After a disappointing result in their 2011-12 opener, the Boston Bruins quickly recaptured their Stanley Cup form from last season.
Looking for their momentum to carry over, the Boston Bruins try to snap a six-game home winless streak against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday afternoon.
Hours after raising the franchise's sixth Stanley Cup banner, Boston (1-1-0) suffered a 2-1, season-opening loss to Philadelphia on Thursday. The defending NHL champions, however, quickly regrouped behind two goals from Rich Peverley and a stellar effort from Tim Thomas during Saturday's 4-1 victory over Tampa Bay in an Eastern Conference finals rematch.
"Timmy looked, to me, more like the Timmy we know," coach Claude Julien said. "He looked calm. He looked more comfortable. To me, that was as close as I've seen Timmy to the way he was last year."
"One of our goals for (Saturday's) game was to make our own emotion," Thomas said. "We wanted to get the season going in the right direction."
Thomas, winner of last season's Conn Smythe and Vezina Trophies, has been superb in two games, posting a 1.51 goals-against average. There is a chance, however, that backup Tuukka Rask could spell Thomas in this one.
Since beating the Avalanche 4-1 on March 30, 1998, the Bruins have gone 0-4-1 with one tie in this series at home. While Colorado (0-1-0) has experienced plenty of success in Boston of late, it knows it will have its hands full in the opener of a five-game trip.
"That's a good test for us. That was the best team in the NHL last year and hasn't changed much entering this year," defenseman Ryan O'Byrne told Colorado's official website.
The Avalanche, who went 5-27-2 to conclude last season, saw their struggles continue Saturday, falling 3-0 to visiting Detroit. Matt Duchene, who led Colorado with 67 points in 2010-11, was limited to one shot as the team failed to generate any offense.
"We didn't take care of business against Detroit. I thought we played a good game in certain parts, but we didn't find a way to win," defenseman Shane O'Brien said. "There's no better challenge than in Boston to get our first win of the year and get us rolling."
The lone bright spot for Joe Sacco's club seemed to be Semyon Varlamov, who was acquired from Washington during the offseason to help improve Colorado's NHL-worst 3.50 GAA from last season.
Varlamov stopped 36 of 38 shots and helped kill all four of the Red Wings' power-play opportunities.
"I think we just need to forget about this game and keep going -- it's just the first game of the season. We have to score," said Varlamov, who went 0-1-1 with a 3.42 GAA in two career starts versus Boston while with the Capitals.
Varlamov will need to keep an eye on Marchand, who tallied a career-high four points -- two goals and two assists -- during Boston's 6-2 win at Colorado on Jan. 22. Marchand has six goals and four assists over his last seven games dating to the postseason.
The Avalanche are 0-5-1 in their last six road openers.