BOSTON, MA – With Boston Bruins legends like Bobby Orr and plenty of Bruins alumni at TD Garden for the team’s Centennial 2023-24 season opener, the Bruins got a 3-1 win over Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks.
CLUTCH: David Pastrnak is now 59 goals away from matching his career-high and record-setting 61 goals he scored last season. After Trent Frederic tied the game at one with his first goal of the season at 11:22, Pastrnak got his first lamplighter of the season just 1:47 later to give the Bruins their first lead of the game. Pastrnak took a perfect feed from his former linemate from the 2014-2015 season, Milan Lucic, and buried it past Blackhawks goalie Arvid Soderblom.
David Pastrnak finds the back of the net and the Bruins have a 2-1 lead. pic.twitter.com/ZzWuaaqhRT
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) October 12, 2023
Pastrnak sealed the game with his second goal of the game and the season on an empty-netter with 55.9 seconds left in the game.
BANGER: 22-year-old rookie center John Beecher made the 2023-24 Boston Bruins roster because of his hustle, grit, and two-way game. He also wasn’t too shabby at the faceoff dot either. In his first-ever NHL game on Wednesday night, Beecher kept displaying those qualities on the ice and made his imprint with a monstrous hit (that got called for boarding) on Blackhawks center Cole Guttman at 3:12 of the second period. That resulted in Blackhawks forward Jason Dickinson going after Beecher and Beecher getting into his first NHL fight. Give the kid credit; he held his own and got a loud ovation from the TD Garden faithful.
BEECHER CHUCKIN’EM IN HIS FIRST NHL GAME pic.twitter.com/CHgVF0QUmU
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) October 12, 2023
DOGHOUSE: While there was by no means a lack of effort – because there never really is with him – Charlie Coyle had a season opener to forget. The good thing is Coyle has 81 games to redeem himself. Coyle was the only Bruin to struggle at the faceoff dot, going 8-8. He finished the game with no points, one shot, and one hit in 15:56 TOI.
UNSUNG HERO: Trent Frederic could become the x-factor for the Boston Bruins this season. After scoring a career-high 17 goals last season, the Bruins are hoping Frederic can at least crack the 20-goal plateau, if not light the lamp 25 times, and become the power forward they were hoping he could become when they drafted him 29th overall at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Frederic looked like a power forward in the season opener as he scored his first goal of the season and finished with three shots and three hits in 14:06 TOI.
TRENT FREDERIC TIP DRILL!!! FIRST NHL POINT FOR MATT POITRAS!!! pic.twitter.com/VTN7WDPS1L
— Marina Maher (@marinakmaher) October 12, 2023
KEY STAT: One of the biggest question marks entering this season was how the Boston Bruins would compensate for the insane amount of faceoffs Patrice Bergeron would win every season. Throughout camp, the players and head coach Jim Montgomery has preached that they would need to do it by committee, given no one can ever replace the master of the dot, Bergeron, and that’s exactly what first line center Pavel Zacha (8-3 at the dot) and third line center Morgan Geekie (6-2 at the dot) did. As a team, the Bruins finished 34-20 in faceoffs.
IN THEIR WORDS: “I was wondering that as I was driving in. It’s going to be different, for sure. When I announced it in the summer, it was a different kind of feel. In the fall, your body clock is kinda telling you something.” – Bergeron on if he felt like he was at TD Garden to play rather than watch on Wednesday night.
James van Riemsdyk-Pavel Zacha-David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand-Charlie Coyle-Jake DeBrusk
Trent Frederic-Matt Poitras-Morgan Geekie
Milan Lucic-John Beecher-Jakub Lauko
Extra: Patrick Brown
Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm-Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort-Kevin Shattenkirk
Extra: Ian Mitchell