The Bruce Cassidy era is off to a nice start.
The Boston Bruins’ interim head coach won his first game since taking over for Claude Julien with a 6-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night at TD Garden.
Bruins forwards Patrice Bergeron (one goal, three assists) and David Pastrnak (two goals) led the way for the victors.
Boston improves to 27-23-6 with the win, while San Jose drops to 33-18-4.
Here’s how it all went down.
The Bruins entered Thursday ranking 28th in shooting percentage and 21st in goals scored per game. It’s been a struggle to score goals on a consistent basis for this team all season, but the first period was a pretty encouraging 20 minutes for the B’s.
They scored three goals, one from David Backes (52 seconds into the game), Pastrnak and Bergeron. Backes’ goal ended a 12-game goalless drought.
Pastrnak’s goal was a thing of beauty. A snipe past Sharks goaltender Martin Jones.
In addition to their three goals in the opening period, the Bruins also tallied 17 shot attempts and missed the net on only one of them.
FORMER BRUIN EXITS EARLY
Jones was a Bruin for a very short period of time in 2015. The B’s acquired him from the Los Angeles Kings in the Milan Lucic trade, and he was dealt shortly after to the San Jose Sharks in a deal that netted Boston a 2016 first-round pick and prospect Sean Kuraly.
Jones’ time in the San Jose net was just as short Thursday night. He was pulled after allowing three goals on just 12 shots in the first period. Jones also struggled Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres, when he gave up five goals in a 5-4 overtime loss after the Sharks led 4-1 in the third period.
The Bruins increased their lead to 4-2 when fourth-line forward Tim Schaller scored his seventh goal of the season at 13:04 of the second period. It was his first goal since Jan. 8, which ended a 12-game goalless drought.
PASTRNAK STRIKES AGAIN
After scoring on the power play in the first period, Pastrnak added another tally with the man advantage in the second frame. He’s tied for the team lead in goals with 24.
POWER PLAY RED HOT
The Bruins have scored on the power play in a season-high six straight games. They’ve scored nine goals with the man advantage over that span. It’s really made a difference, too, as the B’s have won four of those six games.
The Sharks made it interesting by scoring a late third-period goal to trim the Bruins’ lead to 5-3 with 2:37 remaining, but Brad Marchand scored his 24th goal of the season with an empty-net tally to seal the win for Boston.
The Bruins host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Puck drop is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images