Matching up against a Golden Knights squad missing some depth players including starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, combined with a backup goalie the Bruins know very well between the pipes, should have been a recipe for success for Bruce Cassidy and company. Instead, the Bruins put forth another lackluster effort in their third loss in five games, dropping this one, 3-1.
Here is what we learned in the Bruins’ first trip to Vegas.
Not so hot start for Bruins
Going up against a goalie they know is not one of the best backup goalies in the league, one would have thought the Bruins would have found more ways to get pucks on net. Instead, the Bruins registered just five first period shots, with none really testing Malcolm Subban all too much. Knowing Subban and his struggles at the NHL level very well, the Bruins should have done more to test the young goalie.
Sloppiness with puck leads to a pair of firsts
It started with Sean Kuraly allowing Alex Tuch to take the puck from him in the neutral zone and was followed up with four Bruins on their knees in the crease as the Knights controlled the puck. Both of those miscues led to the first career NHL goals by Tuch and Vadim Shipachyov.
Those were not the only instances of the Bruins being sloppy with the puck during their first contest against the NHL’s newest team. From bad outlet passes in the defensive end to sloppy possession in the attacking zone, the Bruins were fighting the puck all night long.
Bruins lose Adam McQuaid and Ryan Spooner
After eight uneventful shifts, Ryan Spooner’s night was done. After his second shift in the second period, Spooner excited the game and did not return due to a lower-body injury.
Spooner was not the Bruins only casualty in Vegas. Late in the third period, Adam McQuaid went down in a lot of pain after blocking a shot from former teammate Colin Miller. The puck found the unprotected part of McQuaid’s knee.
Cassidy did not have an update on Spooner or McQuaid after the loss.
Knights dominate at the faceoff dot
It’s no secret the Bruins miss Patrice Bergeron. Their efforts Sunday night in the faceoff circle were evident of that. The Black and Gold won just 19 face-offs, losing 67 percent of their draws.
Jake DeBrusk (1-for-2) and Tim Schaller (4-for-7) were the only two Bruins to win at least 50 percent of their faceoffs.
Subban gets the last laugh
With Fleury out due to a concussion, the chance for Subban to show his talents was front and center. Bruins fans have seen first-hand what Subban can bring to the table. But on Sunday night, the Bruins and their fans saw a side of Subban they’ve yet to see at the NHL level.
Not only did Subban beat his former team, he also picked up his first career NHL victory. For Subban, that was more important than sticking it to his former team.
Subban was 30 seconds away from a shutout until David Pastrnak’s shot deflected off of a Knights defender and into the net. The 2012 first round pick made 21 saves in total.