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  • What we learned: Bruins pile on the goals in rout over Avalanche

    Ryan Ames February 21, 2022

    In their final game at TD Garden in the month of February, the Boston Bruins went out with a bang with a 5-1 rout over the league-leading Colorado Avalanche.

    The Bruins scored on three of their five strikes in the second period to hand Colorado its 10th regulation loss of the season.

    David Pastrnak crept closer to 30 goals with a pair of tallies to bring his season total up to 27, while Taylor Hall finished with three assists as Boston’s best offensive duo. Patrice Bergeron, Jake Debrusk and Charlie Coyle also each notched goals.

    “I’m not going to take [away anything] other than it was a really good hockey game for us,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Our top guys outplayed their top guys, goaltending was solid, I think our [defense] were engaged in the game and we played as a group of five.”

    The Bruins outshot Colorado 20-9 in the opening 20 minutes. Pastrnak fired a slick short-side snap shot past Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper on a puck centered by Charlie McAvoy to highlight Boston’s strong first period.

    Bergeron doubled the Bruins’ lead in the middle frame after following up on his own rebound for his 13th goal of the year.

    Nathan Mackinnon’s power play marker cut Boston’s lead to 2-1. But Pastrnak struck again less than two minutes later on a slap shot from the far faceoff dot to reclaim the Bruins’ two-goal advantage.

    A failed Colorado clear set Debrusk up for his ninth goal of the season in the second before a third-period power-play goal from Coyle put the nail in the Avs’ coffin.


    In his second consecutive start in net, Jeremy Swayman stopped 28-of-29 for his 11th victory of the season.

    Here’s what we learned following the Bruins’ scoring parade on President’s Day.

    Bruins turn in year’s best 60-minute effort

    Against the top team in the league, anything less than your best effort won’t get the job done. However, the Bruins took it to the Avalanche from start to finish in their most complete performance of the 2021-22 campaign.

    “I think it was the best game this year,” Pastrnak said. “We’ve been talking about playing a full game, 60 minutes and we just stayed in the moment and we were energized. It was a great win for us and a big two points.”

    Although the shot totals don’t tell the whole story, Boston wound up with a 45-29 SOG advantage, which was quite indicative of the game’s flow.

    Save for Colorado’s goal on the man advantage; the visitors hardly generated quality scoring chances thanks to Boston’s sturdy defense.

    “They’ve been great the last 10-15 games,” Swayman said of Boston’s defensemen. “I’ve been super happy with them in front of me, especially today. It’s been an upward trend of good communication, boxing out, doing their job. I got all the trust in the world with them.”

    Swayman stones Avalanche in ‘dream’ game

    While the young Bruins goalie will obviously take the victory, Monday afternoon’s game meant a bit more to the Anchorage, Alaska native.

    “It was pretty special,” Swayman said. “I had a year in Colorado, my U-18 year. So it was kind of a dream to play against the Avs one day and definitely beat them.”

    Swayman starred for the Pikes Peak Miners out of Colorado Springs and said a handful of former players and coaches reached out to him ahead of the President’s Day matinee.

    Linus Ullmark got the start in Colorado during the Bruins’ 4-3 overtime loss on Jan. 26, but Swayman has separated himself a bit with his recent hot stretch.

    Over his last five games, the former Maine Black Bear is 3-1-1, with a pair of wins against the Ottawa Senators to go along with Monday’s victory.

    Boston held its own without Brad Marchand

    The Bruins earned seven out of a possible 12 points with Marchand out of the lineup.

    Marchand’s six-game suspension expired following the matchup against the Avalanche. And while the B’s certainly left some points on the table, seven points without one of the top players in the league is quite a solid accomplishment.

    “I tried not to look at it that way other than, who’s going to get some extra minutes and who can take advantage of that and do right for the team,” Cassidy said. “Taylor Hall has the ability to do some of those things, especially the playmaking part. He’s made a lot of nice plays with those extra minutes.”

    Hall accumulated a three-game point streak with five points over that stretch.

    Barring any unusual developments, Marchand will return on Thursday when the Bruins begin their six-game road trip in Seattle.

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