BOSTON (AM) – Brad Marchand scored twice, Jake DeBrusque broke the tie early in the third period and the Boston Bruins opened the season with a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
Marchand scored a penalty in the first period and added an empty net with 1:37 to go. Nick Foligno, Eric Howla and David Pastrnak all provided assists, while Jeremy Swayman stopped 27 shots for the Bruins, who never fell behind.
Luke Glendening scored a goal for Dallas and Braden Holtby kept the Stars close to 37 saves. Boston made the first nine shots of the game and finished 40-28, keeping the Stars close despite the many shots ahead.
In the third period, Debrusch boosted Boston 2-1, scoring 4:43, intercepting the puck in front of the crease after Nick Foligno lost control and pushed it past Holtby.
Dallas were unable to score a goal until 4:02 pm before the first, when Swayman easily parried a Jamie Benn wrist hit and kept scoreless. Less than two minutes later, Marchand bumped into a pass just outside the Dallas area and ran into Holtby for a penalty when Ryan Suter grabbed his stick.
Marchand collected the puck in the center of the ice and headed towards Holtby at full speed, beating him with a low-wrist kick from the side of the stick, going forward 1-0. There was some question about whether Pastrnak had time to clear the area before Marchand returned the puck, but the call remained unchanged, as did Boston’s 1-0 lead.
The Bruins nearly scored another goal shortly after winning the throw-in, but Holtby widened his right court enough to block any rebounds in front of goal.
Glendening evened the score with a 9:15 shot from the wrist in the second period. Dallas responded with a stronger second period, still making just seven shots, but leaving Boston just 11.
Swayman stopped Glendening on a short break from 7:20 to the end of the second. Even though Dallas showed a little more life offensively in the second, Swayman was solid with very few rebounds.
The Bruins kicked off the season with Swayman in goal as Tuukka Rusk remains unsigned and is recovering from July’s right hip surgery. An unlimited free agent who has played all 14 NHL seasons for Boston, Rusk said he would like to re-sign with the Bruins and hopes to be healthy enough to play during the holidays.
Swayman made his NHL debut in April and played 7-3 last season with two private games.
Boston also opens the season without striker David Krejci, who spent 15 seasons for the club before returning to play in his home country, the Czech Republic.
NOTES: Dallas spent almost the first 16 minutes without a shot on goal. … Ahead of Marchand’s first goal, the loudest applause of the first period sounded as the video monitor over the central ice switched to highlights of the AL Championship Series in Houston, where the Red Sox beat Grand Slam tournaments in each of two innings 9-5 to victory in series 1-1 … Dallas Rupe Hinz was helped into the locker room after being cut in the face while lying on the ice in front of him at the end of the first period. Hinz returned from the Stars on the bench early in the second.
Stars: Visit Ottawa on Sunday.
Bruins: In Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
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