Bruins Buried by Avalanche
The Bruins ran into the wrong team on Thursday night. The Colorado Avalanche, making their first visit to TD Garden in exactly two years, continued their early season dominance with a 2-0 win over the Black & Gold.
The Avalanche, who improved to 4-0-0, handed Boston (2-1-0) its first loss of the season. It was also the first time the Bruins had been shutout since Feb. 28, 2012, a span of 71 games.
Boston outshot the Avalanche, 39-30, but could not solve former Conn Smythe winner Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The veteran goaltender was superb in his first game of the season. Colorado, who had Semyon Varlamov in goal for the first three games, has now surrendered just three goals on the year.
Most of the Bruins offensive chances came in the final two periods. Colorado came out flying in the first and took a 1-0 lead at 19:20. After David Krejci was whistled for a hook, the Avs converted on the man-advantage when a point shot from Andre Benoit deflected off of Ryan O’Reilly out front, and past Tuukka Rask.
“They skate hard, they have some skill up front,” said Rask, who made 28 saves and kept the Bruins in the game during the early going. “Especially in the first, we were really taking it from them. Got to give them credit, they’re a really good team.”
Colorado’s speed and skill had the Bruins on their heels. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon, the No. 1 overall pick in last June’s draft, and Matt Duchene led the way for the Avs, creating chances and being aggressive against the Bruins defensemen.
“They were able to chip pucks behind us and start skating,” said Bruins D-man Torey Krug. “They were able to push the pace. They brought it to us a bit. We’ve got to do a better job of responding to that. I thought we did a better job in the last two periods, but they brought it to us in the first.”
Chris Kelly and Johnny Boychuk each dinged shots off the post in the first period.
The Bruins were swarming midway through the final period after their third power play of the game provided some momentum. But Giguere stood tall and Duchene was able to add an empty-netter to seal the game with 26 seconds to go.
“Probably,” acknowledged Bruins coach Claude Julien, when asked if his team’s effort was good enough to win on most nights. “You run into a hot goaltender, run into a team that’s been playing well.
“They’ve got good speed. It’s one of those things where you’ve really got to grind it out some nights. We needed to get more traffic in front of a hot goaltender and take his eyes away. We didn’t do a good enough job of that.
“Gotta give them credit for how well they played, yet I don’t think I’m really disappointed in the effort, more than we’ve got to find ways to win those games. We didn’t do it tonight.”
The Bruins were not happy after the game about a call on Milan Lucic at 19:09 of the second period. After a scrum developed in front of the Colorado net, Lucic and Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog got into it. Lucic gave Landeskog a couple of jabs, trying to engage him in a fight, but Landeskog wanted none of it.
The Bruins power forward was noticeably upset on the ice and was given a 10-minute misconduct in addition to a two-minute minor for roughing.
“Just the grab from behind in the face [by Landeskog],” said Lucic of what irked him. “I bet you if I would have pushed [Patrick] Bordeleau at the end of it, I don’t get 10 minutes. That’s what it is. It is what it is.”
Lucic said he did not receive an explanation for his misconduct from any of the on-ice officials.
“I didn’t hear one. I didn’t get one,” he said. “If someone pushed me like that at the end of an altercation, I would highly doubt that they would have got 10 minutes.”
The Bruins were without Lucic for over half of the third period as they tried to tie the game.
“You want to be a part of it, you want to do whatever you can to try to help your team win,” said Lucic. “I thought as a line we were starting to get things going. Unfortunately, it took me right out of the game.”
Julien was not pleased with the call, either.
“The referees decided that he’s going to be taking a 10,” said Julien. “Certainly not what you want as a coach; an important player like that you’d rather have him on the ice. I thought it was a bit soft to be honest with you.”
Patrice Bergeron had a rare off night at the faceoff dot, winning just 9 of 20 draws, while David Krejci won 13 of 18…Jarome Iginla led the Bruins with seven shots on goal…Jordan Caron had another nice night as he continues to try to solidify a spot on the third line. He finished with two shots and three hits in just over 14 minutes of ice time…Shawn Thornton took down Bordeleau in a fight during the second period.