For the second straight night, the Bruins scored first despite being outshot in the opening period.
They killed three penalties and Jaroslav Halak came up with 15 saves in the first 20 minutes of his second start in as many nights, helping the B’s rout Vegas, 4-1.
Halak made 37 stops and fought off four Vegas power plays as the Bruins beat the Golden Knights for the second time since they opened for business last season. He finished the weekend with 77 saves on 79 shots.
“We’ve seen it from Day 1,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I couldn’t sit here and tell you he would lead the league in save percentage or goals against, or be first or second. We knew he’d be solid. He’s certainly exceeded expectations, and it’s what’s required now.”
The victory also snapped the B’s win-one-lose-one streak for the previous seven games. They improved to 7-2-0 on Garden ice.
Secondary scoring, which has been an issue the past couple of weeks, started to break through Saturday in a 5-1 rout of Toronto and was in full force last night. Three of the Bruins lines contributed points, including the young third unit, which continued to show flashes and started the momentum in the first period.
Anders Bjork dished a pass across the crease to Danton Heinen, who netted his second goal in three games and first 5-on-5 tally of the season for a 1-0 lead just under three minutes into the game.
“It was a good goal, they did it the right way,” Cassidy said. “It started in the D-zone, and they played it well. They won a puck, they got it behind their D, won a foot race and got it to the net. It wasn’t lucky, it wasn’t a fluke, it was the right way to do things, and they got rewarded for it.”
After killing off three consecutive penalties, the Bruins struck again. Jeremy Lauzon took advantage of an out-of-position Malcolm Subban in the Vegas crease for his first career NHL goal. John Moore sent a long pass down ice that ricocheted off the end boards and right onto the stick of a charging Lauzon.
“I saw an opening on the rush so I took it,” Lauzon said. “(Sean) Kuraly had a lot of speed too. He just chipped it, and I saw it was going to beat the two defensemen, so I kept going straight and got a good bounce right on my stick.”
Kuraly notched his first assist since Oct. 13.
With less than a minute gone in the second, Brad Marchand the puck in for a 3-0 lead. David Pastrnak’s initial shot moments after a 5-on-3 expired was blocked and was knocked over to Patrice Bergeron before Marchand banked it in.
Pastrnak found the net with 3:52 to go in the third on a 5-on-3 for his fourth goal of the weekend. The Knights were called for two trips within seconds of each other, resulting in two full minutes on the two-man advantage. He took a feed from Torey Krug and buried it along the goal line.
Halak continued to make saves against whatever the Golden Knights threw his way. Like the Bruins, Vegas was on the second leg of a back-to-back after falling in overtime to Montreal the night before.
A night after Cassidy took issue with the way officials tossed Bergeron from the faceoff dot often, the B’s dominated from the circle with a 56.7 percentage, and at one point leading in that department 28-9.
After earning six out of a possible eight points in four games at home, the Bruins head out west for a four-game road trip and six contests away from the Garden ice out of their next seven, starting with the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Wednesday night.