After reaching the 100-point mark faster than any team in NHL history, the Boston Bruins will try for a 10th consecutive win when they host the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
Boston added to its historic season in Thursday’s first game of a four-game homestand, scoring five goals in the third period to blow past Buffalo 7-1.
As a result, the Bruins hit 101 points in their 61st game — one game earlier than the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens reached 100 — and remain on pace to set NHL single-season records for wins and points.
“You look at the streak they’ve built, the games they’ve put together, they want to be better, every period,” Bruins forward Garnet Hathaway said of his new team. “It’s competitive in here. That’s how you win games (and) get better.”
Hathaway and defenseman Dmitry Orlov were acquired from Washington Feb. 23.
David Pastrnak, who signed an eight-year contract extension Thursday morning, scored his 43rd goal and added two assists against the Sabres. Orlov matched Pastrnak’s three points, while Jakub Lauko registered his first career multi-goal game.
Orlov is the third player and first defenseman in Bruins history with at least eight points in his first four games with the team, joining forwards Fred Stanfield in 1967-68 and Dimitri Kvartalnov in 1992-93.
“Obviously, (Orlov’s) offense has been great,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “But he ends plays in the D-zone. He’s heavy, he’s hard and has elite vision and hands. It was just a great pickup. … I don’t think (general manager) Don Sweeney gets enough credit.”
Thursday also featured the acquisition of forward Tyler Bertuzzi from Detroit after Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno went down with lower-body injuries.
Hall was placed on long-term injured reserve and is receiving a second opinion. There is no further update on Foligno, who is expected to miss “significant” time.
Despite recent injuries, Montgomery is supremely confident in the club.
“You don’t have a team that wins this consistently unless your general manager has built a great team, and he has,” Montgomery said. “We’ve got drafted players, we’ve got traded players, and homegrown players that have been here for a long time that love being Bruins.”
Montgomery also said Brad Marchand (upper body) will play Saturday despite missing Thursday’s third period for precautionary reasons.
Like the Bruins, New York made a splash before Friday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, acquiring three-time Stanley Cup champion forward Patrick Kane from Chicago as part of a three-team trade on Tuesday.
Kane made his Rangers’ debut in a 5-3 Thursday loss to Ottawa, skating on a line and seeing power-play time with former Blackhawks teammate Artemi Panarin.
“I haven’t played in a little bit, I’m maybe a little bit rusty, but I’m excited to get feeling good with this team,” Kane said.
The Rangers are 2-4-1 since a seven-game win streak. Thursday’s game was the second of a back-to-back following a 3-2 overtime win in Philadelphia.
“Every team is going through this, putting different players in your lineup and trying to make it fit perfectly, but it doesn’t work perfectly every time,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “In a week or two weeks’ time, we’ll be looking back at this and saying a lot of stuff was happening.”
Forward Tyler Motte, who was acquired Feb. 19 from Ottawa, is day-to-day after exiting Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury that left the Rangers with 11 forwards and five defensemen.
Ryan Lindgren (upper body) missed his third consecutive game. K’Andre Miller will complete a three-game suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct on Saturday.
Vladimir Tarasenko was one of the Rangers’ goal-scorers, netting his second in as many games and fourth in 11 games since being acquired from St. Louis on Feb. 9.
–Field Level Media