BOSTON - The Bruins wrapped up their second consecutive 100-point campaign on Saturday afternoon with a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden.
Boston held a 2-0 lead after one period on tallies by David Krejci and Danton Heinen, but surrendered four straight goals, before Matt Grzelcyk's one-timer with 5:57 to play pulled the Bruins back within one. But the Lightning responded just 13 seconds later to put a bow on their NHL record-tying 62nd win of the season.
The Bruins finished the regular season second in the Atlantic Division behind Tampa with 107 points and a 49-24-9 record.
"I feel terrific. I'm an optimist. I like our team," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said when asked how he feels going into the playoffs. "We play hard. We're one of the better teams from start to finish, I think, in the National Hockey League, specifically the second half of the year. We've played well at the right times. We've earned our way."
Now, the Bruins are turning their attention to the Toronto Maple Leafs and the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The meeting is a rematch of last season's postseason opener, which Boston won in seven games.
"Obviously that's the best time of the year to play hockey, you're playing for something special," said Krejci. "So make sure you show up 100 percent and hungry for wins. I feel like we have a good team here and I think we could make a pretty good push here."
Video: TBL@BOS: Krejci beats Pasquale in the 1st period
Krejci, Pasta Hit Highs
Krejci notched a goal and an assist to reach 73 points (20 goals, 53 assists) for the season, matching a career high set in 2008-09. Krejci also hit the 20-goal mark for the fourth time, giving Boston five 20-goal scorers this season (David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and Jake DeBrusk).
"The key is to feel good the whole season," said Krejci. "I've been playing with some good players this year so they definitely make it easy on me."
Pastrnak picked up two helpers, giving him a career-high 81 points (38 goals, 43 assists), surpassing his total of 80 set last season.
Video: TBL@BOS: Grzelcyk pulls the Bruins within a goal
Tuukka Rask was recognized before the game during the team's annual end-of-season awards ceremony. Rask was presented with a special painting to honor his accomplishment of becoming the Bruins' all-time winningest goalie with his 253rd victory on Feb. 3 in Washington.
"I think it was great," said Rask. "I didn't know what to expect. You bring your family up there and you're hugging your wife and kids there right before the faceoff, so there's kind of mixed emotions, but I think it was a great gesture by the Bruins. So, it will be up on my wall somewhere and great memories for sure."
Full rundown of the Bruins' 2018-19 award winners can be found here.
Video: TBL@BOS: Bruins hand out 2018-19 season awards
Getting Some Rest
The Bruins sat out Marchand, Bergeron, Noel Acciari, Chris Wagner, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo, and Kevan Miller for the regular-season finale. Miller, who left Thursday's game in Minnesota with a lower-body injury, is expected to be full-go at practice on Monday, per Cassidy.
Cassidy also said that Sean Kuraly skated on Saturday morning but - along with defenseman John Moore - has been ruled out for Game 1 against the Leafs. After that, Cassidy termed both as day-to-day.
"Hopefully, we get some good news on guys like Kuraly and Moore," said Cassidy. "Sometimes they're ahead of schedule, so those are the things that I'll look at this week, but I like where we're at as a team. Ready to go."
Video: Cassidy, Rask, Krejci and Heinen talk postgame