Giguere, Avs blank Bruins
BOSTON — Veteran goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, in his first start of the season, made 39 saves and the undefeated Colorado Avalanche earned a 2-0 decision over the previously undefeated Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
Ryan O'Reilly's first-period, power-play goal on a deflection was all Giguere needed as he posted his 37th career shutout, his first for new coach Patrick Roy.
Matt Duchene scored into an empty net with 25.7 seconds left to seal the victory for the Avalanche (4-0-0).
Giguere watched Semyon Varlamov give up just one goal in each of Colorado's first three wins before getting his shot Thursday and dropping the Bruins to 2-1-0 (all home game).
The victory continued Colorado's best season start since the franchise moved from Quebec City to Denver in 1995. The 4-0-0 mark matches the third-best start in Nordiques/Avalanche history.
The win also extended the Avalanche's TD Garden unbeaten streak to eight games (seven wins and a tie) dating back to their last loss in Boston in 1998.
Heading into the game, Giguere, who backstopped the Anaheim Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup, said, "I'm looking forward to it. At the end of the day, you want to play some games — try to get in the groove and try to help the team. It's a good place. Boston's a great building, it's a good team to play against. It should be a good battle."
And it was. The game featured a playoff-like style that included plenty of hitting and nastiness.
David Krejci was off for hooking when Andre Benoit sent a shot toward the net and a screened Rask. The puck deflected off O'Reilly in the high slot with 39.3 seconds left in the first period, and O'Reilly was credited with his second goal of the young season.
Duchene also scored his second.
Giguere did his best work in the second period, when the Bruins had 15 shots and both Krejci and Patrice Bergeron were robbed from directly in front.
Rask, who also allowed one goal in each of his team's first two games, also played well, stopping 28 shots in a losing effort. He got a break in the final minute when the Avalanche hit both posts during a flurry.
NOTES: Roy was 32-19-5 during the regular season against the Bruins while playing for the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado. ... Thursday night's game was played on the second anniversary of the last time the teams faced each other. ... The Bruins visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, the same day the Avalanche play the Capitals in Washington. ... Bruins LW Carl Soderberg, yet to play this season because of an ankle injury, joined the team for the first time at Thursday's morning skate. "I think it's a start," coach Claude Julien said. "It was good to see him out there and doing at least some line rushes and stuff like that. So he's progressing well but obviously not ready to play." ... The previous best starts in the history of the Nordiques/Avs franchise (in order of most wins): 7-0 in 1985-86, 5-0 in '94-95, 4-0 in '92-93 and 3-0 in '87-88. ... In the building were Hall of Famers Roy, Cam Neely, Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque and Johnny Bucyk.