BOSTON -- This is what you call a character win for the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins finally accomplished everything they've wanted to in a 60-minute effort, earning a solid 2-0 win over the surging St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night at TD Garden.
The Blues entered Tuesday's game with a 9-1-1 record in their past 11 games. The Bruins have yet to play their best hockey of the season, but the victory should give them confidence as they continue a challenging stretch of games this week.
The Bruins created pressure at both ends of the ice en route to victory. Too many times this season Boston faltered in its own end, but finally the Bruins had solid back pressure and did not allow the Blues many scoring chances. When St. Louis was able to create chances, Bruins defensemen were blocking shots and sacrificing their bodies. When the puck did get through, Rask made the timely saves.
The Bruins gained a 1-0 lead at 5:45 of the first period. Brad Marchand missed the game with an undisclosed injury, so coach Claude Julien decided to have Matt Fraser play the left side on the team's second line. Fraser created a forecheck, forcing St. Louis to reverse the puck behind its net, but it ricocheted off the end wall and out to Bergeron, who pumped in the goal past Blues goalie Brian Elliott.
Boston gained a 2-0 lead at 11:31 of the second period. The Bruins created solid puck movement, before Krug gained control of the puck along the left wall in the offensive zone. His shot from the faceoff circle made its way through traffic and beat Elliott for the two-goal advantage.
In the third, the Bruins stifled any chance for St. Louis to mount a comeback. The Blues even pulled Elliott with more than three minutes remaining in regulation to no avail.
NOT AGAIN: Early in the second period, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid blocked the puck and appeared to have injured his right hand on a shot by the Blues' Kevin Shattenkirk. Since the Blues had the Bruins hemmed in their own end, McQuaid was stuck on the ice for another minute before heading to the locker room. He did not return for the remainder of the game. Boston has already dealt with numerous injuries to its blue line this season, including Zdeno Chara (knee), Krug (finger), Kevan Miller (shoulder) and David Warsofsky (groin).
SAVE OF THE GAME: With the Bruins holding a 1-0 lead in the first period and St. Louis on its second man-advantage of the game, the Blues controlled the play when Shattenkirk unleashed a shot from the top of the slot. Rask came out to the top of the crease and made a left shoulder save to preserve the lead. It was the type of save that set the tone for Rask the rest of the night.
HE'S BACK: After missing the past four games due to an ongoing, undisclosed injury, Bruins top-line center David Krejci returned to the lineup. Overall, he has missed nine games this season with the injury, and Tuesday marked his first game since Nov. 6 against the Edmonton Oilers. Krejci was reunited with linemates Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith.
TRANSACTION: Since Miller was activated from IR prior to the game, fellow blueliner Zach Trotman was assigned to Providence of the AHL. Miller had been sidelined with a dislocated right shoulder since Oct. 18. Trotman played in nine games for the Bruins during his recall from the P-Bruins.