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Boston at Colorado

Krejci scores Bruins' winner in back-and-forth game against Avalanche

CBSSports.com wire reports

DENVER -- The Boston Bruins made Patrice Bergeron's return memorable.

Not so for Tony Granato.

Bergeron, out for nearly a year with a serious concussion, had an assist and David Krejci scored the game-winner with 2:36 remaining, lifting the Bruins to a 5-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday in the season opener for both teams.

"I couldn't wait for this day," Bergeron said.

Bergeron missed all but 10 games last season after he was driven face-first into the end boards by Philadelphia defenseman Randy Jones. He had to watch the Bruins' march to the playoffs from the sideline, anxiously awaiting his chance to return.

"I looked forward to this like nothing else," he said.

Granato's debut in his second stint in charge of the Avalanche didn't go as he envisioned. The goalie he has backed, Peter Budaj, gave up five goals, and his promise of an uptempo brand of hockey was marred by passes that just missed their mark.

"We did skate well, we did create enough offensively, but there are areas we can improve," Granato said.

Blake Wheeler provided a spark for the Bruins in his first NHL game, scoring a goal in the first period.

"It was a dream come true and you couldn't write it any better," the rookie said.

Tim Thomas stopped 35 shots, including a late flurry in the last 10 seconds. He even caught sight of Joe Sakic in the scrum, causing even more trepidation.

"I know from watching him over the years that he can go anywhere from five-hole to off the crossbar," Thomas said. "I was trying to be ready for anything."

That was Krejci's approach as well on his game-winning goal. He was simply standing to the left of Budaj when it bounced his way.

"I just put the puck on net and hoped it went in. It did," Krejci said. "It feels good."

After the game, the Avalanche were bemoaning their unfortunate breaks.

"Weird bounces tonight," said Milan Hejduk, who had a goal and an assist, giving him 600 points for his career. "Off the shin pads and every freaking rebound went to them. A little frustrating game."

Sakic had an assist on Cody McLeod's goal in the second period, giving him 1,007 in his career. He's now 26 shy of tying Mario Lemieux for 10th place on the NHL's all-time assists list.

Still, he would've liked to have buried the puck late in the game.

"A lot of shots and no goal," said Sakic, who now has 60 points in 60 career games against Boston. "Thomas was pretty good for them."

So was Bergeron.

"When you step on the ice you want to contribute," he said. "I don't care if it's offensively or defensivley. I thought I did that the whole game."


  • Colorado D Adam Foote played in his 999th career game Thursday night.
  • Before the opening faceoff, Brian Leetch, Mike Richter, Brett Hull and Cammi Granato were honored with a video tribute and an ovation from the capacity crowd. The group will be inducted into the 2008 class of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Friday night in Denver.
  • A Bruins slapshot broke the glass behind the Avalanche's goal with 2:47 remaining in the second period, and the officials had the teams take an early intermission as a cleanup crew switched it out. The Bruins and Avalanche finished up the second period and then promptly started the final 20 minutes.
  • Marc Savard finished with a goal and an assist.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Blake Wheeler gets props from teammates after scoring his first goal in his first NHL game. (AP)
Blake Wheeler gets props from teammates after scoring his first goal in his first NHL game. (AP)
Boston  (1-0-0) «2125
Colorado (0-1-0)2114
Three Stars
D. Krejci

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Hejduk

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Savard

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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06:21Phil Kessel (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bergeron, Ference
10:02Power Play - Milan Hejduk (1), Snap Shot. Assist: Stastny, Liles
10:51Blake Wheeler (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Krejci, Kobasew
14:52Wojtek Wolski (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Svatos, Tucker
06:34Cody McLeod (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Sakic, Liles
10:43Power Play - Marc Savard (1), Tip-In. Assist: Chara, Bergeron
05:36Michael Ryder (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Savard, Axelsson
10:17Jordan Leopold (1), Snap Shot. Assist: Hejduk, Salei
17:24David Krejci (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kobasew, Lucic
Penalty Summary
09:17Chara, 2 min, Boarding
12:41Ference, 2 min, Hooking
12:45Ward, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
31.0Clark, 2 min, Hooking
10:35Stastny, 2 min, Hooking
19:35Wheeler, 2 min, Holding
18:19Bergeron, 2 min, Tripping
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Ana 1 Final
SJ 4
Cal 0 Final
Van 6
Tor 3 Final
Det 2