Photo credit: @NHLBruins
By Marko Ukalovic
BOSTON, Mass- The San Jose Sharks got into penalty trouble early and often and the Boston Bruins made them pay for their indiscretions in a 5-1 victory — that featured five different goal scorers — on Tuesday evening at TD Garden.
Boston is currently undefeated in their last eight games (6-0-2), while San Jose limps back home licking their wounds after a disappointing 1-3-1 Northeast road trip. Once again the Sharks’ defensive woes were the story of the game as the Bruins had numerous scoring chances during the game.
Boston (9-1-2) drew first blood on the power play just under eight minutes into the first period. A failed clearing attempt by Brenden Dillon found the stick of Patrice Bergeron who faked a shot and sent a cross ice pass over to David Pastrnak who was all alone on the left side when he buried a one-timer past Sharks goalie Martin Jones for his 12th goal of the season, which leads the NHL, at the 7:49 mark.
Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer challenged the call for offsides, but after the video review, the officials upheld the goal, which resulted in a minor penalty and second consecutive power play opportunity, which the Sharks were able to kill off.
The Bruins capitalized on their third power play opportunity late in the opening 20 minutes. Brad Marchand sent the puck back up to the point where Torey Krug touched pass it over to the David Krejci, who wristed a one-timer underneath the arm of Jones for his first goal of the season at the 17:51 mark.
“We’re definitely going through a tough time right now,” said captain Logan Couture. “You gotta go through some adversity at some point in the year. It’s been too long to stay in the rut. We gotta respond at some point.”
San Jose (4-8-1) opened up the second period with a power play goal of their own to cut the deficit to 2-1. After a faceoff win, Erik Karlsson fed the puck over to Brent Burns from the point. Burns made one move and lasered a wrist shot under the arm of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask for his third goal of the season at the 1:31 mark. Burns leads the Sharks with 13 points.
Boston regained their two-goal lead seconds after a tripping penalty to Tomas Hertl had ended. Krejci gathered the puck after a deflection and sent a shot-pass over to Charlie Coyle, former Sharks draft pick, who had inside position on Marc-Edouard Vlasic and knocked it home from the crease for his second goal of the season less than four minutes later at the 5:21 mark.
Chris Wagner took advantage off a turnover by Tim Heed to give the Bruins a 4-1 lead. Heed’s attempted cross ice pass heeled off his stick over to of David Backes, who quickly outletted a pass up the ice that sent Wagner on a breakaway. Wagner made one move before sliding the puck past Jones’ five-hole for his first goal of the season at the 8:31 mark.
“It was a game of mistakes,” said Burns. “It’s tough (to get the offense going) when you’re playing in your own zone a lot against a team like that. They’re going to capitalize (on their chances).”
Boston scored its third unanswered goal of the period when Wagner won a battle along the boards and sent the puck back up to the point where Brando Carlo wristed a knuckle-ball of a shot that appeared to glance off a Sharks’ body and went over the left shoulder of Jones for his second goal of the season at the 16:50 mark.
Despite the goals scored, it could have been much worse in the second period if not for some incredible saves from Jones in a four-minute stretch where he faced numerous odd man rushes from Boston thanks to the pourous San Jose defense. Boston outshot San Jose 18-6 in the middle frame.
Things got chippy in the third period when Evander Kane went up high on Charlie McAvoy with Zdeno Chara going after Kane and Dillion coming to the aid of his forward. Both Chara and Dillon received minor penalties for roughing. Fights from Barclay Goodrow/Brett Richie and Couture/Marchand ended their nights early as they were all given game misconduct penalties after their scrums.
“We’re a little fragile right now,” said DeBoer. “You can see that. You’re at the end of a road trip and you take eight minor penalties, five in the first two periods, against the best power play in the league. We have to be smarter in helping ourselves.”
Rask finished the game with 16 saves on 17 shots to earn the win. Jones, who should have received a purple heart medal after the game, stopped 36 of the 41 shots he faced in the losing effort.
GAME NOTES: San Jose went 1/3 on the power play. Boston was 2/8. The Sharks came into the game with the number one penalty kill in the NHL and had killed off 14 penalty kills in a row before Pastrnak’s power play goal.
Bergeron recorded his 499th assist of his NHL career.
It was the first game in NHL history that featured three players (Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Chara) with an over combined 4700 career games played.
UP NEXT: The Sharks return home to host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday, November 1 at 7:30 pm in the SAP Center.