DENVER – The Boston Bruins took advantage of bounces and breakdowns to turn this game into a blowout.
Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand each scored twice, Tim Thomas stopped 32 shots and the Bruins scored two goals that went in off skates of Colorado defencemen in a 6-2 win over the Avalanche on Saturday.
That’s the way the afternoon went for the Bruins, who won for the third time in four games.
“You saw what happens when you have a strong work ethic. The bounces go your way,” Mark Recchi said.
The Bruins were in such an offensive rhythm that even their intended passes were deflecting into the net. John-Michael Liles had a puck go in off his left skate and Ryan O’Byrne had another carom in off his right skate.
And that’s the way the day went for Colorado.
“We made some mistakes,” Liles said. “That is too good of a lineup to make mistakes. That is a team with tremendous players.”
The Bruins spread around the scoring wealth as eight different players picked up at least a point. Marchand led the charge with a career-high four points, while Patrice Bergeron and Recchi each added a goal and two assists for the Northeast Division leaders.
“A lot of good things came out of this game. We had great puck movement and we came at them with a lot of speed,” said Lucic, who leads Boston with 19 goals. “We weren’t trying to be too fancy. … This was our best skating game in a while.”
The skates simply got in the way for the Avalanche. Not only did two carom in, but defensive breakdowns led to two more in a pivotal second period that turned a tight game into a rout.
“The first five or six minutes we played great,” Paul Stastny said. “After that we got beat twice on two-on-one breaks. You can’t allow too many two-on-ones against a team like that and expect to win. Not against a team like Boston.”
Before the game, Peter Forsberg skated on the Pepsi Center ice to help him decide whether he wants to make a comeback.
The former NHL MVP said he wants to return if his chronically injured right foot can handle the grind. The 37-year-old will skate with the Avs in practice next week before making a decision.
“It’s definitely good to see him be back. He is going to play hockey again,” Milan Hejduk said, sounding quite confident about Forsberg’s return.
The Avs sure could’ve used the Swedish star’s deft touch Saturday, especially since Tomas Fleischmann, one of the team’s top scorers, is out for the season because of blood clots in his lungs.
Stastny and Kevin Shattenkirk scored for the Avalanche, who entered the game as the fourth-highest scoring team only to be held in check by Thomas.
“It was all about momentum,” O’Byrne said. “I thought they had momentum.”
Colorado pulled goaltender Craig Anderson before the start of the third period after he surrendered four goals on 28 shots. Peter Budaj stepped in and stopped 10 shots the rest of the way, allowing just the goal that was credited to Bergeron after it went in off of Liles’ skate.
“You can’t worry about that,” Liles said. “You worry about what you can control.”
The Avs took the early lead when Stastny scored the 100th goal of his career two minutes into the game. He became the eighth player in Avalanche history to reach the century mark.
The Bruins got a lucky bounce to tie it up midway through the opening period when Recchi’s centring pass deflected off O’Byrne’s skate and past Anderson. Marchand, who was jostling with O’Byrne in front of the net, was credited with the goal.
Lucic put Boston up for good moments later when he swatted in a loose puck on a power play.
“We did a good job of holding our own and winning battles along the boards,” Lucic said. “Everything good happened after that.”
Forsberg spent nearly 45 minutes working out on the ice in the morning with Ryan O’Reilly, who is out with a shoulder injury.
Afterward, Forsberg said the foot that’s required double-digit surgeries “definitely feels better.”
“He’s a great guy, great player and definitely seemed healthy,” Hejduk said. “He’s definitely going to help us.”
Notes: Colorado’s streak of nine straight wins over Northeast Division opponents was snapped. … Bruins F Marc Savard was hurt on a check into the boards early in the second period and didn’t return. He stayed down on the ice for a few minutes before being helped to the dressing room holding a towel to his head. He was hit by former teammate Matt Hunwick early in the second period. The Bruins didn’t disclose the extent of the injury. … Bruins F David Krejci had two assists.