The Boston Bruins defeated the Nashville Predators 3-2 thanks to two goals from James van Riemsdyk at TD Garden on Saturday, including the decisive goal.
At 2:52 in the third period, Van Riemsdyk scored on the power play by deflecting Charlie McAvoy’s point shot to give the Bruins a 3-2 advantage.
“It’s a big part of my role. My job here is to be effective there [on the power play],” said van Riemsdyk, who scored his first two goals with Boston after signing as a free agent on July 1. “There’s some great players out there, so that makes it a lot of fun. Those guys obviously make a ton of great plays, and it’s my job to be around the net and capitalize when it’s my time to do that.”
Boston (2-0-0) was led by a goal and an assist from David Pastrnak, who also made 33 saves.
“Faced a lot of adversity tonight within the game,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “It was a different type of game than Game 1 [against the Chicago Blackhawks], and we found a way to win.”
For Nashville (1-2-0), Colton Sissons scored twice, while Juuse Saros made 28 stops.
The teams committed a total of 11 penalties, with the Bruins scoring on the penalty shot and going 2-for-5 on the power play while the Predators were 0-for-6 with 13 shots on goal.
“It was a little bit of a struggle,” Nashville coach Andrew Brunette said. “I’m not sure we were overly sharp early. I thought we were a little slow all over the power play, so it wasn’t crisp, wasn’t clean.”
At 3:29 in the first period, Nashville took the lead thanks to Sissons. Sissons was caught on the rush by Kiefer Sherwood inside the right face-off circle.
At 14:48 of the first period, Van Riemsdyk scored on the man advantage to equalize the score at one apiece by deflecting the puck off Nashville defenseman Dante Fabbro and past Saros from behind the net.
Derek Forbort, a defenseman with the Boston Bruins, spent 6:10 on the penalty kill and even pushed a puck away from the goal line in the second period after it slipped behind Swayman.
At 14:46 in the second period, Pastrnak scored on the penalty shot to put the Bruins ahead 2-1. On a breakaway, he moved into the neutral zone without being stopped by Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier.
He slid in, dragged the puck behind him, and blasted it high glove-side to beat Saros.
Roman Josi’s shot from the point was tipped in by Sissons at 16:54 after a delayed penalty knotted the score 2-2. In his last two games, Sissons has scored three goals.
“I think there’s a lot of good to take out of the game,” Sissons said. “[At] 5-on-5, we definitely had some spurts playing really good hockey, and generating chances and playing fast. There’s a lot of good to take, and a lot of stuff to learn from as well. We definitely got to watch the video and keep getting better here.”