Bruins Open Season with Home Ice Victory
Game one is in the books and can be tallied in the win column, as the Boston Bruins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-1 in regulation last night at the TD Garden.
It was a solid hockey game, showing many of my favorite aspects of hockey- including the announcers making a Mighty Ducks reference, which made me happy.
The first goal came on a short-handed penalty shot from Chris Kelly midway through the first period. It was a great shot that fooled Lightning Goalie Anders Lindback into committing early. Kelly’s goal was the first goal for the Bruins this season, and was also the first penalty shot score for the entire league for the 2013-14 season.
Early into the second period came a moment that we all know and love- a ref blew a call. Well, that might be a little harsh. He blew the puck dead, because he could no longer see it. The puck was still loose in front of the net when Jordan Caron took control and sailed it through the posts, only to have his goal ruled a “no-goal” because of the ref’s early whistle. And while I think that it’s pretty hard to see the puck from behind the net, who am I to judge?
The Lightning evened things up in the second on a shot from Valtteri Filppula in the second.It was caused by a breakdown on defense, with only two forwards back in the Bruins’ defensive zone. I had a moment of joy this morning realizing that Filppula had notched a point, only to realize that he is no longer on my fantasy hockey team. That’s a bummer.
Milan Lucic scored the game winner, toward the end of the second, it was the only full-strength goal scored by the Bruins in their win. Patrice Bergeron added insurance in the third with the team’s second short-handed goal of the game.
The Bruins showed an indication that they are carrying last season’s strengths into 2013-2014. Their penalty kill was strong, killing off 5 on 3’s in the first and third periods. In the first period, they were down 2 players for almost two minutes. It’s pretty impressive. Last season, the B’s lead the league in penalty kill for most of the season.
Goalie Tuuka Rask continues to look solid. Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla, the two big name acquisitions from the off season, both of whom looked promising in preseason, continued to make their presence felt, pressuring the net, getting solid shots, and for Iginla, throwing a couple of punches.
All in all, a good start to the season.