BOSTON (AP) — David Pastrnak scored the tiebreaking goal with 5:49 left in the third period and the Boston Bruins beat the New Jersey Devils 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Curtis Lazar had a goal and an assist, Oskar Steen scored his first career goal and the Bruins won their third straight since returning to the ice after they had six consecutive games postponed because of COVID-19.
Trent Frederic also scored for Boston, and Brandon Carlo sealed it on a goal with 23 seconds to play. Linus Ullmark finished with 23 saves for the Bruins, who never trailed in ending New Jersey’s three-game winning streak.
“We’ve been playing some great hockey these last three games. Hopefully we can keep going,” Pastrnak said.
It was the first goal for Pastrnak since Nov. 30. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy recently shuffled lines, breaking up the top trio of Pastnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand while trying to balance Boston’s scoring.
“It’s going to take a little bit of time to get chemistry, but our focus is to talk to each other and be better every game,” said Pastrnak, who played on the second line with center Erik Haula and left wing Taylor Hall.
Pastrnak’s new linemates both got assists on his goal.
Nathan Bastian, Tomas Tatar and Damon Severson scored for the Devils.
Mackenzie Blackwood made 29 saves for New Jersey, which rallied from deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 to tie it but could not answer after Pastrnak scored from the slot for his ninth of the season.
“I think we did a lot of good stuff out there. We were battling and if we keep doing this every game, we could go a long way,” Tatar said. “We are looking much better after the break than we did before. If we’re going to keep repeating the right stuff, the good results will return for us.”
Just 20 seconds after Bastian scored on a breakaway in the opening minute of the second period, a pair of unlucky bounces for the Devils put Boston back up 2-1 when a shot by Nick Foligno bounced off Blackwood’s right shoulder and landed on top of the net. Steen reached under the crossbar with his stick and tapped the puck, which bounced off Blackwood’s other shoulder and in for a goal.
Another bounce put Boston up 3-2 late in the second when Lazar forced a turnover deep in New Jersey’s zone and Frederic took a backhand from behind the goal line and banked the puck off Blackwood’s hip.
“That’s one of those games where just a bunch of them went in. I don’t think I’ve ever had that many fluky goals going in one game,” said Blackwood, who let a soft shot by Lazar slip between his pads for Boston’s first goal. “There’s no sense in getting too hung up on it.”
New Jersey tied it 2-all when Tatar scored on a rebound after Jack Hughes put a backhand on Ullmark.
Severson tied it at 3 when he came out of the penalty box after serving a minor for holding the stick and took a long pass from Michael McLeod for a breakaway.
The Devils were without defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who is scheduled to have surgery on his broken jaw Wednesday. Hamilton, a first-round draft pick by the Bruins in 2011, took a puck to the face Sunday early in the Devils’ overtime win at Boston. New Jersey put Hamilton on injured reserve and did not give a timetable for his return.
NOTES: Steen, recalled from AHL Providence on Saturday, had three assists in four games before getting his first career goal in the second period. … Devils forward Andreas Johnson took a puck to the face with 8:41 left in the first period and needed a few minutes to get back on his skates. Johnson went straight to the locker room but was back on the bench a few minutes later. … Tatar was activated from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list after missing three games. … Devils forwards Pavel Zacha and Yegor Sharangovich were placed on the protocol list Tuesday. … Devils G Jonathan Bernier underwent surgery on his right hip and will miss the remainder of the season. … Bruins C Karson Kuhlman remained on the protocol list.
Devils: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.