Patrice Bergeron scored his second hat trick in six games as the Boston Bruins beat the New York Islanders 5-2 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Bruins have now earned at least one point in 15 straight games. They're 11-0-4 in that span.
Meanwhile, the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. That means that the Bruins (26-10-8) are now just five points behind them for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand.
Similarly to other recent games, the Bruins started slowly and initially had to play from behind. Jordan Eberle got the scoring started for the Isles when he rifled a saucer pass from dynamic rookie Mathew Barzal past Anton Khudobin to make it 1-0.
But the Bruins scored four unanswered goals from there, starting with the equalizer from Bergeron later in the first. Ryan Spooner then scored the go-ahead goal in the second period when he swept the puck past Isles goalie Jaroslav Halak right off the faceoff. Spooner now has six goals in his last eight games.
Bergeron Hat Trick: All Three Goals
Bergeron's first goal came off a nifty feed from Brad Marchand, who picked the Islanders' pocket to set up No. 37 for his 17th goal of the season.
Bergy's second tally came on the power play in the second period. On the heels of a blocked Torey Krug shot, he gathered a fortuitous rebound and fired the puck short-side past Halak to put the Bruins up 3-1.
No. 3 for Bergeron gave the Bruins a commanding 4-1 lead just 3:45 into the third period. Marchand drew a tripping penalty but still made the pass from his knees. And Bergeron then spun away from the defender and whipped the puck into the back of the net.
Bergeron now has nine goals in his last eight games, to go with five assists and a plus-7 rating in that stretch. He also won 67 percent of his faceoffs in the dominant all-around effort on Thursday.