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game recap

Bruins score four in third to defeat Blackhawks

Become seventh team in NHL history to sweep six-game homestand, keep pace in Atlantic

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- Brian Gionta and Rick Nash scored power-play goals 1:16 apart in the third period to help the Boston Bruins defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 7-4 at TD Garden on Saturday.

With the game tied 4-4 and Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane in the penalty box for a high-sticking double minor, Gionta stuffed in a deflected puck at 8:02 and Nash scored on a tip-in at 9:18 to give the Bruins a 6-4 lead.

David Krejci scored twice, Noel Acciari scored and Tuukka Rask made 23 saves for the Bruins (43-15-8), who are six points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Atlantic Division lead and seven points ahead of the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs.


[WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Bruins highlights]


Boston won its season-best sixth straight game and became the seventh team in NHL history to sweep a six-game homestand.

The Bruins, who trailed 4-3 after two periods, tied the game 4-4 on David Pastrnak's goal at 6:23 of the third.

"Obviously that's huge," Boston defenseman Nick Holden said. "We're trying to catch Tampa Bay and they keep winning, so we need to keep winning, so when you're at home you want to make sure you're playing your best hockey. Some of today's game, there were parts of it that were not quite as sound as we like, but for the most part I thought we played good hockey."

Erik Gustafsson had a goal and two assists, and Jonathan Toews, John Hayden and Matthew Highmore scored for the Blackhawks (29-32-8), who have lost their past two games and trail the Colorado Avalanche by 14 points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

J-F Berube made 33 saves for Chicago, which gave up two power-play goals and four goals in the third period.

"I think we could have prevented a couple goals on the shorthanded side," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "They've got a good power play and made some nice passes."

Acciari scored a shorthanded goal at 11:27 of the first period to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead, a rebound of Sean Kuraly's shot on a breakaway.

Video: CHI@BOS: Acciari bangs home loose puck for SHG

Krejci scored a power-play goal from the slot at 14:10 for a 2-0 lead. Toews deflected Gustafsson's shot at 14:27, and Gustafsson scored 29 seconds later to tie the score 2-2.

Hayden kept the puck on a 2-on-1 and beat Rask at 6:37 of the second period to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead. Krejci tied the score 3-3 at 10:05 with his second power-play goal.

Highmore scored his first NHL goal from the right face-off dot at 15:46 for a 4-3 lead. The 22-year-old center played his sixth NHL game.

Video: CHI@BOS: Highmore lasers wrister for first NHL goal

Kuraly scored an empty-net goal at 19:38 to make it 7-4. The teams complete a home-and-home set Sunday.

"Yeah, that's the beauty of our team, we do things together," Rask said. "We decided after a few minutes in the third that enough is enough, let's start playing our hockey. It looked good. [Chicago is] a good team, you've got to give them credit, they make plays when you give them time and space. They made some plays but we never quit."


Goal of the game 

Gionta's goal at 8:02 of the third period.

Video: CHI@BOS: Gionta cashes in on rebound for PPG


Save of the game 

Rask's save on Kane at 3:54 of the third period.

Video: CHI@BOS: Rask blockers aside Kane's dangerous wrister


Highlight of the game 

Pastrnak's goal at 6:23 of the third period.

Video: CHI@BOS: Pastrnak bangs home rebound to tie the game


They said it 

"[John Hayden] was really good. He had an excellent game. Gustafsson had an excellent game. [Matthew Highmore] scored his first goal today. So that's always encouraging, and for 40 minutes we were decent, their power play was excellent in the third." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville

"You feel good when they score on the power play, that's for sure. And to get two goals on that power play it feels good. Obviously it's nothing really that I did, you take a high stick, it's not really drawing a penalty or anything, really it's just being there. Gladly you'll take it." -- Bruins forward Sean Kuraly on drawing the high-sticking double-minor on Patrick Kane


Need to know

The other NHL teams to sweep a six-game homestand were the Philadelphia Flyers (1984-85), Edmonton Oilers (1986-87), Detroit Red Wings (2011-12), Los Angeles Kings (2014-15) and Florida Panthers (2015-16 and 2017-18). ... Blackhawks forward Vinnie Hinostroza missed the game for personal reasons. Hayden was called up from Rockford of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis to replace him. ... Quenneville coached the 1,608th game of his NHL career, breaking a tie with Al Arbour for second place. Scotty Bowman (2,141) is first. ... Blackhawks forward Anthony Duclair sustained a lower-body injury in a collision with Bruins forward Brad Marchand in the first period and will be out 1-2 weeks. ... Acciari's goal was the eighth shorthanded goal scored by the Bruins and the sixth allowed by the Blackhawks this season.


What's next

Blackhawks: Host the Boston Bruins on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, TVAS, NHL.TV)

Bruins: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, TVAS, NHL.TV)

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