The Colorado Avalanche haven’t showed much scoring prowess so far.
That didn’t matter after Daniel Briere beat the clock for their first win of the season.
Briere scored off a rebound with less than a second left in the third period to lift the Avalanche to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Monday in a matchup of two teams struggling offensively.
“Hopefully there are many more to come, but it’s certainly a good feeling to find a loose puck like that late in the game and get a big win especially after the start that we had,” Briere said. “It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster to start the season, but we are hoping this game will get us on our way.”
It was Briere’s 300th career goal.
Jamie McGinn also scored for the Avalanche, who had opened the season with two shutout losses. Backup goaltender Reto Berra made 27 saves in his first start of the season.
The game appeared to be heading to overtime when Boston goaltender Niklas Svedberg made a pair of stops in the closing minute.
Briere, at the edge of the crease, fired the puck over the sprawling goalie just before time expired after Jan Hejda’s shot from the point. The clock read 0.0, but replays showed the puck crossed the goal line before time expired.
Loui Eriksson had a power-play goal for the Bruins, who have scored just two goals during a three-game losing streak.
Backup Svedberg played his first game of the season and made 28 saves.
“I don’t think we’ve given up a ton of scoring chances, but when we do it ends up in the back of the net,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “On the last goal there’s not much time left and you can’t lose track of the guy behind you.”
Svedberg knew time was winding down before the winner.
“Yeah there was some traffic there and (I) can’t really remember exactly what happened,” Svedberg said. “I gotta see it again. It was a scrambley goal for sure. Tough loss.”
Colorado had what would have been the go-ahead goal overturned with just under 13 minutes to play when Dennis Everberg’s score was ruled to be deflected with a high stick. The puck was tipped downward in front of Svedberg and caromed into the net off Everberg’s left skate.
The Avalanche just kept working, trying to get another goal.
“We chose to go out and keep playing hard, grind them down and it came down to the very last shot,” Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson said.
Berra slid across the crease and made a stellar stop on Milan Lucic with just over 8 minutes to play.
The Avalanche jumped ahead 1-0 on McGinn’s goal 3:28 into the second period. In what looked like a fairly routine shot, McGinn circled from the right corner and fired the puck on goal from the circle and it trickled between Svedberg’s pads. Colorado had gone scoreless for 143 minutes, 37 seconds to start the season.
Boston tied it on Eriksson’s goal when he scored off a rebound from the edge of the crease at 7:50 of the second. It ended the Bruins’ scoring drought at 135 minutes, 48 seconds.
With the teams struggling offensively, both came out fast.
The play was up and down for the initial 9 1/2 minutes with each team collecting decent scoring bids. Boston had a slight edge in shots on goal 8-6 and both backup goaltenders added to the scoring chances by leaving a few early rebounds in the middle of the ice.
Berra made a pair of nice stops in the opening minutes, robbing Patrice Bergeron on a close bid and making a right-pad stop on Eriksson at the end of a 2-on-1 break.
Svedberg stopped Briere when he barely got his skate blade on a rebound shot from the edge of the crease.
After the wide-open start, the teams tightened up defensively and settled into more balanced games.
NOTES: Bruins C David Krejci returned to the lineup after missing the first three games with an undisclosed injury. … Boston F Seth Griffith made his NHL debut, playing on the top line with Krejci and LW Lucic. … The Avalanche played the first of four straight road games. They face Toronto on Tuesday, Ottawa on Thursday and Montreal on Saturday before returning home to face Florida on Oct. 21. … The Bruins open a three-game road trip Wednesday night in Detroit. It’ll be their second game at the Red Wings in six days. … Former Bruin Jarome Iginla got a mixed response from the crowd when he was announced in the starting lineup. … Hall of Famer Bobby Orr was at the game.