TORONTO — The dagger came out of nowhere.
Just the way the Boston Bruins like it.
The Presidents’ Trophy winners sent a strong statement by taking Sunday’s sequence opener with the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, and it highlighted a Brad Marchand winner that was an emphatic reminder about what helps make the Bruins so risky.
It was excellent, in essence.
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Inside a two-next sequence, Patrice Bergeron stripped the puck from an unsuspecting Ryan McDonagh and dished it to David Pastrnak. He went cross-crease to Marchand and Boston experienced a a few-intention direct at 1:17 of the 3rd period.
The Lightning did not control a shot until just in advance of the 9-moment mark and even although Victor Hedman’s wrister as a result of website traffic deflected off Charlie McAvoy and in, the deficit proved far too substantially for Tampa to climb again from.
Hedman banked one more extended shot off McAvoy past Jaroslav Halak with 1:14 still left in regulation, but the comeback stopped there.
Two of the NHL’s prime teams hammered away at one particular an additional all night.
Tampa coach Jon Cooper leaned seriously on his bottom-six ahead group, hoping to established the tone for a most effective-of-7 that ought to be a struggle. That is part of the rugged character the crew extra after previous year’s playoff disappointment and was finished with a difficult opponent like the Bruins in intellect.
“They have a bit of a various makeup now. They contend a good deal tougher, they are a great deal a lot more bodily and certainly they have a ton of expertise,” stated Marchand. “They’re very quick, good goalie. They have almost everything. They have all the makings of a wonderful workforce.”
The Bruins and Lightning have been the NHL’s ideal around the last 3 typical seasons — sitting down 1-2 in wins and factors, with Tampa the leader in goals for every video game during that extend and Boston tops in targets from.
There were handful of surprises in Match 1 — Charlie Coyle opened the scoring with a idea in entrance in advance of David Pastrnak struck on Boston’s lethal ability engage in — and the temperature rose in direction of a boil as the teams exchanged really hard human body checks.
“We’ve played every other a ton. Most people understands every other,” said Cooper. “I feel you could pull the coaches appropriate out of this and let the gamers just go at it.”
If this collection goes the length, it will see them enjoy 7 times in 11 days.
Boston has a 1- lead heading in the direction of Video game 2 on Tuesday, but this has the makings of a common.
“It’s heading to be enjoyable. These are the series that individuals want to see and these are the series that fellas want to be element of and perform in,” said Marchand. “This is what tends to make the Cup truly worth it for the reason that you have bought to play groups like Tampa.”