The ‘Perfection Line’ is back! Brad Marchand (two goals, assist), Patrice Bergeron (assist) and David Pastrnak (goal, two assists) found their groove and Tuukka Rask made 30 saves as the Boston Bruins improved to 3-0-0 with a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas.
The Bruins erased an early two-goal deficit with four straight goals and then held on after Knights forward Max Pacioretty (goal, assist) made it 4-3 with 5:18 left in regulation. Mark Stone also had a goal and assist for Vegas and Reilly Smith lit the lamp as well. Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves for the Knights.
The Bruins now head to Denver to play the Colorado Avalanche in the final game of their season-opening four-game road trip. Their home opener is Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils.
Here’s some musings from a heavyweight battle between two Cup contenders in Vegas:
Perfection Line Rewards Cassidy’s Patience Again – With the Bruins early scoring woes (three goals) in their first two games, the critics were starting to get on the team’s top line, aka, ‘The Perfection Line’. As some always seem to do when the team struggles to score, there was some clamoring for head coach Bruce Cassidy to break the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak trio. Patience is a virtue though and Cassidy, as well as those fans that kept faith in arguably the best line in the NHL, were rewarded. After amassing just an assist from Bergeron, a goal from Marchand and no points from Pastrnak, ‘The Perfection Line’ was as close to perfect as you can get, combining for three goals and four assists.
Beautiful sequence all around.
Pastrnak with the sweet indirect, bank pass off the boards.
Marchand finishes with the snipe.
3-2 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/FSE65Ka7to
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 9, 2019
In the 1-0 win over Arizona Saturday, it was clear the Bruins’ top line was finding their stride as they each had three shots and on Tuesday in Vegas, those shots started to go in the net. There will surely be times within a game that the Bruins are struggling to score, where Cassidy switches up the lines and likely puts Pastrnak with David Krejci on the second line because the two Czech forwards have shown chemistry before, but credit Cassidy for not giving into the, from the view here, the not so knowledgable patience of some in the Boston media and too many Twitter coaches.
Krug’s Value Rising Three Games In – Krug wasn’t bad in the first two games of the season, but he wasn’t the difference-maker he can be and usually is for the Bruins. On Tuesday, the Krug that has not only led all Bruins defensemen in points for the last four straight seasons but has become better defensively arrived. Krug was everywhere in this game, breaking up and creating plays and converting on what seems to be an even more lethal shot this season. The way Krug can calm and accelerate a play was on full display in Vegas and with that, so was his value that many teams will surely open their wallets for should he reach unrestricted free agency next July 1.
David Backes starts a strong forechecking sequence tha ends with Torey Krug's first goal of the year.
4-2 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/XzCXK0Xf49
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 9, 2019
Rask Up To The Task Again; OK After Injury Scare
Rask has now stopped 62 of the 64 shots he’s faced in his first two starts of the season and so far has resembled the goalie that many times during the Bruins’ run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, bailed his teammates out. This was definitely a team win unlike the game Rask stole in Dallas with 16 third period saves, but there were plenty of times where the Bruins could’ve folded and Rask was there.
When the Bruins went down 2-0 8:20 into the game, things could’ve easily spiraled out of control as the Knights were buzzing and the arena was rocking. Rask calmed his teammates down though stopping the next three Vegas shots and allowed his team to regroup and stage a two-goal comeback to tie the game by the first intermission. Then after Pacioretty cut the Bruins’ lead to one goal with 5:18 left in regulation, Rask needed to be at his best and he was as he held the fort down to preserve the win.
Following a mad flurry in front of him in the final seconds, Rask went down on his chest and spread out. As the horn sounded to end the game, he lais on the ice for a few seconds and then had to be helped off the ice by his teammates.
Tuukka Rask had to be carried off the ice. Couldn’t even get up pic.twitter.com/aXZmDeWS6K
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) October 9, 2019
Thankfully Cassidy didn’t seem worried during his post-game interview with NESN play-by-play man Jack Edwards and color man Andy Brickley.
“I don’t know if [Tuukka] pulled a muscle or got dehydrated there… He’ll be fine, I assume. I haven’t heard any different,” he said.
Bruins fans can exhale!
Backes Draws Back In – David Backes drew back in the lineup and that meant fellow forward Par Lindholm sat up top as a healthy scratch. As the GIF above shows, the 35-year-old veteran – who was the center of trade rumors all offseason and now continues to look revitalized – made a great play that led to the Krug second period goal but didn’t get an assist. Backes hustled deep into the zone and stole the puck on the forecheck, then got it to Sean Kuraly, who fed Carlo at the blue line and Carlo then found Krug for the blast from the point.
Here’s what the Bruins lineup looked like Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Karson Kuhlman
Danton Heinen – Charlie Coyle – Brett Ritchie
Chris Wagner – Sean Kuraly – David Backes
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton