BOSTON — The Bruins captured the Presidents’ Trophy and simultaneously catapulted themselves past the 1970-71 Big, Bad Bruins to post the single-season club record for wins on Thursday at the Garden.
And it took all the bigness and badness of their own to get past the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets to post win No. 58.
The B’s started listlessly but woke up with a rocking second period in a game that featured three fights. Yet it still took David Pastrnak’s overtime goal 41 seconds into the extra session to nail down the two points. Hampus Lindholm sent Pastrnak in a break up the right wing and Pastrnak scored his 53rd goal to seal the 2-1 victory.
Despite the fact that Columbus came in as the league’s worst team, it was never easy.
The first period on Thursday looked like an extension of Tuesday’s game against Nashville. The B’s earned the first power play of the night just 1:27 into the game and it promptly stalled any attack-mentality they brought into the game. They continued to have trouble gaining the offensive zone and did not get a single shot on net.
After killing off a penalty of their own, the B’s got another PP chance and, aesthetically speaking, it looked a little better than the first one but it still didn’t produce a goal. And at the tail end of it, they got scored upon.
In the left corner in the Columbus zone, David Krejci played a puck back toward the circle, but the only player there was Liam Foudy. He took off on a 2-on-1 and fed Jack Roslovic for a tap-in just beyond Linus Ullmark’s right skate at 8:08. It came seconds after Columbus got their man back so it didn’t go down as a shorthanded goal against, but it might as well have.
While the B’s held a 8-7 shot advantage in the first, they had trouble getting shots and passes through the Jackets in the offensive zone. Late in the period, the feeling of discombobulation continued as they took a too-many-men penalty.
It was much of the same to start the second period. The B’s killed off the reminder of the too-many-men call and then Tyler Bertuzzi was called for high sticking, which they also killed.
At 5:37, Jakub Lauko finally gave the fans their first reason to roar when he dropped the gloves with Billy Sweezey (Hanson, Ma.) and landed a a couple of good blows. When Lauko got to the box, he did tried to get the fans going even more, pumping his arms in exhortation.
Lauko’s bout also energized his teammates. They started to buzz and, in the middle of a Bruin attack, Lane Pederson viciously crosschecked Patrice Bergeron in the head. Pederson was originally tagged with a five-minute major. Upon review, the refs reduced it to a two-minute minor, oddly enough.
But at last, the B’s made an opponent pay for a transgression. The second unit started the PP and cashed in when, after s good keep-in by Charlie McAvoy, Pavel Zacha snaked his way to the right side of the crease and made a nice backhand pass to Bertuzzi, who redirected it home to tie it at 10:07.
But Pederson wasn’t done paying. The next time he touched the ice, Trent Frederic decided to mete out further justice, landing a one-punch knockdown on Pederson.
The B’s had a great chance to take the lead when Kirill Marchenko was assessed a double minor for high-sticking Brad Marchand. Bertuzzi got one puck by Hutchinson but it was waved off because of contact with the goalie because the referee Marc Joannette had blown the whistle, though Hutchinson clearly did not have the puck covered.
The teams then went into the third period deadlocked at 1-1.