Monday marked exactly four months since the Bruins made a franchise-altering trade, sending former No. 2 overall draft pick Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars in an Independence Day deal that set off fireworks long before towns across the nation followed suit.
Although, on Tuesday, it felt as if the trade had just gone down.
Seguin, who had 56 goals and 65 assists in 203 games with the Bruins, was playing his first game at TD Garden since the trade, with his Stars facing a Boston team coming off a tough 3-1 loss to the Islanders Saturday.
During his pregame press conference, Bruins coach Claude Julien said he wasn’t looking at this game any differently because Seguin was playing.
“I think it’s more important that we do the scouting on their whole team and how they play,” he said. “For us it’s turning the page and we’ve got some players here that are coming back in our lineup and hopefully will help us be a little bit better than we were the last game.”
Around TD Garden, there were still many fans showing their support for the former Bruins forward, with plenty of “Seguin” jerseys seen among the sweaters of Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, and Milan Lucic.
There also were boo-birds out in full force as Seguin, wearing No. 91, and the Stars took the ice for their pregame skate. Seguin kept to the Dallas side of the ice during warmups and didn’t make any noticeable gestures toward any former teammates.
When the lineups were announced, Seguin’s name was widely booed as “The Imperial March” from “Star Wars” was played over the sound system.
Seguin, playing center, took the opening faceoff against his old linemate Bergeron. Seguin was loudly booed as he skated up the ice with the puck 10 seconds into the game.
Another player the Bruins sent to Dallas in the trade was Rich Peverley, a staple of the third line that was exceptional in Boston. Peverley, in particular, was strong on faceoffs.
“I’m not going to hide the fact that we miss Rich for that reason,” Julien said. “He was a good faceoff guy, and on the right side, he certainly gave [Chris Kelly] the opportunity to take his faceoffs on the strong side and him on the other; so we were always good with that line on draws.
“And at the same time, if [Bergeron] was tired, [Peverley] was pretty close to [Bergeron] in stats as far as faceoffs were concerned, so I could send him out on the right side at times.”
The principal player the Bruins received in the deal, Loui Eriksson, returned to action for the first time since sustaining a concussion Oct. 23 on a blind-side hit by Buffalo’s John Scott. Eriksson missed five games but began practicing again late last week and was back on the second line with Bergeron and Brad Marchand.