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Vladar's 1st game...

Brewin Flames

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PITTSBURGH — The Bruins ended up on the right side of the scoresheet Tuesday night, a 2-1 win over the Penguins, employing the age-old combination of timely goal-scoring and standout goaltending.


Trent Frederic scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period, and rookie netminder Dan Vladar won his first career start with 34 saves, including a circus-like stop with his paddle in the first period.


It was, perhaps, a tiny glimpse of the Bruins’ future, when the day finally arrives that the esteemed likes of Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Krejci have moved on to front porch rockers, smooth merlots, and shared memories of a Cup victory that is already 10 years in the history books.


But for today, amid a troubling slump of three-plus weeks (5-7-2), it most of all was a needed respite for the Black and Gold. It ended a two-game losing streak, just as it snapped Pittsburgh’s six-game winning streak. It also lifted the Bruins’ spirits as they packed up here in hopes of feasting on the bottom-dwelling Sabres for the next two games.


The Czech-born Vladar, composed and on his angles from start to finish, was aptly named the night’s first star. With his folks watching back home in Prague, the 6-foot-5-inch rookie turned aside 6-8 prime scoring bids, backing the Bruins on a night when they could have been undone by failing to score, or barely managing a shot during a five-minute power play in the second period


When the night was over, the sincere, soft-spoken Vladar picked up his phone in the dressing room to share the moment with his girlfriend, and then phoned his mom and dad back in Czechia.


It was his dad, Vladar recalled after the win, who some 15 years ago was a bit irritated when his son chose to be a goalie, because it stretched the family funds to buy all the pads and paraphernalia of the trade.


“I think he’s happy right now,” said a beaming Vladar, recounting his phone call across the Atlantic from inside the PPG Paints Arena dressing room. “It’s probably 3 or 4 a.m. back home — so they are probably going to be a little bit tired at work tomorrow, but I think it was a big event for our whole family.


I just felt like they were here with me and it’s just kind of sad that they couldn’t be with me and enjoy this moment — but I hope I am going to get more opportunities.”


Asked if he now would have to wire home some dough to reimburse dad for the equipment purchase, he said, ‘Yeah, hopefully he’s not going to read this interview.”


The Bruins blew a prime chance to break open a 1-1 deadlock in the second period when they couldn’t generate a legit scoring bid with the five-minute power play.


With that failed chance, the two sides entered the second intermission in a 1-1 tie, the Bruins scoring first with a David Pastrnak power-play goal and the Penguins answering with a Brandon Tanev strike just nine seconds after the Bruins killed a power play.


It was Tanev, with a hard hit on Jarred Tinordi, who was whistled off at 12:57 of the second with a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct. It was not a malicious hit. However, a vulnerable Tinordi — deemed not likely to play Thursday night in Buffalo — was in a defenseless position near the wall upon firing the puck into the offensive end from in front of the Boston bench. The hard-charging Tanev finished the check, with a decent amount of gusto.


The injured Tinordi, who crashed back-first into the board, also was done for the night. Post-game, coach Bruce Cassidy sounded pessimistic about the chances of Tinordi rebounding quickly from the injury. He also raised the possibility that rookie Jack Ahcan might make his NHL debut and slot in for Tinordi Thursday night in Buffalo.


Pastrnak’s go-ahead strike, his 13th goal this season, came 3:20 into the first when he zipped in on net on the right side after Brad Marchand sprung him with a cross-slot pass. Ex-University of New Hampshire goalie Casey DeSmith had no answer as a flying Pastrnak slid a backhander through his five-hole.


Tanev’s goal, on the 12th shot against Vladar, came at 15:22 after ex-BU forward Evan Rodrigues tipped the puck on net from a shot that came in off left wing. The puck bounced to the right and Tanev was left with an easy back-door pot, Vladar unable to scurry left in time to cut off the attempt.


Vladar was at his acrobatic Flying Wallenda best earlier in the period on a Colton Sceviour attempt on his doorstep that was labeled for the back of the net. Moving to his right, Vladar flashed up his stick, the puck ticking off his paddle and out of danger. It was a Dominik Hasek type of stop.


“Just the happiest guy in the world right now — it was always my dream to play in the NHL and I got the opportunity and I won,” Vladar said. “So there hasn’t been a better day for me, hockey wise.”


The stop on Sceviour, though sweet, was not the product of time invested in workouts.


“Just a lucky save,” he said. “It probably happens once in a 100 times like that. I’m just happy it happened today. I don’t think can really practice that. It’s just a big luck.”


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