NEWARK, N.J. — NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - After blowing a couple of late leads, the Boston Bruins got back to playing the right way with the game on the line.
They got stingy on defense, turned to old reliable David Pastrnak for offense, and got a little help from a couple of unexpected sources - defensemen Matt Grzekcyk and Connor Clifton.
Pastrnak and Grzelcyk scored two goals apiece, and Brad Marchand added three assists to lead the Bruins over the New Jersey Devils 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Tuukka Rask made 25 saves and the Bruins scored three times in the third period to break open a one-goal game and beat the Devils for the eighth time in nine meetings.
The win was only Boston’s second in the last seven games (2-2-3), and there were some ugly defeats. In recent shootout losses, the Bruins blew a four-goal lead in the final 20 minutes against Florida and allowed a last-minute goal to Washington.
“I thought we played fairly stingy and tonight we had a chance to extend the lead on the power play, we simplified, got it to the net and took advantage of our opportunities,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I thought we did a good job of limiting them.”
Pastrnak has an NHL-high 19 goals in 21 games, including 17 in his last 16 contests. Grzelcyk had six career goals in his first 149 games in the NHL. The defenseman had his first two-goal game in No. 150.
“We wanted to learn from our mistakes from last game, so we wanted to make sure we came into that third period playing the right way and that's what we did,” Pastrnak said. “We kind of controlled the whole period and that's why we won.”
Blake Coleman scored for New Jersey, which was looking for its first three-game winning streak since December 2018. Mackenzie Blackwood made 23 saves in starting for the 12th time in 14 games.
“We weren’t hungry enough. We were flat. No excuse,” Coleman said. “We talked ad nauseam how important this game was and we wanted to get some traction as a team. There is no excuse to lay that egg.”
Marchand set up Grzelcyk and Pastrnak for goals 14 seconds apart in the first period for a 2-0 lead.
Coleman cut the margin in half late in the second, but the Bruins broke it open in the third.
Pastrnak drew a penalty from P.K. Subban at 3:11 and scored eight seconds later with a rising shot from inside the blue line that whizzed past Blackwood.
“We needed a big penalty kill there and we didn’t get it done,” Devils captain Andy Greene said. “That obviously gave them the momentum.”
Grzelcyk stripped the puck from Subban at the Devils line and skated in to beat Blackwood in close for a 4-1 lead at 10:33.
“Amazing goals, especially the second one,” Pastrnak said of Grzelcyk. “It's nice and we're happy for him. He was feeling it today.”
Clifton got his second of the season on a point shot.
Boston top line center Patrice Bergeron missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury. David Krejci centered for Pastrnak and Marchand, and the line finished with seven points.
Cassidy expects Bergeron back for the next game.
NOTES: Devils G Cory Schneider cleared waivers and was assigned to Binghamton (AHL). ... Bruins forwards Brett Ritchie and Jake DeBrusk returned to the lineup after they each missed five games with injuries. ... Coleman played in his 200th game and extended his point streak to four games.
Bruins: Return home to face the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.
Devils: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.
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