Well, that was one heck of a start to the 2016-17 Boston Bruins season.
The B’s hit the road for their season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night and left Nationwide Arena happy as clams following an exciting, come-from-behind 6-3 win to kick things off.
Boston trailed 2-0 after one period and 3-1 early in the second, but Boston’s defense and first line took over from there. Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and David Backes each scored two goals, while Marchand had an incredible five-point performance in the comeback.
Tuukka Rask stopped 28 of 31 shots and was lights out for the final 33 minutes of action.
Here’s a closer look at how things went down.
WATCH OUT FOR THAT FIRST STEP …
After missing the playoffs each of the past two seasons, the 2016-17 Bruins picked up right where they left off.
Columbus grabbed an early lead off the stick of Alexander Wennberg, who scored just 2:58 into the game on assists from Seth Jones and Zachary Werenski. Cam Atkinson doubled the deficit with the opening period winding down, lighting the lamp at 17:25 on a power play tally thanks to rookie Austin Czarnik’s holding penalty. Nick Foligno and Wennberg assisted.
The Bruins outshot the Blue Jackets 11-9 in the first, though.
WATCH YOUR BACKES
The second period didn’t start much better for the Bruins, with Columbus holding a 10-4 advantage in shots over Boston, which failed to score on two power-play opportunities.
But David Pastrnak got Boston on the board, the second consecutive season he’s scored in the opener, with a goal on a nice feed from Brad Marchand, who picked up where he left off in the World Cup of Hockey.
Boston, however, couldn’t keep Columbus from extending its lead, as Seth Jones scored just four minutes later at 6:44. Foligno picked up his second point of the night with the assist, while Brandon Saad’s apple was his first of the young season.
Then David Backes and Marchand salvaged the period for Boston and turned the tides of the game. The new guy scored his first goal in a B’s uniform at 13:36 on feeds from Zdeno Chara and Marchand. Nearly four minutes later, it was Backes again, this time redirecting a shot from the point by Pastrnak to tie the score at three goals apiece. Marchand picked up his third assist of the evening on the play.
Boston ultimately outshot Columbus 15-12 in the period, and 11-2 over the final 10 minutes of the period.
THE BRAD MARCHAND SHOW
Auston Matthews, who?
Marchand helped the Bruins come from behind to tie the score in the second period with assists on their first three goals. Then he decided it was time to win the game and took over.
The 28-year-old broke the tie with two goals in a six minute span, giving him five points on the night. We don’t want to get over excited or anything, but on Day 1 he’s on pace for 164 goals and 410 points. Casual.
Rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo assisted Marchand’s second goal, the first point of Carlo’s NHL career.
David Pastrnak, fittingly, scored an empty-netter with under a minute remaining for Boston’s sixth and final goal of the night. He finished with four points (two goals, two assists) on a line that scored all of Boston’s points with Backes (two goals, one assist) filling in at center for the injured Patrice Bergeron.
Pastrnak led the team with eight shots on net, while Marchand added seven of his own.
The Bruins face rookie phenom Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. The 2016 No. 1 overall pick is making his home debut after a monstrous four-goal debut Wednesday in Toronto’s 5-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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