Boston, MA- Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (25 saves) earned his third shutout of the season while the Bruins powered past the visiting Vancouver Canucks on the strength of a first period Charlie Coyle goal. Boston also got tallies from Brad Marchand, David Krejci, and Karson Kuhlman to extend their current winning streak to four games. Rask’s record improved to 19-4-6 and he is undefeated at TD Garden where his record is now 11-0-6.
Coyle broke open the scoring at 14:24 when he pounced on a rebound from Charlie McAvoy‘s blast from the blue line. McAvoy tee’d up on Jacob Markstrom after catching a pass from Anders Bjork, Markstrom made the kick save but the puck went right towards Coyle who went backhand to forehand on Markstrom before roofing the puck top corner, glove side.
Canucks head coach Travis Green challenged that the play was offside. After review the call on the ice stood and Vancouver was assessed a Delay of Game penalty. Jake Virtanen served the bench minor giving the NHL’s #2 power play a man advantage. The Bruins only managed two shots on Markstrom for the duration of the penalty.
Vancouver responded with stronger pressure in the early part of the second. Defenseman Troy Stetcher fired a shot from the Canucks blue line that Rask leg saved to a crease-crashing Tanner Pearson who had his bid stopped by Rask.
Brock Boeser had a rebound opportunity fall to him in front of Rask but shot the wide of the net as he was hit by a Bruins defender.
A Delay of Game call on Stetcher at 5:45 stunted the Canucks momentum. The Bruins power play unit was was starting to move the puck in the Vancouver zone when Alexander Edler was whistled for Tripping at 6:46 giving the Bruins a five on three for almost a minute. The Bruins had multiple attempts but Markstrom was solid in the Vancouver net. The 30-year-old stopped all five shots that Boston put on him on the extended power play.
Boston’s Bjork was sent off for Hooking at 9:48 giving the Canucks 7th ranked power play unit a crack at the man advantage. Bruins forward Chris Wagner tipped a cross ice pass by JT Miller at the Bruins blue line and raced in for the shorthanded breakaway attempt but was stopped by Markstrom.
With a face-off in the Canucks zone, defenseman Torey Krug jumped towards a loose puck just inside the blue line but a Vancouver player best him to it and chipped it ahead to Bo Horvat. Horvat was off to the races with defenseman Branden Carlo in pursuit. Carlo was draped over Horvat by the time the Canucks forward was in on Rask. Rask easily made the stop on Horvat’s bid.
At 14:23 a rebound fell to Elias Pettersson in front of Rask and the 23 goal scorer fired off a snapshot that Rask bodied out of play.
Boston’s top line built on the lead with just under five minutes to go in the second with some tic tac toe passing. From the red line Marchand dished to Patrice Bergeron streaking through the neutral zone, Bergeron head-manned the puck toMcAvoy who jumped into the play. McAvoy tried to pass but hit a Canuck skate. Bergeron quickly fired the lose puck from the side board to Marchand in front of goal, who one-timed it past Markstrom for the 2-0 lead at 15:35. The goal was Marchand’s 23rd of the season.
Wagner was sent to the penalty box at 15:57 for Hooking. The Canucks struggled to generate much in the way of offense. Boston’s Coyle had the best chance, while short-handed, when he stole a Quinn Hughes pass and was in on Markstrom. Once again Markstrom made the stop on the Bruins short-handed breakaway.
The third period had Markstrom rob Jake DeBrusk on a one-timer when he gloved the puck out the air around 5:30.
Krug was called for Slashing at 12:38 putting Vancouver up a man but again it was Boston that was creating the offense. Sean Kuraly flashed some fancy stick-handling through the Canucks zone and drew a Slashing penalty on Hughes at 13:38 negating the Canuck power play.
During the ensuing four on four the Bruins broke this one open when Krejci combined with Kuraly on a give and go. Krejci dished to Kuraly on the Vancouver’s Virtanen. Krejci out-muscled him and fired off a wrist shot that beat Markstrom glove-side high for the commanding 3-0 lead at 14:09. Krejci’s goal was his 13th of the year.
At 15:11 McAvoy rode Jay Beagle into Rask as Beagle tried to move in on the Bruins goal. Beagle crashed into the Bruins goalie and gave an extra shove of the elbow into Rask. McAvoy took exception and jumped right on top of Beagle in the crease. Beagle was assessed a 10 Minute Game Misconduct and two minutes for Goaltender Interference. Boeser served the two minute penalty for Beagle.
Eleven seconds into the Boston power play Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers put the puck over the glass in the Vancouver zone causing him to be sent off for Delay of Game. After the Canucks killed off the initial Beagle penalty Kuhlman tipped a Coyle shot that deflected off a Canuck defender and into the net for a 4-0 Bruins lead at 18:11. It was the first goal of the year for Kuhlman.
Boston outshot the Canucks 42-25 on the evening but lost the face-off battle 32-27. With the win the Bruins are 32-10-12 (76 points) on the season while the Canucks are 30-19-5 (65 points).
“I think obviously (playing with) two good players in Charlie (Coyle) and Anders (Bjork), and we just kept it simple and tried to play hard and win our battles,” said Kuraly. “Tonight worked out. Usually when you do that and you play hard sometimes you get a bounce.”
Vancouver travels to Minnesota to take on the Wild on Thursday. Puck drop is at 8:00pm EST. The Bruins travel to Chicago to play the Blackhawks on Wednesday. The opening face-off is also at 8:00pm EST. This will be the eighth of 13 back to back games that the Bruins will have this season. They are 6-1-1 on the first night after the 4-0 victory against the Canucks while going 3-3-1 on the back end.