnipeg.

So far, so good.

The Bruins will take these kind of performances as they find their way early in the season, claiming their second win of the season with a 4-1 victory over host Winnipeg.

The decisive goal came with just 58 seconds left in the second period, as David Pastrnak — celebrating his 100th NHL game — notching his fourth goal of the season. It sends the B’s home for their first game at TD Garden, Thursday night, at 2-1.

The Bruins would add two late goals, from Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara, to seal the deal.

Also coming up big for the Bruins was goalie Tuukka Rask, who has now won both of his starts this season. The netminder was excellent throughout, making 33 saves.

It was former Bruin Blake Wheeler who got the scoring going with a goal at 10:00 of the first period, breaking out of the pack and gathering in a lead pass from Alex Burmistrov just before the blue line. Once in the clear, Wheeler made a quick move on Rask before sliding in a back-hand.

The Bruins responded just 19 seconds later when Dominic Moore jammed on a rebound past Winnipeg goalie Conor Hellebuyck on the far side of the net after an initial save on Tim Schaller’s attempt. It was Moore’s first goal as a Bruin.

The Bruins locked things up with Carlo’s first NHL goal, coming with 1:59 left in the game. Chara’s was an open-net opportunity.

For a complete box score, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

It’s a better start than last year’s 0-3 opening record (and with those losses all on home ice), but Boston’s 2016 record is back to an even 1-1 after a 4-1 loss to Toronto Saturday night at Air Canada Center.

David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak

It’s a better start than last year’s 0-3 opening record (and with those losses all on home ice), but Boston’s 2016 record is back to an even 1-1 after a 4-1 loss to Toronto Saturday night at Air Canada Center.

The six-goal bounty displayed in Thursday’s contest was a distant memory as the Bruins were held to just one goal on 25 shots Saturday, and most of those attempts from outside of the prime-scoring areas.

The Bruins were again missing two veteran players as center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Adam McQuaid remained in Boston recovering from injuries. The line combinations stayed the same for coach Claude Julien, but the Brad Marchand – David Backes – David Pastrnak line was unable to carry the team in this one as it did in the opener.

Boston did a fine job limiting the league’s number-one overall draft pick Auston Matthews (entering the game with four goals) — holding him to no points and just two shots — but Toronto found plenty of offense elsewhere en route to the comfortable win.

The B’s next head to Winnipeg for an 8pm ET faceoff Monday.

Here are four more things we learned Thursday:


Julien got his backup goaltender action in just the second game of the season, telling reporters before the game he didn’t want Anton Khudobin to be sitting too long. “The longer you sit him, the tougher it is to get back into it,” hinted Julien.

However, Khudobin’s start was somewhat of a surprise as Rask was the first goalie off the ice during Saturday morning’s optional skate, generally an indication of the night’s starter. Rask didn’t practice Friday in what was cited as a maintenance day,.

With Tuukka Rask starting the opener and the team’s final preseason game, Khudobin last played on October 6 with one period of action.

It was Khudobin’s first full NHL game since November 16, 2015, as he spent most of last season in San Diego of the AHL in the Anaheim organization where he compiled a 19-8-3 record with a 2.46 GAA and a .921 save percentage.

Taking the loss in a game that largely wasn’t his fault, Khudobin stopped 20-of-24 shots; three of the four goals scored against Khudobin came from close range. His finest save came with a sprawling glove on Toronto’s Mitch Marner after an own-zone Boston turnover four minutes into the third to keep it the contest from getting into total-embarrassment territory.


Columbus jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Boston in Thursday’s opener and Toronto followed suit Saturday, building a 3-0 lead on the Bruins in the first 13:13.

On Toronto’s first goal, a lost faceoff in the defensive zone by center Austin Czarnik led to a point shot that caromed off defenseman Colin Miller and fell to the ice in the slot. As Miller couldn’t locate the puck, Toronto’s Conner Brown beat Matt Beleskey to it from the point and put it home.

The Leafs’ second goal was the first NHL marker for Marner (the fourth-overall pick of the 2015 draft), a hard wrist shot from the right-wing circle after taking a pass on the fly in the neutral zone. Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo was back but left a gap for the shot to get loose; Khudobin saw the low wrister but was unable to stop it on the blocker side.

Toronto made it 3-0 after two cross ice passes had the B’s out of position in their own zone, leaving Miller to resort to an unsuccessful belly-first extension towards James van Riemsdyk on the left wing; van Riemsdyk avoided Miller’s stick and beat Khudobin with a backhand from between the circles.


Boston did manage its first power-play goal of the season after an 0-for-2 effort in the opener. Late in the first period, David Pastrnak made no mistake on a one-timer from the low left wing after a nifty drive and dish from defenseman John-Michael Liles to cut the deficit to 3-1. It was Pastrnak’s third goal of the season, with a secondary assist from Brad Marchand (his sixth point through two games).

The first-team Boston power-play started the night with Torey Krug and David Krejci at the points, and with Ryan Spooner and Austin Czarnik flanking David Backes down low. Later in the game, Danton Heinen replaced Czarnik on the half-wall.

The second-team unit had Colin Miller and Liles at the points, with Brad Marchand, Matt Beleskey and Pastrnak as the forwards.

The Bruins allowed an early power-play goal to Columbus on Thursday, but were much improved Saturday night as the blanked Toronto on three chances, allowing just one official scoring chance.

Riley Nash and Dominic Moore led forwards in shorthanded ice time, with David Krejci, Ryan spooner and Noel Acciari chipping in with PK minutes. Brad Marchand and David Backes were both in the penalty box and unavailable for the first two kill opportunities.


Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara came to the defense of his teammate Torey Krug, after Toronto’s Matt Martin leveled Krug in the Bruins zone on a clean hit. As the play made its’ way to the other end of the ice, Chara made his way straight to Martin in front of the net and forced a very one-way fight; Martin grudgingly dropped his gloves but wanted no part of the 6’9” Chara.

According to HockeyFights.com, Chara had just one brawl last year, that with Anaheim’s Clayton Stoner on March 18. Chara hasn’t had more than two fights in a season since the 2011-12 campaign. Time will tell if the captain has decided 2016-17 is a year he needs to be more protective of some young teammates around him.

David Backes also dropped the gloves, giving him two fights in two games in a Boston sweater. Backes took on Toronto’s Nazem Kadri in the first period, a continuation of a meeting between the two from last season when Backes was with St. Louis.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird

The Bruins season got off to a good start. (Aaron Doster/USA Today Sports)Going into this season, I felt similarly about the Bruins as I did a year ago.

The Bruins trailed 2-0 after one period and 3-1 midway through the contest, but a magical night from Brad Marchand — along with his linemates David Pastrnak and David Backes — sparked a 6-3 Bruins comeback win in their 2016 season opener Thursday in Columbus.