AVS STOP WINLESS SKID, DEFEAT BRUINS 4-2
Duchene scores 10th goal of season, all on road
boston» Two six-game streaks were on display Tuesday at TD Garden. The Avalanche carried a 05-1 winless skid into the game, and the Boston Bruins were trying to extend their unbeaten streak (40-2) to seven. Both ended. Colorado received unassisted goals from Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and John Mitchell in building a 3-0 lead and went on to win 4-2. What a relief it was. Mitchell’s goal was his first point of the season, and Duchene and MacKinnon were among those who didn’t practice Wednesday because of illness. MacKinnon, who scored on a short-handed breakaway at the end of his shift on the penalty kill, was bedridden in Boston since the team arrived from Nashville at 3 a.m. Wednesday.
“I was sick as a dog the last couple days,” MacKinnon said. “It’s tough to stomach anything, and it was tough to get my legs going in the first. But we’re a good team on the road.”
Former Bruin Carl Soderberg also scored for the Avs, and goalie Calvin Pickard was tremendous at times. His third-period kick save on Patrice Bergeron highlighted a 29-save effort.
Young Bruins star David Pastrnak scored his 17th and 18th goals of the season within 1:20 of the second period to get Boston to within 3-2. But Pickard shut the door the rest of the way.
“When they got that one goal in the second, it re-
ally turned into a hornet’s nest, and they fed off the energy in the building,” Pickard said. “It’s nice to come up with that save (on Bergeron) for the guys. I thought our third period was our best period defensively. We really limited their chances.”
In improving to 1-1 on this fourgame trip, the Avs are a respectable 6-6 on the road, where Duchene feels most comfortable. His team-leading 10 goals have come away from the Pepsi Center. He scored twice in Nashville on Tuesday in a 4-3 loss and opened the scoring against Boston.
“I can’t score at home, but we’re on the road,” Duchene said with a smirk. “I don’t know what it is. But it was nice to get us off on the right foot tonight. We haven’t scored the first goal many times this year.”
Pastrnak scored at 12:03 and 13:23 second period to turn the crowd of 17,565 raucous. Otherwise, the Avs were excellent.
“Pretty solid road game,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “It’s not easy to come in here and win. We found a way to score first, which was nice. … For the most part, we did a good job of getting in and out of our zone. We didn’t have any passengers tonight. Guys were playing hard, and Pick was good in net when we needed him.”
Duchene and MacKinnon struck to give the Avs an early 2-0 lead. Duchene buried a wrist shot from between the circles in a 4on-4 situation 5:30 into the game, and MacKinnon broke free on a breakaway after a Bruins turnover on their blue line.
After Mitchell wired a wrist shot past goalie Anton Khudobin 4:09 into the second period for a 3-0 lead, the 20-year-old Pastrnak took over. First, he came out of the penalty box and scored on a semibreakaway, stuffing his own rebound past Pickard. On Pastrnak’s next shift, he one-timed a big blast from between the circles for his 18th goal of the season.
Soderberg stopped the bleeding at 17:05, taking a circle-to-circle feed from Mikhail Grigorenko and punching it into the net. Boston outshot Colorado 13-6 in the second period, but the Avs still took a 4-2 lead into the third.
Nathan MacKinnon breaks away from the Bruins’ David Backes, left, and Patrice Bergeron en route to scoring a short-handed goal for the Avalanche during the first period of Thursday night’s game in Boston.
Avalanche teammates John Mitchell and Matt Duchene celebrate Thursday night in Boston after Duchene scored an unassisted goal during the first period. Maddie Meyer, Getty Images