Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 4-0 win over the Canucks in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
A standout showing from Jacob Markstrom in net still wasn’t going to be enough to slow down a red-hot Bruins team on Tuesday.
As has been the case since the Bruins returned from the league-mandated bye week, Bruce Cassidy’s club spent most of Tuesday’s matchup against Vancouver suffocating the Canucks in their own zone — outshooting the visitors, 42-25, in what was an eventual 4-0 victory at TD Garden.
Charlie Coyle, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Karson Kuhlman all scored for the Bruins, who improve to 32-10-12 on the year and have now won four games in a row.
Something had to give in Tuesday’s matchup, with both Boston and Vancouver entering the game with matching 7-2-1 records over their last 10 contests. But 38 saves from Markstrom masked what was largely a one-sided affair, with Boston generating 14 high-danger scoring chances to Vancouver’s five.
Still, Markstrom’s strong showing kept things close for most of the first 30 minutes, with Boston only holding on to a 1-0 lead thanks to Coyle’s tally at 14:24 in the first. Marchand’s 23rd goal of the year added some much needed insurance in the middle frame, while Krejci and Kuhlman landed the final punches over the final six minutes of regulation.
Boston might have had Vancouver on the ropes, but Tuukka Rask stood tall when needed against a Canucks club with plenty of firepower — posting his third shutout of the year off of a 25-save effort.
Internal competition continuing to pay off:
The continued strong play of youngsters like Anton Blidh, Karson Kuhlman and Jeremy Lauzon has played a key role in Boston’s recent surge, allowing Cassidy to sit out underperforming regulars for a game or two in hopes of a wake-up call.
After getting scratched from Boston’s road win over the Wild on Saturday, a motivated Sean Kuraly made the most of his minutes on Tuesday against Vancouver. Shifted over to the wing on a third line with Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork, Kuraly was a wrecking ball — dishing out five hits and landing four shots on goal over 12:57 of ice time.
In total, that forward trio logged 9:01 of 5v5 ice time together — with Boston holding a 12-5 edge in shot attempts during that stretch. With Danton Heinen being the odd man out of Tuesday’s win, it will be interesting to see if the slumping winger earns another look on Wednesday night in Chicago.
Penalty Kill: The Canucks entered Tuesday’s matchup with a top-10 power play, but they struggled to generate much of anything against a red-hot Bruins PK that has now killed off 14 of the last 15 penalties it has faced. Along with Vancouver’s 0-for-3 showing on the man advantage, both Chris Wagner and Charlie Coyle managed to generate quality shorthanded scoring chances off of a pair of breakaways — both of which were turned aside by Markstrom.
Tuukka Rask: It might not have been his busiest night by any means, but Rask still halted whatever quality chance that the likes of Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, Quinn Hughes and others were able to generate — turning aside all 25 shots that came his way. Since returning from his concussion, Rask has only relinquished one goal on 63 total shots.
Charlie McAvoy: Yes, he still hasn’t scored a goal. But if McAvoy keeps playing like this, do we really care? The defenseman was assertive with the puck all night, helping to generate both of Boston’s opening tallies from Coyle and Marchand (both during 5v5 play). Even if just 33.33% of McAvoy’s faceoffs came in the offensive zone, Boston held a 13-3 edge in shots on goal during his 16:13 of 5v5 ice time Tuesday.
Coyle Line: They’ve haven’t spent all that much time together, but the Kuraly-Coyle-Bjork trio made their mark on Tuesday against the Canucks. Along with combining for four total points on the night, that line held a 70.59% shot share during 5v5 play. Dominant stuff from that grouping.
Power play: Even if Kuhlman eventually lit the lamp on the man advantage in the closing minutes of tonight’s game, Boston’s power play failed to capitalize for most of the night — closing out on the contest with a 1-for-6 showing. Some of that does fall on the play of Markstrom, who did turn aside a number of Grade-A looks.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Have to ride that Beanpot momentum for as long as possible.
PARTING THOUGHTS: Any other big news drop tonight?
The Bruins don’t have much time to rest, as the club will fly out to Chicago later tonight and take on the Blackhawks Wednesday in a back-to-back slate. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. for the primetime matchup on NBCSN.