Bruins break NHL single-season wins record by beating Flyers
PHILADELPHIA - The Boston Bruins have broken the NHL single-season wins record after beating the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 Sunday behind David Pastrnak's hat trick that got him to 60 goals for the first time in his career.
Hats rained down from the many Bruins fans in attendance after Pastrnak scored his third of the game early in the third period. The crowd chanted "We want the Cup!" in the final minutes, then showered players with cheers at the final horn of Boston's 63rd victory, which snapped a tie with the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bruins have won six in a row and reached 131 points, one back of the record held by the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens that has stood for nearly five decades, and with two games left against opponents well out of the playoff race. They'll soon have home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs in pursuit of the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship since 2011.
Boston's top two centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci were out, along with No. 1 defenseman Charlie McAvoy, forward Taylor Hall, key trade deadline pickup Dmitry Orlov and All-Star goaltender Linus Ullmark.
Even with a lineup chock full of players from the AHL's Providence Bruins, Boston relied on a familiar recipe to set the wins record. Beyond Pastrnak's goals, Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha scored, Jeremy Swayman made 34 saves and the Bruins extended their streak of consecutive penalties killed to 38.
Much to first-year coach Jim Montgomery's delight, they also kept up what he called their "signature calling" of closing out games. After allowing a goal to Owen Tippett midway through the third period, the Bruins locked things down as they have so many times before, improving to 46-1-2 when leading at the second intermission.
Pastrnak joined MVP favorite Connor McDavid as a 60-goal scorer, making this the first season with two players reaching that mark since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in 1995-96.
Wade Allison and Joel Farabee also scored for the Flyers, who lost their seventh in a row late in another lost season. Felix Sandstrom made a few big stops among his 29 saves, but that wasn't enough to slow down the Bruins in their pursuit of a spot in the record books.
Bruins: Host Washington on Tuesday night.
Flyers: Host Columbus on Tuesday night.