The Boston Bruins headed off to the West Coast riding a three-game losing streak, and it looked like their brutal November schedule might get the best of them — especially after opening the California swing with a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
But the B’s quickly turned their road trip fortunes around.
Boston responded with a 2-1 victory over the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, then put an exclamation point on a solid West Coast swing with a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
Grabbing four out of a possible six points was huge for the Bruins, and would be considered a success by any team going through that tough stretch.
Yet those points weren’t the only positive development the B’s can take back home from California.
After another rough performance by Tuukka Rask in net to open the trip, Anton Khudobin got the start in net for final two games in California.
The 31-year-old goaltender responded to head coach Bruce Cassidy’s call, stopping 63 of 65 shots in those two contests to help Boston finish the swing 2-1-0.
Another bright spot from the successful Cali trip: The young guys appear to be finding their own.
That was never more apparent than in Saturday’s win over the Sharks. Rookie winger Jake DeBrusk, who was a healthy scratch just one week ago, scored a goal and assisted on Peter Cehlarik’s first career NHL goal during a frantic first period in San Jose.
DeBrusk’s skating was crisp and strong during a first period in which he factored into many positive Bruins plays. The rookie was a plus-two for the game with a goal and an assist.
All in all, three rookies found the back of the net for the B’s on Saturday.
DeBrusk, Cehlarik, Danton Heinen, Charlie McAvoy and other young players have seen an immense amount of minutes early in the season, and it appears to be paying off.
Boston will head back East with four points and a ton of momentum thanks to a successful trip to California.
Thumbnail photo via John Hefti/USA TODAY Sports Images