The Boston Bruins have lost four consecutive games to begin a season just twice in their 92-year history. A loss Wednesday night would have added a third to that list.
They made certain that did not happen.
Playing away from TD Garden for the first time this season, the Bruins laid waste to the Colorado Avalanche, getting points from 10 different players in a decisive 6-2 victory.
Jimmy Hayes led the way in Boston’s slump-busting win, scoring his first goal of the season and adding three assists for a career-high four points. Zdeno Chara and Ryan Spooner chipped in with two points apiece, and backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson finished with 19 saves in his Bruins debut.
Starting strong has not been a problem for these Bruins, who lost each of their first three games but scored first in two of them. They did so again Wednesday, with Kevan Miller doing the honors at the 5:49 mark of the first.
Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov initially foiled a 2-on-1 bid by David Krejci and Brett Connolly, but Connolly was able to gather his missed shot and feed the puck to Chara at the blue line. Chara then found Miller, who fired one over Varlamov’s right shoulder for his first goal of the season.
Hayes, who registered just one shot on goal over his first three games with Boston, added to the Bruins’ lead less than three minutes later. A Chara shot deflected off Varlamov and went airborne, and Hayes hammered it home for his first goal as a Bruin.
Colin Miller assisted on the goal to pick up his first NHL point.
At the other end of the ice, Gustavsson was solid in his first action since March 8. Tuukka Rask’s understudy withstood several stretches of prolonged Avalanche possession and stopped all five shots he faced in the first, including a breakaway attempt by Mikko Rantanen.
The Bruins kept the pressure on Varlamov in the second, with Chris Kelly, Loui Eriksson and Hayes all registering quality scoring chances early in the frame.
All three came up empty, but Tyler Randell did not. The rookie winger, who was making his NHL debut, redirected an Adam McQuaid shot past the Avs netminder for his first career point.
But wait, they weren’t done. Kelly made it 4-0 Bruins when he took a nice feed from Spooner and stuffed a backhander past Varlamov.
Boston’s third line of Kelly, Spooner and Hayes was a force all night, and it victimized Varlamov once more before the goalie was given the hook.
After Spooner scored the Bruins’ fifth goal of the game off n pass from Hayes, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy had seen enough. Varlamov was relegated to the bench, and backup Reto Berra took over for the final 25 minutes.
Colorado did get one back before the end of the period, with Gabriel Landeskog putting a power-play goal past Gustavsson.
The Bruins let off the gas a bit in the third, resulting in numerous Avalanche chances and Colorado’s final goal, a short-side tally by John Mitchell that Gustavsson probably would like to have back.
Roy called Berra to the bench with three-and-a-half minutes to play, but Colorado was unable to capitalize with the extra attacker. David Krejci sealed things with an empty-netter off an assist from — who else? — Hayes.
The Bruins close out their brief road trip Saturday night with a visit to the Arizona Coyotes.
Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images
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