Boston, MA- Five goals from five different scorers paced the Boston Bruins (17-10-2) past the visiting New Jersey Devils (13-16-5) 5-3 on Tuesday night at TD Garden. New Jersey answered the first three Bruins goals to keep the game close until late in the third period when David Pastrnak broke a nine-game scoreless streak to put Boston ahead for good with just over five minutes left in the game. Linus Ullmark stopped 23 of 26 shots and improved to 9-5-0. Mackenzie Blackwood turned back 29 of 34 shots in the loss for the Devils.
The Bruins continued to get scoring from all over their line-up; in the last three games, Boston has 14 goals from 13 different players, which is a big part of the team being 3-0 since the new year started. The goals tonight weren’t high-light reel goals, but they were enough to outlast a young but talented Devils team.
“I don’t think some of our top guys had their best tonight,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “It’s going to happen. Support people were excellent. And one of your top guys comes through when you need him.”
Curtis Lazar gave the Bruins the early lead when he corralled a loose puck just over the Bruins’ blue line and raced into the Devils zone with defenseman Brandon Carlo for a two-on-one. Lazar held onto the puck before firing off a shot on goal that crossed up Blackwood and went through his legs for Lazar’s third goal of the year.
New Jersey evened the score just fifty-seven seconds into the middle frame when Nathan Bastian broke up a pass along the Bruins’ blue line before racing in all alone to beat Ullmark with a low shot. The goal was Bastian’s fifth of the season.
Oskar Steen notched his first NHL goal to give the Bruins the 2-1 lead at 1:17 when he knocked the puck off the top of the net to watch it roll down the backside of Blackwood. Blackwood made the initial save on a Nick Foligno backhander that bounced off his back to land on top of the net. Steen poked at the net’s mesh to knock the puck loose to give the Bruins their second lead of the game.
The lead was short-lived as Tomas Tatar swiped a rebound past Charlie McAvoy and Ullmark for his seventh goal of the season at 3:05. Ullmark saved a Jack Hughes backhander from the bottom of the right circle. Hughes and Jesper Bratt assisted on a game-tying goal.
Trent Frederic put the Bruins back on top at 9:42 when he swatted a carom off the end boards between Blackwood and the post. Frederic has now scored in the last two games, giving him two on the season.
Once again, the Devils tied the game. Damon Severson’s seventh goal of the year came at 7:36 of the third period. Severson just stepped onto the ice after serving a two-minute penalty for Holding when he pulled in a pass that Michael McLeod lofted over Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly. Severson beat Ullmark low glove-side on the breakaway.
Pastrnak struck at 14:11 when he carried the puck from the left corner and roofed his rebound over Blackwood for the 4-3 lead. Taylor Hall and Erik Haula assisted the goal, but it was the hustle of Pastrnak earlier in the sequence that forced a turnover in the Devils zone, which led to Haula gaining possession before finding Hall.
Carlo added a goal for good measure at 19:38 when his shot from the blue line was deflected off the leg of Devils forward Dawson Mercer and ricocheted between Blackwood’s pads, making it 5-3 Boston. Tomas Nosek assisted on Carlo’s third of the year.
The Bruins host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday at TD Garden for a 7 pm puck drop. New Jersey meanwhile hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets in Newark, New Jersey, at the Prudential Center on the same day and time.