Here’s what you need to know from Thursday night’s 4-2 Bruins win over the Montreal Canadiens.
Some old time hockey broke out at the TD Garden between bitter long time rivals the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. In the end, skill won out as the B’s came out on top 4-2 the final.
The two teams combined for 12 penalties for 31 minutes in the first period alone. The Canadiens came out chippy and the Bruins let it be known that they wouldn’t stand for any shenanigans. Twice Bruins players came to the defense of teammates in the period. Brad Marchand tackled and pummeled Rem Pitclick after the Canadiens center delivered a high hit to Patrice Bergeron. Charlie McAvoy also took out Jake Evans after Evans sprayed and bumped into Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman.
Brad Marchand does not appreciate late hits on Patrice Bergeron: pic.twitter.com/aPLaU72yef
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) March 23, 2023
Boston dominated the first period racing out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Tyler Bertuzzi (his first) and Jake DeBrusk. Montreal cut the lead to 2-1 with 18.6 seconds left in the period on a power play goal by Nick Suzuki.
The teams traded goals in the second with the Bruins mostly on their heels. David Pastrnak buried his 49th of the year 2:36 into the period to make it 3-1 Bruins. Kirby Dach scored on the power play later in the period to cut the lead to 3-2.
David Krejci provided the Bruins some insurance banging home his 16th of the year 12:36 into the third. Jeremy Swayman got the win turning away 29 of 31 shots.
Pastrnak continues to fill up the stat sheet notching a goal and an assist on Thursday night. The goal was Pastrnak’s 49th, a career high. One more will make him Boston’s first 50 goal scorer since Cam Neely in 1993-94.
The Bruins superior goaltending continues to bail them out on on nights when they don’t have their A-game. Tonight was another example. Jeremy Swayman continues to alternate stars with teammate Linus Ullmark between the pipes and he continues to play just as well if not better than the overwhelming Vezina favorite. Swayman was particularly good in the second when the Canadiens really started to swarm and create several quality chances. Swayman finished 1.5 goals saves above expected according to MoneyPuck.com. His counterpart Jeremy Allen finished at -1.36.
Tyler Bertuzzi has made a profound impact since joining the Boston Bruins last month at the trade deadline. The only thing he hasn’t done, is score. Until tonight. Bertuzzi opened the scoring just 4:34 into Thursday’s game scoring his first as a Bruin from behind the net no less. Bertuzzi tried to center a pass but the puck took a weird deflection and caromed off Montreal netminder and in. Bertuzzi also added an assist on Pastrnak’s goal for a 2 point night. It was Bertuzzi’s 1st goal in 10 games since joining the Bruins despite coming into the night 4th on the team in expected goals during that span.
Tyler Bertuzzi's centering pass deflects home off a defender, opening up the scoring for the Bruins!#NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/9EHT8rFo9p
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) March 23, 2023
What the Puck?
AJ Greer picked up a stupid penalty late in the first resulting in Montreal’s first goal. Greer lost his mind momentarily while jostling with Canadiens winger Mike Hoffman and crosschecked Hoffman right in the face. Greer received a five-minute major for cross-checking and a game misconduct. A suspension is likely to follow.
AJ Greer gets five and a game for being a total moron and crosschecking Hoffman in the face pic.twitter.com/e2SA9gxlW1
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) March 23, 2023
That’s what he said
Jim Montgomery gushed over Marchand coming to the defense of teammate and Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron after he was hit late by the Canadiens Rem Pitlick.
“You don’t hit our captain late,” Montgomery said. “That was a three-second late hit. I love that Marchand did that.”
- Brandon Carlo was the Bruins defenseman who rotated out on Thursday. Jake Zboril remained in.
- Brad Marchand told reporters before the game that he deleted his Twitter account because he doesn’t want to pay for the blue check mark.
- The goal by Suzuki was the first Swayman had allowed in 7 periods spanning more than 163 minutes of action.
- The Bruins can clinch the Atlantic Division title with a win Saturday against Tampa.