Half a period does not a game make. Speaking of which, the Bruins lost.
With goals from Zdeno Chara and Ryan Spooner in the first 5:51 of the night Thursday, the Bruins appeared well on their way to blowing out the struggling Avalanche at TD Garden. That would prove to be the extent of their scoring on the night, however, and Colorado’s pushback was enough to net them the game’s next three goals and a 3-2 victory over the B’s.
The Bruins’ biggest blown opportunity of the night came in the second period, when the Bruins had a three-minute power play as a result of a Colorado major penalty and Boston minor penalty. Spooner’s first-period goal came on the power play, extending the B’s streak of games with a power play goal to eight games.
The Bruins have now lost three of their last four games and are 7-7-1 on the season. They’ll continue their five-game homestand when they host the Red Wings on Saturday at the Garden.
Here are four more things we learned Thursday.
LANDESKOG TOSSED FOR CHEAP SHOT ON MARCHAND
How Brad Marchand was able to get up (albeit slowly) and then go punch Gabriel Landeskog in the face after the hit he took in the second period will forever be a mystery.
After releasing a shot from above the right circle, Marchand was trucked by Landeskog, who came from a mile away and delivered a hit to the head. Marchand fell to the ice in ugly fashion and, upon getting up, skated to the scrum and punched the Colorado captain in the face.
While Landeskog hit Marchand with his shoulder rather than his elbow, the play was still dirty and easily avoidable. Landeskog was given a match penalty (therefore tossed from the game) on the play for an illegal hit to the head.
Marchand, meanwhile, stayed in the game after serving a roughing minor for his retaliatory punch to Landeskog. The Bruins dodged a bullet there, as Marchand missed two games in October due to a concussion suffered in the second game of the season.
SEIDENBERG MAKES RETURN
Thursday marked Dennis Seidenberg‘s first game since April 11, as he missed all of training camp and the first 13 games of the season recovering from back surgery.
Seidenberg was paired with Colin Miller for the game, with Zach Trotman and Joe Morrow serving as healthy scratches on defense.
Any plans of Seidenberg easing his way back in physically were dashed in the first period when he took a big hit in the defensive zone by Avalanche forward Cody McLeod. Tyler Randell reacted swiftly, fighting McLeod and earning a takedown in the game’s only fight.
Seidenberg also delivered a huge hit on former teammate Carl Soderberg in the second period, drawing large cheers from the Garden crowd.
MCQUAID ICING, KEVAN MILLER TURNOVER COSTLY
Tuukka Rask was more a victim of bad luck than anything else on Colorado’s second goal of the game. A funny bounce caused him to miss the puck, but then again the Avalanche shouldn’t have even been in Boston’s zone.
Adam McQuaid unnecessarily iced the puck in the final minute of the period, resulting in an offensive zone faceoff for Colorado. After Matt Duchene won the draw against David Krejci, a point shot from Francois Beauchemin went off Joonas Kemppainen, changing both speed and direction as it went past Rask, who was reacting to the shot’s initial speed and therefore swung and missed at the puck with his glove hand.
The goal itself was ugly, but tough to pin on Rask. It was easy to pin on McQuaid.
That wasn’t the extent of Boston’s flubs on defense Thursday. Kevan Miller coughed up the puck to Mikhail Grigorenko on a third period play, with Grigorenko setting up a Matt Duchene goal to break a 2-2 tie.
Soderberg tried to explain a 24-game goal-less stretch last season by saying he was ‘not a sniper.’ Perhaps that was all an elaborate ruse to trick the Bruins into letting him score on them Thursday night.
Soderberg, who inked a very generous five-year contract with the Avs worth $4.75 million in June, scored his second goal of the season when he took a pass from Blake Comeau and fired a wrist shot from the right circle past Tuukka Rask.
It wasn’t all good news for Soderberg. He received a big hit from Torey Krug in the first period and was absolutely crushed by Seidenberg on the aforementioned second-period hit.