The Boston Bruins couldn’t overcome another slow start and just couldn’t find their stride as they suffered their first loss in regulation at home, with a 4-1 defeat to the Colorado Avalanche.
Backup goalie Pavel Francouz stopped all 16 shots he faced after relieving Philipp Grubauer 13:14 into the first period and the Bruins third period comeback streak and 13-game point streak came to a screeching halt. Bruins goalie Jaro Halak made 16 saves in the loss.
Chris Wagner had the lone goal for the Bruins and Valeri Nichushkin, Ian Cole, Andre Burakovsky and Gabriel Landeskog all lit the lamp for the Avalanche.
As has been the case lately, the Bruins started off slow and were outshot 9-4 in the opening frame. However, unlike in five of the last six games, it was the Bruins who scored the first goal. Wagner put the B’s up 1-0 13:14 into the opening frame, tipping a John Moore shot right in front of Grubauer. It was Wagner’s second goal in as many games. Anders Bjork got the secondary assist. Grubauer was replaced right after the goal as he immediately went to the bench and down the runway.
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Just over four minutes later, the Avalanche tied the game when Nischushkin got his fourth of the season on a beautiful move to beat Halak and tie the game at a goal apiece. Matt Nieto and Tyson Jost got the helpers.
The Bruins lackadaisical play continued in the second period as they only mustered two shots in the first 14 minutes of the period and were outshot 5-4 in the period and 14-8 after two periods of play. Somehow though, they were only trailing 3-1 as they headed to the second intermission. Cole scored his first goal of the season at 9:17 to give the Av’s a 2-1 lead. Fellow rearguard Mark Barberio and Donskoi had the helpers. Then with just 1:19 left in the period, Burakovsky beat Halak for a 3-1 Colorado lead. Nathan MacKinnon got a helper and Donskoi had his second of the night.
The Bruins had a chance to climb back on the powerplay three times in the third period. The first came when Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves was whistled for high-sticking at 5:54 but the powerplay couldn’t convert. The B’s would get another chance on the man advantage just under three minutes later when Donskoi got called for high-sticking, but they failed to score again. The final powerplay of the third came when Landeskog was called for high-sticking at 17:39. The Bruins actually pulled Halak for an extra attacker on the man advantage but still couldn’t crack Francouz.
The Avalanche ended up getting their own powerplay right after the Bruins’ first powerplay ended as Graves broke in alone out of the box but the Avalanche defenseman shot it wide as he was hooked by Brad Marchand on the play and Marchand went to the penalty box for hooking. The Bruins’ penalty kill got the job done and kept the game at 3-1 Colorado.
Landeskog sealed the deal with the empty-netter at 19:57. Pierre Edouard Bellmare had the lone helper.