The Boston Bruins took the ice without veterans Patrice Bergeron and David Backes versus the Nashville Predators, so it was up to the kids to lead the way and that is exactly what they did!
The Bruins received a two man advantage for a full two minutes midway through the first period after Roman Josi crosschecked David Pastrnak into the end boards during a delayed slashing penalty against Matt Irwin. Pastrnak would get the last laugh as he blasted a one-timer from the high slot that beat Pekka Rinne to the stick side 39 seconds later. Charlie McAvoy and David Krejci picked up the assists on the play.
The home crowd had more to cheer about less than a minute later when Adam McQuaid and Cody McLeod dropped the gloves for a heavyweight bout, which McLeod got the better end of.
The Bruins picked up the first seven shots of the game and, in fact, the Predators did not get their first shot of night until the 14:17 mark. Their fifth shot of the night was a back breaker as it tied the game at 1-1 with less than 11 seconds remaining in the opening from. Ryan Johansen forced Pastrnak into a turnover following a faceoff and he quickly got the puck to Viktor Arvidsson in the slot where he ripped the puck past Tuukka Rask.
The Bruins regained the lead at 5:48 of the second period with a pair of NHL firsts. Although he did not get credit for an assist on the play, Charlie McAvoy made a great stretch pass down to Anders Bjork at the blue line. Bjork passed to Krejci who quickly got the puck to Jake DeBrusk who drove hard to the net and flipped the puck of Rinne’s paddle for his first career NHL goal. Bjork’s assist was his first career point.
McAvoy got into the fun himself by doubling he the Bruins lead about 10 minutes later. The young defender joined the rush and Krejci found him in the high slot where he fired a wrist shot into the Nashville net for his first career NHL goal. Kevan Miller was credited with the secondary assist.
Miller got a late delay of game penalty with about three minutes to go in the game. With Rinne on the bench to give the Preds a 6-to-4 advantage, Brad Marchand scored an empty net goal to give the Bruins a 4-1 lead. Brando Carlo had the lone assist.
The Marchand goal proved to be the game winner as Scott Hartnell scored a 5-on-3 goal, after Zdano Chara was called for a slash, to cut the lead to 4-2. Filip Forsberg scored with Chara still in the box to cut the lead to 4-3 with just 35 seconds left, but it was too little too late.
Tuukka Rask made 26 saves for his first win of the season, which was good enough to earn him Second Star of the Game honors. Krejci’s three helpers won him First Star honors while Jake DeBrusk was the Third Star.