Thursday, October 10, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Avalanche 2, Bruins 0
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- The Colorado Avalanche improved to 4-0-0 this season with a 2-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night at TD Garden.
Colorado scored its first goal via the power play as Ryan O'Reilly scored with 39.3 seconds remaining in the first period. Avalanche veteran goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere made his first start of the season and posted the shutout with 39 saves. The Avalanche's second tally was a late empty-netter by Matt Duchene.
Colorado has the potential to be a good team this season after making changes during the offseason. Hall of Famer and former Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Patrick Roy was named head coach, and his legendary intensity has rubbed off on his players.
Prior to Thursday's game, Roy called this a measuring stick for his young team, and the Avalanche did enough to earn the victory.
The Bruins are winless in their last eight games (0-6-1-1) against Colorado on home ice. In fact, the Bruins' last win against the Avalanche was a 4-1 victory on March 30, 1998.
Colorado grabbed a 1-0 lead in the waning seconds of the first period. With the Bruins' David Krejci in the box for hooking, the Avalanche scored a power-play goal when O'Reilly redirected a shot from the point past Rask at 19:20. Prior to Colorado's goal, Boston had been a perfect 7-for-7 to start the season.
Duchene scored the empty-net goal with 25.7 seconds remaining in regulation.
MAKING IT LOOK MEAN: The Bruins' Milan Lucic is a fierce competitor, and when his temper flares, it can be costly for both teams. With 50.3 seconds remaining in the second period and Colorado holding onto a 1-0 lead, Krejci created a quality scoring chance. After Giguere made the save, a scrum ensued and Lucic and Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog got tangled up. Landeskog did not want to get involved but Lucic kept chirping. As a result, both were handed two minutes for roughing, but Lucic was given a 10-minute misconduct. Fourth-line winger Daniel Paille was moved up to the Bruins' first line with Krejci and Jarome Iginla.
TOP SAVE: With the game scoreless and Boston on the power play early in the first period, Colorado created a short-handed bid, but Rask made a solid left-pad save to rob Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon of a possible goal.
ROOKIE WATCH: Many of the top rookies in the NHL have been impressive already this season. Boston's Torey Krug, Calgary's Sean Monahan, San Jose's Tomas Hertl, Florida's Aleksander Barkov, Nashville's Seth Jones and Winnipeg's Jacob Trouba have all proven their worth. Another top prospect, Colorado's MacKinnon, made his TD Garden debut Thursday night. The 18-year-old forward was the No. 1 overall pick in June's draft and entered Thursday's game with four assists in his first three NHL games. He was using his speed and creating quality scoring chances against the Bruins. It's an impressive rookie class this season and should be an interesting Calder Trophy race for the league's top rookie.
DROP 'EM: The Bruins' Shawn Thornton and the Avalanche's Patrick Bordeleau went toe-to-toe at 8:15 of the second period. A 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward, Bordeleau nailed Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg with a clean hit behind the Boston net, but Thornton took exception and dropped the gloves. It wasn't much of a fight, but Thornton got his point across.
SCRATCHED: For the third consecutive game, Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski was a healthy scratch. Former Bruin and current Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick was a healthy scratch for the fourth game this season.
UP NEXT: It's going to be a busy holiday weekend of sports as the Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins all have games. While the Red Sox host Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS at Fenway, the Patriots host the New Orleans Saints and the Bruins close out Columbus Day with a matinee against the Detroit Red Wings at the Garden.