The 100th year of Boston Bruins hockey rang in on a high note Wednesday night, as the B’s defeated Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1.
The night started with a ceremony to commemorate the Centennial, with appearances from several franchise greats. Orr, Bucyk, Bourque, Chara, Rask, Bergeron, Krejci and Tim Thomas were among the honored alumni during the pregame.
The current day Bruins, sporting their throwback alternate jerseys, did not parlay the ceremony into immediate momentum after puck drop.
Despite a handful of quality scoring chances early, Chicago struck first just five minutes in.
Connor Bedard picked up his own rebound in front of Linus Ullmark and beat the reigning Vezina winner to the opposite post on a wrap around. It was the first NHL goal for the young wonderkid, and his second point in two games. Taylor Hall and Ryan Donato, ironically two former Bruins, factored in the assists for Bedard.
Boston would get on the board five minutes later when Trent Frederic tipped home a point shot from Brandon Carlo. It was the first goal for the Bruins new season and also the first career point for Matthew Poitras, whose cross ice pass found Carlo in space for the shot.
The score would hold through the rest of the first, but Boston would seize control of the game.
Following Frederic’s goal, the Bruins would outshoot Chicago 14-6 through the second period, including David Pastrnak’s go ahead goal.
Boston would continue to pour on the pressure in the third but couldn’t crack Chicago goaltender Arvid Soderblom, who made several impressive saves.
Pastrnak iced the game on an empty netter with just under a minute to play and the Bruins won 3-1.
The youth movement has paid very early dividends, as Poitras, Lauko and Beecher all flashed. Poitras, pronounced Paw-Trah, drove the third line effectively and created several chances beyond his assist. Lauko and Beecher were praised for their speed and tenacity on the fourth line. Lauko drew a hooking call in the second period, after drawing eleven penalties in twenty three games last year. Beecher got on the box score with his fists, logging a fighting major in his first NHL game.
The Bruins take the ice again at home Saturday night against Nashville.
Photo: Charles Krupa / AP