Pastrnak has a goal and 3 assists, the Bruins beat the Capitals 5-2

Washington Capitals left winger Conor Sheary (73) celebrates his goal during the second period of the NHL team's hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Washington Capitals left winger Conor Sheary (73) celebrates his goal during the second period of the NHL team’s hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

PA

David Pastrnak had a goal and three assists, captain Patrice Bergeron scored, and the Boston Bruins beat the Washington Capitals 5-2 on Wednesday night in the first game of the season for both teams.

Pastrnak assisted Bergeron’s power-play goal with the opening shot that turned into a juicy rebound and set up Taylor Hall with a perfect pass in the middle of the ice to give Boston a 3-0 lead. Washington scored twice before Pastrnak fired the shot that turned into a David Krejci sealed goal with 3:43 remaining.

Krejci also had two assists on his return to the NHL after playing last season in his native Czech Republic and competing in the Olympics. His return to North America coincided with Bergeron’s return for a 19th season, which he got off to a good start by scoring his 401st career goal.

Jim Montgomery won his Bruins coaching debut, his first game behind the bench as NHL head coach since Dec. 7, 2019, with the Dallas Stars, who fired him for unprofessional conduct. He sought and received help for alcohol abuse, spent time as an assistant in St. Louis, and got another chance with Boston.

Montgomery inherited the job from Bruce Cassidy, knowing he would be hurt without winger Brad Marchand and No. 1 defenseman Charlie McAvoy for an extended stretch early in the season. After his team’s morning practice, Montgomery said he wanted the Bruins to “show what we have, not what we don’t have, to start the season.”

Mission accomplished in Game 1 of 82, at least. Linus Ullmark, who is expected to rotate starts with Jeremy Swayman in the Boston net, made 33 saves, including a blowout grab with his glove to rob Evgeny Kuznetsov early in the third period.

Darcy Kuemper struggled a little on his Capitals debut less than three months after supporting the Colorado Avalanche to the Stanley Cup. Kuemper allowed four goals on 29 shots, giving up a big rebound to Bergeron and getting beaten five holes down the ice by Pastrnak, Boston’s top winger who is in a contract year and already on pace for a big day of pay.

Anthony Mantha and Conor Sheary scored for Washington, which went 0 for 4 on the power play. Captain Alex Ovechkin, the active scoring leader in the opening games of the season, had three shots on goal but was held off the scoresheet.

NOTES: Hampus Lindholm scored an empty net with 1:05 to go. … Czech forward Jakub Lauko made his NHL debut with the Bruins wearing number 94. It’s the highest number a player has worn in nearly 100 years of franchise history Original Six. … Boston signed veteran defenseman Anton Stralman to a $1 million deal for the season. The 36-year-old Swede, who got a job after attending training camp on a professional trial, will be eligible to play when his work visa is settled.

NEXT

Bruins: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night in their home opener.

Capitals: Visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night in the second half of a straight streak for each team.

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Follow AP Hockey writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

This story was originally published October 12, 2022 8:41 p.m.

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