Bruins Notes: Line Changes Rejuvenate Boston In Road Trip Finale

'These guys play so well together'


December 11, 2022

The Boston Bruins, whether they made a point of it or not, exacted revenge on the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday night.

On paper, it may look the Boston went out and did what it has done all season, but that wasn’t exactly the case in this one. This game represented the final leg of a West Coast road trip for the Bruins, whose level of play had dipped a bit. Six days prior, these same Golden Knights waltzed into TD Garden and snapped a 14-game home winning streak. So on the surface, one could see why this game may have provided a bit more juice for the Black and Gold.

If that wasn’t enough to do it, Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery made sure to find a way to.

The B’s looked a bit different Sunday, deploying new lines and pairings as they gave veteran David Krejci the night off. The “Perfection Line” of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak got back together, with Jake DeBrusk sliding down and Taylor Hall sliding up to join Pavel Zacha on the second line. That left Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic needing another wing, where Nick Foligno filled in well.

By the end of the 3-1 win, all three of those lines scored, displaying a level of chemistry they didn’t have any right of having.

“These guys play so well together. They’ve got that killer instinct in the third period, and it gives you a lot of confidence as a coach,” Montgomery said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “… We wanted to play behind them, because they like to have tight gaps. The play that I loved as well, was DeBrusk making a play on the wall to get the puck out and 71 (Hall) came flying in and almost scored a great goal.”

Here are more notes from Sunday’s Bruins-Golden Knights game:

— Slow starts have hampered the Bruins this season, with all five of their losses coming in games where they allowed their opponent to score within the first ten minutes of the game. They broke that up tonight, allowing Vegas to score at 4:03 in the first period, and leaving with a 3-1 victory anyway.

— DeBrusk made noise in Vegas, laying six hits on Golden Knights and scoring a beautiful goal. His teammates and coach had nothing but nice things to say about him postgame.

“Hallsy making a great play there…” Zacha said postgame. “He gave it to me in speed and I knew that JD was coming. So I just made a pass to him and he scored.”

“I think he wants to be relied on in every situation, and he’s growing into that,” Montgomery said postgame.

— Linus Ullmark recorded another 30-save win in this one, bringing his record to 16-1 on the season. His .939 save percentage leads all NHL goalies, as does his goals against average of 1.82.

— The Bruins will return home Tuesday night when they take on the New York Islanders at TD Garden. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and you can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron
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