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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, January 21, 2020
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 17,850

Golden Knights in need of fast start vs. Bruins

Vegas Golden Knights at Boston Bruins

  1. Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Pittsburgh on Sunday before losing in regulation, 4-3. This was the first time Boston led 3-0 in the first period and then lost in regulation since December 19, 1987.
  2. Vegas trailed 3-0 after the first period on Saturday, and the team has allowed 55 goals in the first period this season, tied with Philadelphia for most in the NHL. This was the third game in January that Vegas trailed 3-0 after the first period -- Toronto (twice) is the only other team with more than one such game.
  3. Vegas has gone 1-3-1 (.300) all-time against Boston, the franchise's second-worst record against any opponent (2-5-0 vs. Wild). The Bruins are one of two franchises against which the Golden Knights only have one win all-time (also one win against the Canadiens).
  4. David Pastrnak is the first player with 37+ goals and 70+ points in his team's first 50 games in a season since Jaromir Jagr did so in the 1996-97 season.
  5. Brad Marchand has scored four goals in three games against Vegas since last season began. However, after scoring 18 combined goals over October and November (0.69 goals per game), he's scored just three goals over December and January (0.13 goals per game).
  6. Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist in a second straight game on Saturday, his first back-to-back multi-point games since last March. These two multi-point games come after he had just two multi-point games in his first 49 games played this season.

The Vegas Golden Knights and Boston Bruins head into their final game before a 10-day break on Tuesday night in Boston trying to come up with solutions for two very different problems.

Vegas, which comes in off a 5-4 shootout loss at Montreal on Saturday, has been outscored 13-1 in the first period in its last seven games and has fallen behind by at least three goals at the start in five of them.

The Golden Knights have dropped five of their last six games but still remain in a four-way tie for second place at 57 points in a very crowded Pacific Division.

Boston, meanwhile, has dropped three of its last four games including a 4-3 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon. Unlike Vegas, the Bruins have gotten off to quick starts but haven't been able to protect early leads.

Boston blew a 5-2 lead on Jan. 13 at Philadelphia and eventually lost 6-5 in a shootout. And in Sunday's loss to the Penguins, the Bruins built a 3-0 lead in the first 15 minutes but lost on Bryan Rust's goal with 7:25 remaining in the game.

The loss at Pittsburgh marked just the second time in 208 regular-season games in regulation that Boston (200-2-6) lost after having a three-goal lead since April 4, 2011, when the Bruins had a three-goal lead but fell to the New York Rangers.

"I don't think it's a matter of effort, I think it's a matter of being smart," said center Patrice Bergeron, according to NHL.com after scoring his 21st goal of the season just 11 seconds into the contest. "When you're forcing plays all the time in the wrong areas of the ice, they make you pay.

"You've got to play the same way you start a game and the way you know you're able to play. To me, the mindset should always be about the next shift no matter what the situation is. That's what we've got to get back to."

Said head coach Bruce Cassidy: "The goals we're giving up ... what is it? Lack of focus. Do we lose urgency? They're gifts. ... You can get outplayed (and) you will by teams in stretches. But they were gifts (against Pittsburgh)."

Vegas fell behind 3-0 in the first period at Montreal and trailed 4-2 midway through the third period. But the Golden Knights rallied to gain a valuable point by forcing overtime with two 6-on-5 goals in the final two minutes after pulling goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The 20th goal of the season by Reilly Smith came with eight seconds left to tie it.

"We did a good job battling back but we still put ourselves in the same situation," Smith said. "We're getting off to slow starts and teams are capitalizing. We've got to find a way to turn that around because it's too hard to come back in every game."

Ex-Golden Knight Tomas Tatar won it for the Canadiens with a goal in the fourth round of the shootout, handing coach Peter DeBoer his first loss in two games behind the bench since replacing Gerard Gallant on Wednesday.

"I thought we showed a lot of character," DeBoer said of the late comeback. "That's a big hole anywhere, particularly in this building. ... We didn't quit and scratched out a point, an important point."

Boston, which has lost just twice in regulation at home (16-2-9), won the first meeting between the two teams on Oct. 8 in Las Vegas, rallying from an 2-0 first-period deficit by scoring four consecutive goals, including two by Brad Marchand, in an eventual 4-3 victory.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 20, 2020

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