The Boston Bruins kept their most recent season-long record-breaking performance for their own fans.
The Bruins defeated the Washington Capitals 5-2 on Tuesday night in their regular-season home finale, breaking the NHL points record in the process thanks to goals from Brad Marchand and Tyler Bertuzzi on the power play.
The Boston Bruins won their seventh straight game while hearing “We want the Cup!” chants from the crowd inside TD Garden, increasing their point total to 133, one more than the Montreal Canadiens in 1976–1977.
The Canadiens of that period played in a time without extra time or shootouts. When the Canadiens set the record, the Bruins had 11 extra points—five for shootout victories and six for overtime victories—that the Canadiens did not have.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re delighted about it. But it’s a record for the regular season,” Marchand remarked. “When the playoffs begin, everything is reset. The 16 teams who will compete for the same prize have the same objective, and our previous successes are irrelevant.
The Bruins shattered the record a game after they tied the 1995–1996 Detroit Red Wings and the 2018–19 Tampa Bay Lightning with 63 victories on Sunday at Philadelphia.
Jim Montgomery, the head coach of the Boston Bruins, remarked, “I think (Montreal’s) wins in 80 games is a little more significant.” But he continued, “because those were dominant hockey teams, it still has meaning.”
For Boston’s win No. 1, on Tuesday night, Tomas Nosek, Garnet Hathaway, and Jake DeBrusk also scored goals.
David Pastrnak recorded his 50th and 51st assists the night after the team reached 60 goals for the first time in a season. With just over nine minutes left in the game, Linus Ullmark, who finished with 19 saves, left due to “muscle tightening,” according to Montgomery. Assists were added by Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
In order to win the team’s first Stanley Cup since 2011, the Bruins will enjoy home-ice advantage when the playoffs begin.
Tom Wilson and Nick Jensen both scored goals for the Capitals. Charlie Lindgren made 33 stops, including one against Pastrnak early in the third period while playing gloveless.
In the third, Wilson reduced a two-goal lead to 3-2 before Nosek connected with Hathaway as he was cutting towards the goal for his 13th goal.
With 12:24 remaining in the second period, Matt Irwin was whistled for a cross-check on Taylor Hall, giving the Bruins their first power play of the contest.
When Pastrnak received a feed from Patrice Bergeron and quickly attracted some defenders in the middle of the ice, he quickly flipped it to Marchand, who finished it off with his 21st goal of the season at the bottom of the right faceoff circle, giving Boston a 1-0 lead less than a minute later. He hadn’t scored in 17 games, having done so on March 9 in a defeat to Edmonton.
Marchand remarked, “You almost have to chuckle about it. It’s one of those things that, in my opinion, first becomes frustrating before becoming absurdly funny. It shouldn’t be taken too seriously, and I believe that’s where it’s at now. I am aware that it is not typical.
When Bertuzzi was in the ideal position to rebounce a Pastrnak shot and score his eighth goal of the year, the Bruins increased their lead to 2-0.
With 4:53 remaining in the period, Jensen scored his fifth goal of the season to close the gap to one goal. His wrist shot looked to clip McAvoy and trickle by Ullmark.
MR. BOWMAN’S WEIGHT
When Tampa Bay played Toronto on Tuesday, legendary coach Scotty Bowman was present.
The 89-year-old, who was Montgomery’s friend and the coach during the previous record-setting seasons by Montreal and Detroit, said he doesn’t mind if those numbers are eclipsed.
We still have 132 points in 80 games, as I keep reminding him, Bowman added with a chuckle. “I have no issue. He made a strong recovery, which makes me happy for him. He exudes assurance.
They have a solid team. I’m old enough to recognise that he doesn’t need all of my records, and I’m pleased for him if he can get them.
NOTES: Only twice this season has Boston scored twice on the power play in one game. It had two in a 7-3 victory over Florida on December 19 as well. Jensen of Washington has scored in a career-high five games. As the first Finnish player to suit up for the Capitals in 14 years, Henrik Borgstrom was recalled from the AHL Hershey Bears on Tuesday.