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BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins had quite the experience during their dominating outdoor performance against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday afternoon. Not only did they thrash the Flyers to the tune of 7-3, but the B’s took in some incredible sights at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada throughout their victory.
As the Bruins were wracked up goal after goal, they couldn’t help but soak in the incredible skyline and picturesque setting surrounding them. The game started with an awkward glare from the sun hitting the ice, but as the game went on, a beautiful sunset provided an amazing backdrop for the tilt, followed by a wonderful conclusion under the lights.
“It was beautiful,” said Boston forward David Pastrnak, who notched a hat trick in the Bruins win. “I think that we played in both conditions with the sun and in the dark, it was really great.
“Overall, it was an unbelievable experience,” added Pastrnak, who looked like Macho Man Randy Savage as part of the team’s ’90s-themed attire for the game. “We had some fun getting dressed up. We knew we were going to have some fun, but as soon as the puck dropped, we were focusing on the game and doing everything to get a bounce-back game for us and get the two points home.”
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 22, 2021
Pastrnak wasted no time putting Boston on the board, sniping one by Carter Hart just 34 seconds into the contest. It was a beautiful score off a nice feed from Brad Marchand, who had no intention of shooting the puck himself. Marchand sent the puck to Pastrnak because his teammate was really the only thing he could see because of that glare early in the game.
“Marchy told me he didn’t even see the net, so he was like, ‘I was passing the whole time because I couldn’t even see where the net is,’” Pastrnak said of his first tally.
That beautiful backdrop made life somewhat difficult for both teams early on, though it didn’t seem to bother the Bruins too much. And once the sun was no longer a factor, the floodgates opened for Boston. The Bruins scored four straight in the second period, starting with Pastrnak’s second just 46 seconds into the frame to give Boston a 3-2 lead. Boston ripped off three goals over a 1:39 span late in the period, with Charlie Coyle, Trent Frederick and Nick Ritchie putting Boston up 6-3.
Pastrnak tallied his third of the game with just over three minutes to play, capping off an incredible evening outdoors for the Bruins. Overall, it was hard to ask for much more out of Boston’s fourth-ever outdoor game. Playing at Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium was nice, but playing at Lake Tahoe was a whole different ballpark, so to speak.
The sun and ice conditions wreaked havoc on the start time throughout the weekend, with the NHL moving the game up an hour on Friday before deciding to push it back to a 7:30 p.m. start on Saturday. Boston didn’t get to have a Saturday morning practice on the ice due to overnight snowfall, so they didn’t get a test drive before the puck dropped Sunday evening.
But that made the experience of taking the ice for the first time ahead of the game all the more special for Boston. And for head coach Bruce Cassidy, it was when the sun went down that the beautiful surroundings really hit him. He said walking out after the first period is the image he’ll remember most from Sunday’s once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“The sun had then settled and it was truly like a nighttime outdoor [game] – when you were a kid and playing outside on a pond. That’s what it felt like,” he said.” The trees, walking to the bench you could see the lake, a few boats back there. Very pristine sort of surroundings. That was my favorite part.
“It was 2-2 at the time, so it wasn’t because we were dominating or winning or anything like that,” he added. “It was just the environment, the setting. Our guys were really into it. They had a lot of fun playing the game tonight and I think it showed on the ice.”
Bruins players certainly embraced having a national spotlight on them on an incredibly beautiful stage, and they answered with one of the team’s biggest wins of the season.
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