The Bruins overcame some early shakiness on defense and deficits of both 3-2 and 4-3 to win 7-4 in a Saturday matinee matchup with the Blackhawks at TD Garden.
The B's scored four goals on special teams in the win - three on the power play, and one shorthanded. Down 4-3 in the third period, they stormed back with three goals in a span of 2 minutes, 55 seconds. Sean Kuraly added the empty-netter to complete the 7-spot.
With the win, the Bruins went a perfect 6-0-0 on their six-game homestand, played entirely without Patrice Bergeron. They became just the seventh team in NHL history to do so.
The Bruins drew first blood when Sean Kuraly forced a turnover on a 'Hawks power play and took it all the way to the net. Noel Acciari buried the rebound to make it 1-0.
Just 2:43 later, Jake DeBrusk won a puck battle in the corner with a stick-lift on Brent Seabrook and found David Krejci in front, who fired it home to put the B's up 2-0 on the power play.
John Hayden made it 3-2 Blackhawks in the second when he beat Tuukka Rask glove side on a turnover-induced 2-on-1 rush. But DeBrusk and Krejci worked their magic not long after that.
During another power play, newcomer Brian Gionta forced another turnover and the puck bounced to DeBrusk, who backhanded a centering pass around a sprawled Seabrook through a tight window. A wide-open Krejci whacked it into the open net to tie the game 3-3.
Matthew Highmore had the Blackhawks up 4-3 going into the third with a late-second-period goal, the first of his NHL career. But the ever-resilient Bruins refused to let up, and in the third frame the floodgates opened.
David Pastrnak sparked the Bruins in the third with his 24th goal of the season. He got the play started by disrupting the Blackhawks' breakout attempt, and Riley Nash gained control in the neutral zone to move the puck up to Brad Marchand, who made the first shot. Pastrnak tipped the rebound in as he crashed the net to tie the game 4-4.
Gionta became the hero after Chicago's Patrick Kane was assessed a double-minor for high sticking. Matt Grzelcyk's point shot deflected off multiple sticks and found its way to Gionta, who tapped it into the open net to put the B's up 5-4. Gionta is up to 2 goals and 4 assists in 5 games with the Bruins.
Rick Nash put the Bruins up 6-4 during the same power play with his 21st of the season, and his first in four games. Torey Krug made a spectacular slap-pass to the front of the net, where Nash pretty much just needed to hold his stick out to tip it past 'Hawks goalie Jean-François Bérubé.
Marchand In Trouble?
Marchand could he could be hearing from the NHL's Department of Player Safety after a collision with the Blackhawks' Anthony Duclair in the second period. Marchand himself said "I don't think so" when asked if he thought he'd hear from the league.
The Bruins and Blackhawks have a quick turn-around as they complete the home-and-home series on Sunday in Chicago.
-- By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].