BOSTON – The Boston Bruins saved their latest record-setting performance of the season for their home crowd.
Brad Marchand and Tyler Bertuzzi had power play goals and the Bruins broke the NHL points record with a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night in their regular-season home finale.
Under chants of “We want the Cup!” from fans inside TD Garden the Bruins’ won their seventh straight to push their points total to 133, one more than the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens. Those Canadiens played in an era without overtime and shootouts. The Bruins have 11 extra points — five for shootout wins and six for overtime wins — unavailable to Canadiens when they set the record.
“We're happy about it, don't get me wrong. But it's a regular-season record," Marchand said. “Playoffs start and everything starts over again. There's going to be 16 teams that have the same goal in mind and what we've accomplished so far has no bearing on that.”
The Bruins broke the mark a game after setting the NHL victory’ record with 63 on Sunday at Philadelphia, breaking a tie with the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I think (Montreal's) wins in 80 games is a little more significant," Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. But he added it's still meaningful "because those were dominant hockey teams.”
Tomas Nosek, Garnet Hathaway and Jake DeBrusk also scored for Boston on Tuesday night in win No. 64.
A night after reaching 60 goals in season for the first time, David Pastrnak posted his 50th and 51st assists. Linus Ullmark finished with 19 saves, with left the game with just over nine minutes left with what Montgomery said was “muscle tightening.” Marchand and Patrice Bergeron added assists.
When the playoffs begin the Bruins will have home-ice advantage throughout in pursuit of the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship since 2011.
Nick Jensen and Tom Wilson scored for the Capitals. Charlie Lindgren had 33 saves, including a one-handed, gloveless save on Pastrnak early in the third period.
Wilson narrowed what had been a two-goal deficit to 3-2 in the third before Nosek found Hathaway cutting toward the net for his 13th goal.
The Bruins got their first power play of the game with 12:24 left in the second after Matt Irwin was called for a cross-check on Taylor Hall.
Less than a minute later Boston turned it into a 1-0 lead when Pastrnak gathered a pass from Patrice Bergeron, immediately drew some defenders in the middle of the ice and flipped it to bottom of the right faceoff circle to Marchand, who finished off his 21st goal of the season. It was his first goal in 17 games after having last scored in a loss to Edmonton on March 9.
“You almost have to laugh about it," Marchand said. “It's one of those things I think where it gets frustrating, but then it gets to a point where it's just laughable. You can't take it too serious and I think that's where it got to. It's not the norm and I know that."
Boston was on the power play again after Tom Wilson was called for roughing Charlie McAvoy with just under seven minutes to play in the period.
The Bruins made it 2-0 when Bertuzzi found himself in perfect position to rebound a shot by Pastrnak and push through his eighth goal of the season.
Jensen trimmed the margin to a goal with 4:53 left in the period, when his wrist shot appeared to clip McAvoy and trickle by Ullmark for Jensen’s fifth goal of the year of the year.
BOWMAN WEIGHS IN
Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman was in attendance when Tampa Bay hosted Toronto on Tuesday.
A friend of Montgomery and coach for the previous record-setting seasons by Montreal and Detroit, the 89-year-old said he doesn’t mind seeing those marks surpassed.
“We still have part of the record, we got 132 points in 80 games I keep telling him,” Bowman said with smile. “I don’t mind. I’m glad for him because he made a good comeback. He’s got confidence. They’ve got a good team. ... I’m old enough to know that I don’t need to have all my records, and if he can them I’m happy for him.”
NOTES: It was just Boston’s second time with two power play goals in a game this season. It also had two in a 7-3 win over Florida on Dec. 19. … Washington’s Jensen has now scored in a career-high five games. … Henrik Borgstrom was recalled from the AHL Hershey Bears Tuesday and became the first Finnish player to dress for the Capitals in 14 years.
Capitals: Host New Jersey on Thursday night.
Bruins: At Montreal on Thursday night.
AP freelancer Mark Didtler, in Tampa, Fla., contributed to this report.
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