3 lessons from Bruins shootout win against Islanders

3 lessons from Bruins shootout win against Islanders

Boston’s first game back from a Western Conference road trip helped it improve to 23-4-1.

After three games in Colorado, Arizona, and Vegas, the Bruins headed home. Jim Montgomery’s club didn’t suffer from the post-West Coast swing blues.

Tuesday’s shootout victory wasn’t ideal. Jake DeBrusk scored twice 19 seconds apart in the Bruins’ season opener against the Islanders. They struggled with turnovers, defensive zone coverage, and transition compared to past games.

DeBrusk’s two goals and Forbort’s shorthanded goal helped the Bruins. The Islanders rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to win.

Linus Ullmark stopped 23 Isles shots and improved to 17-1. Varlamov made 30 saves, including a late one-timer from Pastrnak.

Charlie Coyle’s first-round shootout effort failed. Mat Barzal gave the Isles the lead. DeBrusk and Pastrnak scored and Ullmark stopped Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey to seal the win.

After 28 games, the Bruins are 23-4-1.

Bruins beat’mountain time’

Every NHL team east of the Mississippi will need time to readjust after a multi-game journey west. After a few mountain and pacific time zone puck drops, lulls are common.

After Sunday’s 3-1 triumph in Vegas, the Bruins didn’t have a day off. Montgomery and his coaching staff had one gameday skate to prepare for the Islanders’ trapping. Boston’s veteran-laden team won despite some cobwebs.

Montgomery: “Our body were on mountain time.” “It’s amazing. It was a brave effort by the players to beat a good hockey squad.

The Bruins needed Ullmark’s help. The Swede won his second straight game.

“We didn’t want this game. There was travel tiredness, DeBrusk added. “We had no reason to win. Acknowledge the Islanders. They played consistently well and fought back. Linus also deserves praise. He kept us competitive.

Ullmark’s Vezina-like season continues.

Given their start, several Bruins will be in early-season MVP debates. Ullmark has only one fault in 18 games and is a leading candidate for the league’s top goaltender award.

The former Sabre ranks high in every goalie category. Not just the numbers are striking.

Again, Ullmark played with calm. The Bruins’ defence struggled early on.

Ullmark withstood quality shots, including Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s breakaway in overtime. He kept his team alive Tuesday.

“That’s what excellent goalies do,” Montgomery said of Ullmark. “We could have been down 3-0 before scoring” He does it year-round.”

Ullmark’s back. DeBrusk, Forbort, and Pavel Zacha helped the Bruins’ goalie.

Forbort adds offence.

After Forbort recovered from an upper-body injury, Boston’s penalty kill improved. The veteran defender helped the Bruins kill all three Islander power plays.

Forbort’s defensive skills are impressive, but he also scores. He provided a vital moment during a 2-2 second-period penalty kill.

Forbort got into the attacking zone during a DeBrusk-Zacha cycle and beat Varlamov with a smooth wrist shot.

DeBrusk said Forbort’s shorthanded goal was “shelved.” “He had baby sauce and delicacy. I loved seeing that go in. Snipe. I’m amazed. It was great.”

Montgomery’s backend scorers are Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, and Hampus Lindholm. First-year bench boss allows stay-at-home defensemen to complement assault.

After DeBrusk’s first goal, Forbort drove to the net against Josh Bailey for a possible tip. Forbort’s aggression led to DeBrusk’s second goal in 19 seconds off Bailey’s stick.

“He doesn’t like stagnation. Forbort noted Montgomery’s method encourages players to keep pucks alive and be offensive.

“I believe everyone is getting more comfortable that everyone should be helping us produce offence,” Montgomery said.

Forbort won’t see power-play time soon. They don’t expect him to change his defensive role.

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