BOSTON (CBS) — When he hit the ice for Boston’s morning skate on Thursday, Brett Ritchie did not know he would be making his Bruins debut later that evening. A few hours later, he was helping his new team beat his old one.
Ritchie, who signed a one-year, $1 million deal with Boston following a trying season with the Stars, scored the first goal of the new Bruins season just over a minute into their opener in Dallas. It was his first shot with the B’s, and it exacted some revenge against the team he spent seven years with, helping lift Boston to a 2-1 win over the Stars.
After winning a battle for a loose puck in the Dallas end, Ritchie fired a wrister from the left circle to beat Ben Bishop through the wickets. He admitted after the game that he was a little surprised that the puck went in.
“From that angle, I’m just trying to get it through the D-end and get it on net,” he told reporters after the game. “I knew I had a guy backside converging, so you never know.”
You never know is how Ritchie started his morning. David Krejci was iffy with a lower body injury he’s been nursing over the last week, so he knew there was a chance he’d lace them up Thursday night. The 26-year-old winger took part in the morning skate but didn’t find out he was in Boston’s lineup until he sat down for lunch. He didn’t know where he’d be skating, but that didn’t really matter.
“I knew after the skate when we ate lunch that I was playing. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing with; there are a lot of good forwards on this team, so I was excited,” he told reporters after Thursday’s win.
Ritchie skated mostly with Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen, logging 12:55 of ice time. He had a pair of shots on goal and delivered two hits. It’s a great start for a player who had just four goals and two assists in 54 games for Dallas last season.
“I’m still confident in what I can do. New team, new opportunity, fresh start — whatever you want to call it. I’m just going to try to take advantage of it,” said Ritchie.
The Bruins continue their season-opening road trip Saturday night in Arizona.