Bruins handle Blackhawks, 3-0, remain perfect on season

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No, offensive wizardry has not been the Bruins’ calling card so far this season. But when you keep the puck out of the net like they have in their first six games, it’s no surprise their record is spotless thus far.

Again, the B’s got the timely goals – Pavel Zacha, Matt Poitras and Trent Frederic tallied – and Jeremy Swayman (23 saves) delivered the B’s first shutout of the season to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 at the United Center on Tuesday.

The B’s 6-0 start ties the season start by the 1937-38 squad for the franchise’s best start, sweeping their four-game road trip. They have allowed a grand total of seven goals in those six games.

It appeared the Blackhawks had taken a 1-0 advantage with 6:44 left in the first off an egregious turnover from Charlie Coyle, who threw a blind backhand pass into the slot, setting up super rookie Connor Bedard for a one-timer goal. But the B’s challenged that the Hawks were offside – a good 22 seconds before the goal – and their challenge was upheld when review showed that Andreas Athanasiou barely put himself offside with a pass at the blue line.

There was no score in the first period, which in part led to coach Jim Montgomery continue his search for the right mix in his top six He flipped 19-year-old rookie Matt Poitras up to the top line with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak and dropped Pavel Zacha down to the second line with Jake DeBrusk and Morgan Geekie.

It didn’t pay immediate dividends, but it did early in the second, helping Zacha to finally get on the board this season. Geekie won a puck below the goal line, fishing it out for DeBrusk at the right circle. He dished it up to Kevin Shattenkirk at the blue line and the defenseman picked up his first point as a Bruin after Zacha deflected home his shot past Petr Mrazek, Zacha’s first goal of the season.

The Bruins controlled much of the second, outshooting the Hawks 18-7, but they didn’t have much by way of high danger chances after the Zacha goal.

Evey time the B’s gained momentum, it seemed they would earn a power play – and that would take care of the momentum. They were 0-for-4 on the PP through the first 41 minutes of the game and looked pretty bad in the process, constantly giving away the puck so the Hawks could make easy clears.

Meanwhile, Swayman hadn’t been asked to do a lot through 40 minutes but he did get tested later in the second when Chicago broke in on an odd-man rush. Lukas Reichel had a glorious chance from just above the hash marks in the slot but Swayman gobbled it up without a rebound.

The B’s finally took full control of the game with a two goals in 56 seconds early in the third period.

After Montgomery went back to his original lines, the B’s took a 2-0 lead at 4:06 of the third on another terrific play from Poitras. The rookie had scored his first two goals of his NHL career on Sunday night in Anaheim and he got his third to extend the lead in electrifying fashion. He pounced on a loose puck at his own blue line and then outraced veteran Corey Perry and defenseman Wyatt Kaiser to create a breakaway for himself. He calmly beat Mrazek with a low wrister, giving the B’s some breathing space at long last.

Less than a minute later, Trent Frederic made it 3-0 when he cleaned up a strong rush by James van Riemsdyk for his second of the year.

*The B’s lost Jakub Lauko when he took an errant skate from Jason Dickinson to the face while he Lauko was along the ice. He left the ice bleeding badly.

*Milan Lucic (foot) missed his second consecutive game after having a shot deflect off him in Saturday’s win in Los Angeles.

*Derek Forbort (groin) returned to the lineup after missing a game. Ian Mitchell took a seat.




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