ST. PAUL, Min. – In the third game of a five-game road trip, the Bruins lived up to the challenge who are the Minnesoda Wild, who carried a 14-game point streak into Saturday afternoon’s matinee matchup at the Xcel Energy Center and was one of the league’s top teams for well over a month. Boston, however, was undeterred when five different scorers hit the back of the net for the Bruins in a 5-2 win.
“I thought we followed them as good as a 60 Minutes game,” said coach Jim Montgomery, whose team improved to 52-11-5, securing Boston’s highest overall win tally since 54 in the 2013-14 season.
Patrice Bergeron got his 50th point of the season with his assist on a Jake DeBrusk goal in the first half. This is the 14th time in the captain’s career that he has broken the 50-point mark. He joins some legendary companies including Ray Bourque (18), Johnny Bucyk (17), Brad Marchand (10) and David Krejci (9). The latter two also reached the milestone this season: Marchand (59 points) and Krejci (53).
Bergeron and Marchand also unlocked a historic milestone at DeBrusk’s goal together. The pair set the new club record for most times, accounting for the same goal (407) and passing legends Ken Hodge and Phil Esposito (406). The dynamic duo can now say they have scored 408 goals combined, having also come together in Bergeron’s third period.
Linus Ullmark played his 200th career game on Saturday afternoon, stopping 31 of 34 shots for his 34th win of the season. “I’m lucky enough to play at the highest level in the world and basically every day is a pleasure,” said Ullmark. “Especially in a group of guys like this. I couldn’t be happier right now.”
Marchand collected three assists for the 23rd time in his career. It was also his 62nd three-point game of his career, ranking seventh in Bruins history, one ahead of Bergeron.
Video: Montgomery speaks to media after BOS defeats MIN
Breakdown after five goals
Montgomery has said there’s always another hero of the night, highlighting the depth and talent of this Bruins team, who came into their own Saturday afternoon when five different Bruins netted the puck. As for one particular line that was particularly impressive, Montgomery called out the top trio.
“I thought Bergeron’s lyrics set the tone for us,” Montgomery said. “Some great forechecking goals. I thought everyone was involved but I liked our game management, that selflessness that we’ve seen all year was very evident tonight.”
The most altruistic of all was Marchand, who provided three assists for DeBrusk’s goal, David Pastrnak’s goal and Bergeron’s. DeBrusk struck first and fired a laser from the top of the circle for his 21st goal of the season. Bergerons came midway through the third third for his 25th of the season.
The third line was also very impressive against the wild. Charlie Coyle, Tyler Bertuzzi and Trent Frederic made a tangible impression every time they hit the ice. “When we play against strong teams and against teams that have done well, we usually get into our game straight away because we know we have to,” said Coyle. “So usually our start is good. Whether we score the first goal or not, we just keep going. We’re doing the right things. We’re just playing and you see, when we do that, we kind of take over.”
Frederic was the one who scored on the line, hammering home an empty netter to score three straight games where he found the back of the net.
Pastrnak, in turn, used the power play in the second period and scored his 47th goal of the season. That puts Pastrnak just short of his career high in a season (48 in 2019-20; 70 GP). Shortly afterwards, David Krejci also went one better in the second, giving him his 14th of the season.
Video: Coyle speaks after BOS defeated MIN 5-2
Video Coach Victory
Video coaches Sean Andrake and Mat Myers consistently work behind the scenes with video boards from every angle of the game, giving them the opportunity to make key decisions that can change the outcome. Two of the Wild’s goals were rescinded after Myers and Andrake’s keen eye for offside, leading to successful tackles. “Thanks to Sean and Maty for catching these,” Ullmark said. “It was big.”
As for Andrake, the goal is always to have the opportunity to positively influence the game. “It was great,” said Andrake. “For us, it’s our way of scoring a goal per se, except we can pull it off the board, so it’s pretty awesome.”
The boys in the room recognized them in a big way and handed them the game puck in the dressing room after the points win. “We have a really good group here and we love them and we work hard for them every day,” Myers said. “It was really touching for her to recognize us in that moment and we will remember it forever.”
Video: Ullmark speaks after BOS defeated MIN 5-2 on Saturday