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Jake DeBrusk gets some payback in Bruins 3-1 win in Vegas


Jake DeBrusk had his chances to stick it to his old coach Bruce Cassidy when the Vegas Golden Knights handed the Bruins a shootout loss at the Garden a week ago.

The B’s winger would not let his second opportunity slip through his fingers.

DeBrusk, who famously butted heads with the B’s former coach to the point that he requested a trade, scored the B’s go-ahead goal early in the third period and it held up as the game-winner in their 3-1 victory over the Knights in Vegas. And, oh, DeBrusk doled out a half-dozen hits for good measure.

The Bruins took their first lead of the two-game season series at 2:10 of the third period on a beautiful play. Taylor Hall nudged the puck into the offensive zone for Pavel Zacha. The centerman took it deep before making a sweet saucer pass to DeBrusk, who lifted it over goalie Logan Thompson, setting off one of DeBrusk’s patented arm-pumping celebrations.

Brad Marchand had a chance to put the B’s up by two when David Pastrnak sprung him for a breakaway, but Thompson came up with a twisting pad save.

The B’s had to sweat out a Vegas power play and then they did finally push it to 3-1 at 9:05. On a grinding, puck possession shift, Charlie Coyle fired a long-distance shot that found its way through Trent Frederic and Nick Foligno screens past Thompson.

Cassidy pulled Thompson with a couple minutes left but couldn’t get any closer.

The B’s were playing without David Krejci, who was termed day-to-day with a lower body injury, but Vegas was not shedding any tears for them. The Knights were missing defensemen Alex Pietrangelo (personal) and Shea Theodore (lower body) and, in a late scratch, center Jack Eichel (lower body) was back on the shelf.

And as they did in Boston last week, the Knights started fast. In what has become a troubling trend, the B’s allowed the first goal of the game early in the contest.

Trent Frederic got into a minor beef in front of the Vegas net after the whistle and A.J. Greer, scratched the previous two games, decided to jump in. He grabbed Ben Hutton’s facemask and, though it appeared Hutton had a hold of Greer’s as well, the Bruin was the only player to go to the penalty box.

At 4:03, Mark Stone made the B’s pay. Stone took a feed from Chandler Stephenson at the side of the net, made a spin move to his forehand and tucked it around Linus Ullmark for the 1-0 lead.

The B’s held a 6-5 shot advantage in the first, the best one being a Taylor Hall one-timer from the slot that Thompson turned away.

The B’s started the second period with 1:30 of power-play time, and they probably should have had a two-man advantage after Zac Whitecloud clothes-lined Marchand at the horn but the refs decided to let it go.

The B’s best chance on the advantage was a one-timer from Patrice Bergeron on which Thompson made a nice pad save. And toward the end of the PP, the Knights’ wounded list grew after Hall landed on Whitecloud’s ankle. The D-man needed to be helped off the ice and the B’s kept up the pressure until they evened it up.

Bergeron, who’d been firing away in the early stages of the second, snapped an eight-game goal-less skid when he took a David Pastrnak feed and snapped it past Thompson at 3:54.

It was all Bruins for a while until they got another power play and Vegas shifted the momentum with shorthanded chances. When Hutton left the box, he was sent in for a breakaway, but Ullmark turned his chance away, as he did with a clean break-in by William Carrier.

The B’s had to survive a late Vegas power play to get to the second intermission still deadlocked at 1-1.


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