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Krejci's 3 assists lead Bruins past Predators in season opener

The Sports Xchange
October 05. 2017 10:45PM

Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) congratulates left wing Jake DeBrusk after DeBrusk scored a goal during the second period of Thursday night's game against the Nashville Predators at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON — David Krejci matched a career high with three assists and rookies Jake DeBrusk and Charlie McAvoy both posted a goal and an assist, helping the Boston Bruins defeat the Nashville Predators 4-3 in the season-opening game for both teams on Thursday night.

David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand also scored for the Bruins, winners of six of their last seven season openers.

While DeBrusk was making his NHL debut, McAvoy was in his first regular season game after playing for Boston in the playoffs last season.

Tuukka Rask turned aside 26 shots and the Bruins. Pekka Rinne, who carried the Predators into the Stanley Cup finals, made 28 saves in the loss. Ryan Johansen had two assists for Nashville.

Pastrnak, who signed a six-year contract last month, opened the scoring off a pass from McAvoy with the Bruins playing 5-on-3 in the first period.

Viktor Arvidsson equalized for Nashville, last year’s Stanley Cup runner-up, tying the game with 10.8 seconds left in the first period on a Pastrnak giveaway.

Krejci set up both DeBrusk and McAvoy with nifty passes in the second period for a 3-1 lead heading into the third.

DeBrusk’s goal brought tears to the eyes of his dad, former NHL journeyman Louie DeBrusk, a broadcaster who flew in from Edmonton with his family for the game and was shown on the big screen cheering the goal.

Marchand hit the empty net from his own end for a short-handed goal with 2:53 left in the game to put Boston ahead 4-1.

Scott Hartnell answered with the Predators skating 6-on-3 with 1:48 left to make it a 4-2 game. Then, still on the power play, Filip Forsberg scored from a bad angle with 34.9 seconds remaining to close the gap to 4-3.

The Bruins, already missing several players, lost Noah Acciari to an upper-body injury in the second period.

NOTES: The Bruins announced C/RW David Backes will miss at least the first 3-4 weeks of the season with diverticulitis and is being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks, according to a release handed out by the club. ... Boston was also missing C Patrice Bergeron (lower body), D Torey Krug (jaw) and C Austin Czarnik (illness). ... C Nick Bonino, who signed a four-year free agent contract, made his Predators debut after missing the preseason continuing his rehab of a broken leg, but Nashville will be without D Ryan Ellis (knee) for 4-6 months. ... The Bruins sent D Emil Johansson to the minors.