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Top Line Dominates in B's Win Over Rangers

Trio combines for 13 points as Boston cruises to 7-4 victory in New York

by Eric Russo @erusso22 / BostonBruins.com

NEW YORK - Quite frankly, the numbers are starting to get a little ridiculous.

On Sunday night, it was hard to keep up with the stat line that the Bruins' top trio delivered during a 7-4 thrashing of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, as Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak combined for five goals and 13 points.

Bergeron picked up his fifth career hat trick, while Marchand (two goals, three assists) and Pastrnak (five assists) matched and set career highs - respectively - with five-point outputs.

"They're always gonna show up and be ready to go, they're gonna play well," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "They're ready to go, they're dialed in, they're good pros, they read off each other well. They're always ready to play. Tonight, they got rewarded a little more."

Video: BOS@NYR: Bergeron has hat trick in Bruins win

The performance by Boston's leading triumvirate was just a continuation of what they have already achieved through the team's first 11 games - and, really, for the past four seasons. Marchand extended his point streak to a career-high 10 games (7-13-20), while Pastrnak pushed his point streak to nine games (11-12-23).

"We're getting good bounces and obviously Pasta and Bergy are so dangerous all the time," said Marchand. "Right now, we're confident each night and we're just kind of rolling it over into the next game. Hopefully it continues, but when we have the group that we have that's consistently dangerous all the way through the lineup, it makes it easier on all of us to go out and play our game. I think we're all seeing benefits from that right now."

To put the numbers into perspective, we bring in NHL Stats, which provided these nuggets on Marchand and Pastrnak:

  • Pastrnak (23) and Marchand (20) required the fewest games (11) by a Bruins player to reach the 20-point plateau since Adam Oates compiled 22 over the first 11 contests in 1992-93.
  • Pastrnak and Marchand are the third set of Bruins teammates to both have five points in a game in the last 30 years, joining Joe Thornton and Glen Murray (Dec. 28, 2001) and Dmitri Khristich and Jason Allison (March 14, 1998).
  • Pastrnak's five-assist game was the 13th in Bruins history.

"I think every time we go and play sound hockey the right way, take care of details, get the puck out, that's when we're getting some speed and working into our game, our forecheck, getting stuff off the rush. That's how it happens," said Bergeron, who was the beneficiary of his linemates' career nights on Sunday.

Video: Bergeron Speaks to Media After Scoring a Hat Trick

Down, 1-0, to the Rangers after 20 minutes, despite an at-times dominating first period by the Bruins, it was the top line that jumpstarted things on the scoresheet with a brilliant opening shift to start the second that included two goals in 57 seconds to put Boston ahead for good.

The first came just 11 seconds into the middle frame when Pastrnak drove to the net after collecting a feed from Marchand off the opening draw. The winger charged to the net and was tripped by diving New York defenseman Libor Hajek, causing Pastrnak to barrel into Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

With Lundqvist down in the crease, Bergeron swooped in to lift home a backhander that knotted the game at 1. The goal was reviewed, but it was determined that the Rangers initiated the collision negating any goaltender interference.

"They generate a break, they went to the net and got it," said Cassidy, whose team outshot the Rangers, 21-5, in the second period. "At the end of the day, we felt we outplayed them in the first period and if we just stuck to what we do well and what we were doing we'd be OK.

"Ran a nice face-off play to start the second period and got rewarded. Some of those calls have not gone our way this year. That one, the goal stood, and we were pretty good after that."

Indeed, they were. Including Bergeron's tally, Boston scored five straight goals - two from Marchand and one each from Charlie Coyle and Zdeno Chara, whose blast from the point just 43 seconds into the third proved to be the winner.

But it was Marchand's goal only 57 seconds after Bergeron's opening marker that was by far the prettiest. The 31-year-old took Pastrnak's feed at the top of the crease and dangled around Lundqvist - while standing still - with a filthy backhander to put the Bruins up, 2-1, at 1:08 of the second.

"Stay with it. We've been there before. You're a shot away, we've had some good looks. I thought it was a good period," Bergeron said of the message after the first. "Couple plays here and there that could've been better, but still I think we were having a pretty good period. Obviously getting the two quick goals to start the second got us going."

Video: BOS@NYR: Marchand beats Lundqvist with backhand shot

Mark Him Down

No one had been disappointed in Coyle's efforts through 10 games. The 27-year-old is a workhorse each and every night, providing the Bruins with strength down the middle, particularly during a time of need with David Krejci sidelined by injury.

There was, however, one thing missing from his 2019-20 resume: a goal - until Sunday night. The pivot finally cashed in when he roofed a Charlie McAvoy feed at 9:27 of the second to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead.

"I thought he was real dominant tonight," said Cassidy. "He's moved around. We've asked him to do different things. He shows up and plays. Hopefully this will get him going offensively. I think typically that's what happens. You fight it a little bit, takes a while to get out of it."

Coyle also picked up his third assist of the season on Marchand's second of the night just over two minutes after his own goal. He also played 20:39, most among Bruins forwards, and tied with Zdeno Chara for the team-lead with six shots on goal.

"That guy's a horse. Another guy we're not worried about," said Marchand. "Every guy is gonna have their night. If everyone plays their game every game and does what they do well, then they're gonna be a good player for this team. That's what's been going on here. We win by committee every night. That's why we're a good team. That's why we're winning games."

Video: BOS@NYR: Coyle beats Lundqvist with wrist shot

Wait, There's More

  • A night after setting the tone on the game's opening shift with a thunderous check on the Blues' Oskar Sundqvist, Chara delivered another monster performance. The captain's blast from the point just 43 seconds into the third gave the Bruins a 5-1 lead and ended up as the winner. Chara also added an assist and a team-high six shots on goal and plus-6 rating in 20:01 of ice time.
  • With Joakim Nordstrom (infection) and Chris Wagner (blocked shot) sidelined, Peter Cehlarik was recalled from Providence on an emergency basis. The winger was a minus-2 in 12:01, though Cassidy believes Cehlarik was put in a tough spot. "I thought Pete was OK," said Cassidy. "Didn't seem to get his legs under him. You go down there [to Providence], you play a lot, you're one of the better players and then you come up here and you've got to be ready to go…in fairness to him, he traveled today. It's a little more of a challenge for him to get his legs going. I thought he was fine."
  • Par Lindholm left in the second period with an upper-body and did not return. Cassidy did not have an update following the game.

Video: BOS@NYR: Chara unloads heavy slap shot from the point

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