It’s been tough to find much of anything to celebrate with the Bruins these days.
And held to just one goal in 80 minutes of play against the Penguins over the last two days, Saturday began with similar vibes. But the Bruins more than found their gear after the first intermission, and snapped out of their offensive funk with a rare five-goal period to power themselves to a 7-5 win at TD Garden.
Down by one entering the middle frame, the Bruins evened things up with a Patrice Bergeron marker just 11 seconds into the period, and grabbed the lead on a David Pastrnak go-ahead goal scored just 34 seconds after Bergeron’s tally.
David Pastrnak scores his 15th goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/VFuT9zr9O0— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 3, 2021
The Penguins quickly responded, however, with a pair of goals in a 2:26 to put themselves back on top by one.
It was the kind of sequence that could’ve been more than devastating. Considering the Bruins’ year-long struggles to score goals, and how their hot-and-cold nature has defined their recent struggles, those tallies could’ve served as a backbreaker.
But the Bruins instead responded with three goals in 4:44, and all with Brad Marchand playing a major factor.
The scorer on Boston’s fourth and fifth goals, the Black and Gold’s leading scorer also came through with a straight-up beautiful feed to David Krejci for the primary helper on Boston’s fourth tally, a power-play strike through Casey DeSmith.
David Krejci taps one home on the power play.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 3, 2021
Slick feed from Marchand. pic.twitter.com/uD5EA8CLXF
The five-goal frame was Boston’s first since a five-goal second period in a Mar. 23, 2019 win over the Panthers.
The Bruins added a sixth goal on a Nick Ritchie to Pastrnak two-on-one look at the 13:28 mark of the period, too, which gave the Bruins their first effort with at least five even-strength goals since their Mar. 5 win over the Capitals. (It was also their third game of at least five even-strength goals in 2021.)
The Penguins refused to go away, however, and remained in this contest with a Cody Ceci goal and then a Sidney Crosby goal with 1:15 tightening things back up a one-goal game each time.
But a Marchand empty-net sealed the deal on the Boston win, and gave Marchand his fourth career hat trick.
Elsewhere up front, Pastrnak’s two-goal, three-point performance was a certainly welcomed sight, too, as it broke him out of a cold spell that featured just one point in his last five games.
Krejci also picked up his 500th career assist in the win, making him just the fifth Czech-born player to hit that milestone, joining a group featuring Vinny Prospal, Jake Voracek, Patrik Elias, and Jaromir Jagr.
And Bergeron’s goal moved him into sole possession of fourth place on the franchise’s all-time points list, with 899.
“It was all our top guys tonight,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “They’re gonna have these games, we just haven’t had a lot of them for whatever reason. Think we’ve run into some hot goaltending this year.
“Nice plays. High-end plays by high-end players.”
Bruins netminder Jaroslav Halak struggled, but did enough to get the win, with stops on 23 of 28 shots faced.
B’s bottom-six forward Sean Kuraly, who was removed from the COVID list earlier this week, made his return to the Boston lineup as Boston’s third-line center and finished with a shot and two hits in 14:35 of play.
And with Brandon Carlo back on the shelf with an upper-body injury, the Bruins threw Steven Kampfer and Jarred Tinordi back into action. Jeremy Lauzon, who struggled in a major way on Thursday night, sat as the healthy scratch.
The Bruins will conclude their seven-game homestand with a visit from the Flyers on Monday night.