BOSTON — TD Garden has been a house of horrors this season for the Bruins, who tasted victory just once in their first seven games on home ice.
Saturday was a step in the right direction.
After blowing a two-goal lead Thursday in a home loss to the Colorado Avalanche, the Bruins came back strong against the Detroit Red Wings, putting forth a well-rounded team effort in a 3-1 win.
“It gives us a brief sigh of relief,” said defenseman Torey Krug, one of three Boston goal-scorers in the game. “We’ve got to come back and make sure we’re ready for the next game. But it’s definitely a great start, and we’ll keep working on it.”
In a departure from their established model of flying out of the gate and crashing and burning around the 15-minute mark, the Bruins played sound hockey for upward of two periods against the Red Wings. They dominated possession in a scoreless first before netting three goals in the second, and though their quality of play dipped a bit over the final 20 minutes, the letdown produced just one Detroit goal.
“The first 40 minutes were great,” Krug said. “We knew they were going to come out in the third period and push.
At times we had a couple of big shifts where we cleared the puck and made some good plays to kind of take their push back a little bit, and then they kept coming. It’s a good start, for sure. 1-1 on this homestand, and we’ve just got to look to the next one.”
The game also was somewhat of a relief for Krug himself, as the 24-year-old D-man finally found the back of the net for the first time this season.
Entering Saturday as one of just three Bruins regulars without a goal, Krug was the beneficiary of an excellent individual effort by Brad Marchand late in the second period. Marchand picked Henrik Zetterberg’s pocket along the side boards, isolated Red Wings defenseman Mike Green near the right circle and fed the puck back to a wide-open Krug, who was left unmarked as he trailed the play.
“If he would’ve missed that one,” head coach Claude Julien said after the game, “he would have been in trouble.”
Krug entered the game tied for the team lead with 10 assists, but with the Bruins trusting him with greater defensive responsibility this season — he’s averaging 22:47 of ice time, up from 19:36 in 2014-15 — goal-scoring has not been at the forefront of his mind. Still, getting the first one out of the way didn’t feel too shabby.
“It’s a good feeling,” he said. “I wasn’t really worrying too much about it, especially with a few more minutes being played. My No. 1 job is always defense, and that’s been good so far. It could always improve, but it was nice to get the first one.”
Thumbnail photo via Michael Dwyer/Associated Press
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