The day began with the Bruins rolling out the red carpet as the 2005-06 Bruins were introduced to their fans. The opening ceremonies featured some of the great legends of the game, with Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt dropping the ceremonial first puck. The rest of the night would lack the storybook ending for the Bruins though.
After some early tentative play from both teams, Montreal’s Jan Bulis opened the scoring with an even strength goal at 10:50 of the first period. Patrice Bergeron
continued right were he left off in the pre-season, opening the Bruins scoring for the 2005-06 season with a goal at 17:44 to knot the score at 1.
Boston carried the play in the second period, out shooting Montreal 12 to 3 with several scoring opportunities, but goaltender Jose Theodore was up to the task. Theodore continued to close the door on the Bruins, on his way to a 29 save performance.
At times, Andrew Raycroft failed to see any action, but remained focused. He kept the Bruins in the game after making a key stop on Mike Riebeiro late in the period. The teams went into the locker room tied at 1 after two periods.
For the majority of the game, Boston dictated the five-on-five play. However, it was their missed opportunities that kept Montreal in the game. The Bruins failed to convert on the power play, going 0 for 7 on the night, including a key four-minute stretch to start the third.
Tom Fitzgerald was called for a hooking penalty in the final minute and Montreal made sure that the first game would not go into overtime. Michael Ryder pounced on a Saku Koivu rebound with 12 seconds left to play, lifting Montreal to a 2-1 victory over the Bruins on opening night.
“We didn’t execute on the power play and that was the difference in the hockey game,” said Coach Mike Sullivan. “We had six or eight minutes on the power play in the first part of the third period and we just didn’t get it done. It’s a small margin; there’s a fine line between winning and losing and tonight the difference was the power play.”
The Bruins make their annual road trip to begin the season while the circus takes over the TD Banknorth Garden. The Bruins will play six games away from home, at Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Florida, Ottawa, and Montreal before returning home on October 20 to face the Buffalo Sabres.Alberts makes his NHL debut
If there is one thing the Bruins aren’t short of, it’s young, talented defensemen in the system. Andrew Alberts, who played four years at Boston College, is one of those defensemen. Tonight, Andrew made his NHL debut and was glad to have the game under his belt.
“It was good. The nerves were running out there in the first period. I’m sure you could tell by my first shift,” said Alberts. “After that, I settled in. I didn’t see as much ice as I’d like, but that’s how it goes with the power plays and the guys that we have in the lineup here. Slowly I felt my way back in and in the second and third periods, I felt pretty good about it.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time and taking it all in,” continued the 24-year old Alberts. “Everything is kind of new to me so I just sit back and listen to the older guys, see what happens and just go from there.”