BOSTON -- The Bruins were handed their first loss of the season on Thursday night, falling to the still-undefeated Colorado Avalanche 2-0 at the TD Garden.
Boston outshot Colorado 39-30, but Tuukka Rask only allowed one goal. The Avs' second came on a Matt Duchene empty-netter with 25.7 seconds left in the game.
Colorado took a 1-0 lead into the third period, thanks to a late first-period goal from Ryan O'Reilly on a power play.
Just 27 seconds into the 5-on-4 man advantage, and with 39.3 seconds left in the opening period, O'Reilly re-directed an Andre Benoit wrister from the left point, and the puck ended up in the top-left corner of the net as Rask was sliding in the opposite direction.
Benoit walked the blue line with the puck, and just tried to put the puck on net. O'Reilly stood in the high slot and got enough of the high shot to fool Rask and give the Avalanche a lead that they held through a scoreless second period.
In the final minute of that second period, Milan Lucic was given a 10-minute misconduct for trying to fight Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog. There was a scrum in front of the Avalanche net, and Lucic was trying to prevent David Krejci from getting into a fight, and Landeskog grabbed Lucic's face from behind, which was something that didn't go over too well.
After some shoving and grabbing from both sides, Lucic dropped his gloves, but Landeskog would not, sending both to the penalty box for roughing, and Lucic receiving the extra misconduct.
It would be the last fight of the night, as the Bruins failed to battle back on the scoresheet, dropping their first game of the season.
Talking Points by CSNNE Bruins insider Joe Haggerty:
GOLD STAR: Matt Duchene finished with a team-high nine shots generated, picked up an assist on the game-winning power play goal in the first period and beat Patrice Bergeron in a race to a loose puck in the third to score the empty net insurance marker in Colorado’s victory. Duchene was creating plays all night with his speed and skill, and played a full three-zone game for the Avalanche. Hard to believe that Colorado and Duchene were at a crossroads a couple of years ago when he still had some growing up to do, but it’s pretty clear the Avs made the right decision in keeping him. He was the best player on the ice.
BLACK EYE: Zero shots on net and a bogus embellishment call in the third period were the only things that Loui Eriksson did of a noticeable fashion on Thursday night. The skilled Swede still really looks like he’s struggling to find his place with the Bruins and his new linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. He hasn’t made much of an impact at all. It’s a long season and there will certainly be plenty of productive nights ahead for No. 21, but it’s been a very slow start for biggest piece in the Tyler Seguin-to-Dallas deal.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins got things together in the second period with 15 shots on net and seemed to shake off the doldrums from the first 20 minutes, but they couldn’t get enough sustained pressure on Jean-Sebastien Giguere. That kept the Bruins off the board through two periods and the frustration bubbled over in the final 20 plus minutes. If the Bruins had been able to get one past Giguere while firing all manner of rubber at the Colorado net, then it clearly might have gone a different route in the third period.
HONORABLE MENTION: Tuukka Rask made 28 stops, and the only shot that beat him was a tipped power-play point blast. He has allowed only a single goal in each of his three starts for this season, and is showing the Bruins that they’ll be getting stellar goaltending in the majority of their games this season. The Bruins have some things to work on at this early point in the season, but Rask clearly isn’t one of them.
BY THE NUMBERS: 8 – the number of consecutive losses by the Bruins to the Avalanche in Boston. The Bruins are 0-6-1-1 against Colorado in that stretch and haven’t beaten them in Boston since 1998 – their longest stretch of futility against any team.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “The goalie stopped us, all our good chances. We’ve got to do a better job of taking away his eyes. That’s something we did very well against Detroit. It’s something that we’re going to have to do better moving forward.” –Torey Krug on what the Bruins need to do better after being shutout for the first time in nearly two years.