5 takeaways from the Bruins after dominating the avalanche

After going 2-1-1 on a four-game road trip, the Boston Bruins returned to TD Garden on Monday afternoon for a game against the Colorado Avalanche in what is their only home game in a 10-of-11 road streak. It was also the sixth and final game of Brad Marchand’s suspension.

The Bruins have struggled with some of the iron in the NHL this season, but on Monday they pulled off a solid 60-minute effort in a 5-1 win over the Avalanche. Boston’s victory ended a seven-game road winning streak at Colorado and handed goaltender Darcy Kuemper his first regulation loss in 19 games. Here are three takeaways from the Black and Gold’s 28th win of the season as they hit the road again to begin a six-game road trip Thursday night against the Seattle Kraken.

Swayman Sharp in the net

After playing three of the four games on the road trip, coach Bruce Cassidy gave Jeremy Swayman started on Monday and the 23-year-old responded with an impressive performance. Swayman stopped 28 of Colorado’s 29 shots, allowing only a second-period power-play goal to Nathan MacKinnon.

Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Swayman was aggressive in the net, cutting angles, moving side to side with confidence and closing openings to keep the explosive Avalanche in check. He made 10 saves in the second period, including a pad save on aGabriel Landeskog shot right after MacKinnon’s goal and is currently playing one of his best hockey games early in his career. In his last four starts over the past nine days, the 111th pick in the fourth round of the 2017 Entry Draft, made 120 saves and posted a 3-0-1 record. He has a goals-against-average (GAA) of 0.98 with a save percentage (SV%) of 0.968.

Related: Bruins can survive in net relying on Ullmark/Swayman duo

Swayman is certainly enjoying the opportunity that comes his way after spending time in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Providence Bruins when Tuukka Rask signed as a free agent in January. When Rask announced his retirement on Feb. 9, Swayman stepped in and is going to make it hard for Cassidy not to give him another start Thursday in Seattle.

Pastrank stay warm at home

David Pastrnak loves home cooking. Going into Monday’s game, he had 12 goals and four assists in his last 10 games at TD Garden. He continued his blistering pace with a pair of goals and an assist against the Avalanche.

He opened the scoring late in the first period when he took a pass from Charlie McAvoy and beat Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper inside the left post. After Colorado scored a power play in the second period to halve the Bruins’ lead to 2-1, it scored its second goal of the game 1:37 later when it nabbed a Taylor Hall pass past Kuemper to regain a two-goal lead. Pastrnak finished with eight shots on net in just under 17 minutes of ice time.

While Marchand was suspended due to his suspension, Pastrnak scored some of the goals, including the game-winning goal in overtime against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, and helped the Bruins get seven of a possible 12 points without their point guard. at pointing.

The Bruins’ second line was solid again

With Marchand out of the lineup, Cassidy has mixed and matched his lines over the past six games. Charlie Coyle’s second line between Trent Frederic and Craig Smith is a line that played well and continued on Monday. The trio combined seven shots on net, but managed the best move of the game which led to Pastrnak’s first goal. Relentless on the forecheck, they had a 1:12 zone time, pinning the Avalanche, which allowed Pastrnak to get lost in the mix coming off the bench and left alone to bury the first goal.

Not only were they effective 5-on-5, but Frederic and Coyle also provided some key shorthanded changes to hold Colorado to one goal from four chances. When Marchand returns against the Kraken, there will be decisions Cassidy and his team will have to make regarding forward lines and combinations.

Power play shows signs of life

The Bruins’ power play has been dismal lately, not scoring in their last 11 chances heading into Monday’s game. Against Colorado, the power play showed some life on all three of their chances. In their first chance of the first period, the first unit of Pastrnak, Hall, Coyle, Patrice Bergeron and McAvoy played the first 1:30 and had six shots on net, but had nothing to show for it. In the second period, they had two shots with plenty of zone time, but again had nothing to show for it. That changed in the third period.

Charlie Coyle, Boston Bruins
Charlie Coyle, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin/The Hockey Writers)

Leading 4-1, the Bruins took advantage of a high-stick penalty from Nicolas Aube-Kubel to cancel the game when Coyle took a rebound behind the net off Kuemper’s back. In total, Boston finished the game with 11 of its 45 shots on the power play and they recovered Marchand on the first unit Thursday night.

The Bruins end the avalanche

On Jan. 26, the Bruins held a 3-1 lead over the Avalanche with just under 10 minutes remaining before two Colorado goals, including Landeskog’s tying goal with 27 seconds left, forced overtime. Cale Makar scored a power-play goal in overtime for a 4-3 win over the Avalanche, but despite earning a point, the game looked like a loss.

Related: Bruins Mailbag: Sweeney’s Future, Trade Deadline, DeBrusk & More

On Monday, the Bruins held a 4-1 lead early in the third period and this time they knocked Colorado off the scoreboard to secure the win. Boston opened the door for the Avalanche by giving them three power plays in the final period, but killed every one of them for a confidence-boosting win. The Bruins, who allowed nine shots in the third period, had three of four possible points this season against Colorado and were very close to sweeping the season series.

Overall, it was by far the Bruins’ best 60-minute effort this season. It was a much-needed win before they embarked on a six-game road trip, as it put them 10 points clear of the Detroit Red Wings for the final Conference playoff spot. de l’Est, knowing that Marchand will return to the line-up on Thursday. night.


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