BOSTON — The Vegas Golden Knights made the return of former Boston coach Bruce Cassidy a success when Reilly Smith scored in the fifth round of the shootout to beat the Bruins 4-3 and end their NHL record for home wins, to open a 14-game season Monday night.
Cassidy, 57, was fired from Boston after 5½ seasons in June after the Bruins were eliminated by Carolina in the opening round of the playoffs. Eight days after his release, Vegas hired him.
In a duel between two of the league’s top three teams, Western Conference leaders Vegas took a 3-0 lead early in the second half, scoring two goals from Paul Cotter and the other from Jonathan Marchessault. It was the first time the Bruins had conceded three goals in a game this season.
But the Bruins started their comeback when Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak scored just over six minutes apart late in the third. They equalized with Taylor Hall’s power play goal 3:08 into the third when he spun forward and slotted a shot from the slot past goaltender Logan Thompson.
Smith scored the only hit in the shootout when he shoved a forehand shot past Jeremy Swayman.
It was Vegas’ 14th away win of the season, tied with the Dallas Stars for most in the West.
Cassidy took over as interim coach from Boston on February 7, 2016, before taking the top job in April. His teams made the playoffs all six seasons, including a trip to the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals when they lost their seventh home game to St. Louis.
The Bruins played a video montage of Cassidy on the jumbotron late in the opening period, which ended with a picture of him saying, “Welcome back Bruce.” The crowd gave him an ovation and he waved their thanks.
The Bruins’ home opening streak broke the record of 11 set by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1963-64 and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.
Before the shootout, Thompson made 40 saves. Boston’s backup netminder Swayman had 21.
Cotter collected William Karlsson’s pass in the left circle and unloaded a wrister under the bar 1:36 into play. Marchessault stole Pastrnak’s attempted clearance pass, breaking in alone and converting his own rebound to make it 2-0.
Cotter’s second goal came 51 seconds into the second half when he slid a wrister past Swayman’s glove.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/35192898/golden-knights-shootout-win-ends-bruins-home-win-streak-14 Golden Knights’ shootout win ends Bruins’ home win streak at 14