The Boston Bruins finally found the goal scoring they were looking for Thursday night. Unfortunately for the B’s, the visitors’ goal-scoring touch was even stronger.
The Bruins found the back of the net five times against the Vancouver Canucks, with just one of those goals coming from the first line. But the Canucks scored early and often at TD Garden, tabbing the Black and Gold with an 8-5 loss.
Jaroslav Halak finally came back down to earth, as he was pulled in the second period following after allowing his fifth goal of the game.
With the loss, Boston falls to 8-5-2, while Vancouver improves to 10-6-1.
Here’s how it all went down:
The start of the contest was less-than-ideal for the Bruins, who found themselves trailing 1-0 less than three minutes into the first period. Danton Heinen tried to work the puck out of Boston’s defensive zone by flipping it to David Backes, but the puck took a funky bounce onto the stick of Bo Horvat. The 23-year-old capitalized on the puck luck, wristing a shot past Halak’s lower glove side for his eighth goal of the season.
FIRST FOR GRIZZ
The Bruins have been waiting for their second line to create more scoring chances, and they received exactly that late in the first period. Jake DeBrusk led Boston’s charge up ice before dishing it to David Krejci, who found Matt Grzelcyk streaking with no Canucks in sight. The young blueliner did the rest, slapping a shot past Jacob Markstrom for his first goal on the campaign.
The second frame certainly didn’t lack goal scoring from start to finish.
Patrice Bergeron gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead just 38 seconds into the period. The veteran center cleaned things up in the goalmouth, tapping in the puck after a Torey Krug shot from the blue line.
Boston’s lead wouldn’t last very long, though, thanks to an old friend. The Canucks executed some nifty puck work behind the Bruins’ net, culminating with Loui Eriksson’s second goal of the season.
The Canucks retook the lead less than two minutes later. Ben Hutton fired a shot from the blueline that worked its way through a sea of bodies and into the back of the Bruins’ net.
But the Bruins had an answer. Just 32 seconds after Hutton’s go-ahead goal, Joakim Nordstrom did a fine job keeping the puck in the offensive zone, lunging the puck to Krejci, who found DeBrusk for a picture-perfect deflection goal.
The night of tip-in goals continued just over four minutes later when Eriksson potted his second of the night to put the Canucks up 4-3.
Vancouver didn’t waste much time adding to its lead, as Antoine Roussel found the back of the net just one minute and 30 seconds after Eriksson lit the lamp, prompting head coach Bruce Cassidy to pull Halak.
The B’s were awarded their first power play of the game in the closing minutes, and they made the most of it. DeBrusk was the beneficiary of great puck movement yet again, tapping in a perfect tape-to-tape pass from Krug.
The Bruins looked primed to do damage to the scoreboard with a 5-on-3 opportunity near the halfway point of the third period. But after Vancouver successfully killed one of its penalties, Horvat emerged from the box to find Tuukka Rask well out of his net and scored one of the easiest goals of his career.
Danton Heinen scored his first goal of the season just under three minutes after Virtanen struck, but the damage already had been done.
The Bruins consider their homestand Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Puck drop for the Original Six matchup at TD Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports