As far as good starts go, the Boston Bruins couldn’t have done much better on Thursday night.
The Black and Gold opened their season by scoring on each of their first two shots on net, which was enough to give them a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center.
And it wasn’t the bonafide goal scorers that you might expect from the B’s that lit the lamp, with Brett Ritchie and Danton Heinen finding twine within the first seven minutes of the game.
For Ritchie, it was a particularly interest evening. The forward, who came over from the Stars in free agency, found out he would be in the lineup after morning skate when it was ruled that David Krejci would not be in the lineup because of a lower-body injury. Ritchie slotted into the right-wing slot on the third line with Charlie Coyle and Heinen, and on his first shift, scored in his former home arena.
“It felt good,” Ritchie told reporters of his first goal, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Obviously, any time you can chip in … and obviously I really just wanted the two points. It was a little bit of a scrambly game, but we got the job done and that’s all I really care about.”
Ritchie also said he was not fazed by being a bit of floating piece in the lineup.
“I knew after the pregame skate today. … Doesn’t matter who you’re playing with. There are a lot of really good forwards here. I was just excited.”
Ritchie isn’t necessarily known for his scoring touch but has shown he can be relied on as a decent secondary scoring option. And based on the synergy he showed with Coyle and Heinen, he could be forcing his way into more playing time.
Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Stars game:
— It was a quiet night for the Bruins much-heralded top line.
The Stars were able to keep Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak off the board and had the trio completely neutralized 5-on-5 and on the power play, leading coach Bruce Cassidy to point toward the trio’s lack of playing time together in the preseason as a potential cause of a slow start.
“I think what happens, is you see some of our top players who didn’t play in preseason, they’re still trying to find their game; whereas other guys who have played a little bit are a little more up to speed,” Cassidy told Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley on NESN’s postgame coverage. “That’s just the way it is this time of year and that’s how we planned it out. So that’s on me. I’m sure they wanted to play a little bit more but we wanted to manage their time in training camp so hopefully with each game they find a little bit more.”
— Tuukka Rask couldn’t have gotten off to a much stronger start to his season.
Besides giving up a goal on a breakaway bid following a poor line change, Rask was nails and is responsible for the Bruins hanging on in the third period, making 16 saves. Rask has been considerably dominant against the Stars in his career, and now is 8-2-2 against Dallas.
— Chara, whose poor line change led directly to Roope Hintz’s breakaway goal, did have a solid night with his primary objective of the evening — blanketing Tyler Seguin.