There’s a first time for everything.
The Boston Bruins had yet to win two consecutive games during the 2017-18 season, but they did just that Saturday night.
Fresh off a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings, the Bruins went to SAP Center and defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1 to finish their California swing with a 2-1-0 record.
Jake DeBrusk’s aggressiveness led to two first period goals for the Bruins — one by Peter Cehlarik and one by DeBrusk — as the B’s led 2-1 after one.
Anton Khudobin did the rest. Boston’s netminder saved 36 of 37 shots in what was a second consecutive stellar performance on the road trip.
The Bruins improved to 8-7-4 with the win, while the Sharks fell to 10-8-0.
Here’s how it all went down:
There was plenty of action early in San Jose.
Just one minute into the action, the Bruins were passing the puck in their defensive zone when Brandon Carlo turned the puck over. The puck found Joe Thornton, who appeared to sneak a shot past Khudobin to give the Sharks an early lead.
The Bruins would challenge the goal, however, and the officials ruled that Jonas Donskoi knocked the puck in with his glove.
San Jose wouldn’t stay down for long, though. Timo Meier beat Khudobin at the 4:50 mark in the first to give the Sharks the early lead.
But the Bruins answered quickly, as Cehlarik cleaned up DeBrusk’s shot attempt to score his first NHL goal and tie the game.
DeBrusk got on the board shortly after. When Charlie McAvoy chipped the puck out of Boston’s defensive end to finish a penalty kill, the young winger raced down the ice to corral the puck and chip it past Aaron Dell to give Boston a 2-1 lead at the 10:46 mark in the first period.
The Bruins settled in during the second period and outplayed the Sharks for much of the frame.
Boston outshot San Jose 9-8 in the period, but it was more about the work that Khudobin did between the pipes. The B’s netminder played well Thursday in the win over the Los Angeles Kings and continued to stymie the opposition Saturday.
The Bruins’ defense clamped down on the Sharks, as Boston blocked 15 shots through two periods while Khudobin saved 24 of 25 shots.
SURVIVING THE PENALTY
Boston continued to hold its one-goal lead halfway through the third period when both Thornton and Sean Kuraly were sent to the box. The 4-on-4 quickly turned into a 4-on-3, though, as Kevan Miller was sent to box for hooking.
The Sharks weren’t able to score on the 4-on-3, however, as the B’s penalty kill blocked two shots in front of Khudobin. San Jose continued to assault the net during their power play, but Khudobin stopped numerous shots to keep the score at 2-1 with seven minutes to play.
After surviving the Sharks’ onslaught, the Bruins put the game to rest.
At the 14:09 mark of the final period, Miller flew up the left side with the puck and shuffled it to Danton Heinen who poked the puck past Dell to give Boston a 3-1 lead.
The Bruins don’t play again until Wednesday, when they face the Devils in New Jersey. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via John Hefti/USA TODAY Sports Images