B’s win to set points record, Linus Ullmark leaves game early

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The Bruins won their record 64th game in their regular season Garden finale on Tuesday, but they did not escape their 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals without some concern.

Linus Ullmark had to leave the game with 9:39 left in the third period. A few minutes earlier, he had gotten up slowly after he slid into the post in attempt to make the save. He stayed in the game for a few minutes but eventually came out.

As he did when Charlie McAvoy got dinged up last week, coach Jim Montgomery calmed some fears after the game.

“It was just precautionary. He’s going to to be fine,” said Montgomery, allowing for a giant exhale across the region. “Just some mucle tightening. That’s all.”

Montgomery said the goalie hadn’t been dealing with anything prior to Tuesday night. Did he get a scare when he saw Ullmark leave?

“No. Goalies are odd, didn’t you know that?” said Montgomery with a laugh.

Ullmark, credited with his 40th win of the season (the most by a Bruin goalie since Pete Peeters notched 40 in 1982-83), did not come out to give his reliever Jeremy Swayman their usual hug, nor did he return for the shirt-off-their-backs post-game event. And he didn’t speak to reporters after the game. But the fact that Montgomery was able to crack himself up about the whole thing suggests the favorite for the Vezina Trophy will indeed be OK.

Otherwise, the B’s checked a few noteworthy boxes in the home finale:

*Get Brad Marchand off the schneid? Check. He snapped a 16-game goal-less streak and added a pair of assists.

*Continue rebuilding the power play? Check. They went 2-for-2 and looked good doing it.

*Set the record for most points in a season? Check. They earned their 132nd and 133rd point, surpassing the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens. That Habs team, which lost only eight games in regulation, would be quick to point out that they played in the pre-overtime era and in an 80-game schedule. But the record still belongs to the B’s.

Pround son of Montreal, Montgomery didn’t want to dwell too much on this latest mark.

“It’s nice that we’re getting the record for points, but the Montreal team we surpassed only played 80 games,” said Montgomery. “I think the wins (63) in 80 games is a little more significant. But I care more that we’re playing the right way.”

After a sleepy start, the B’s finally broke the ice at 8:32 of the second period, and it came from a very welcome – and needed – source. Marchand had been mired in one of the worst scoring slumps of his career. He hadn’t even notched a point in his previous seven games. But after Matt Irwin cross-checked Taylor Hall to give the B’s their first power play, Marchand cashed in.

David Pastrnak, fresh off his hat trick that gave him 60 goals for the season on Sunday in Philadelphia, was set up for a one-timer at his usual spot on the left elbow when he took a slick pass from Patrice Bergeron. He didn’t take the slapper, but took it into the middle of the ice and fed Marchand on the right side for the wide open net. It was Marchand’s 21st of the season.

“You almost have to laugh about it,” said Marchand. “It was on of those things that gets frustrating, but then it gets to the point where it’s just laughable. You can’t take it too serious. I think that’s what it got to. It got to the point where it’s not the norm and I know that. I have much bigger expectations. But at the same time, we’re winning a lot of games (14 of their last 15 and seven straight) and we’re having a lot of fun and you don’t let the frustration get in the way of that.”

The B’s took a 2-0 lead on their second PP at 14:20. With the Tom Wilson in the box for roughing, Tyler Bertuzzi put back a rebound of a Pastrnak shot for his eighth of the season.

But the Caps got one back quickly on a bad break at 15:27. Nick Jensen took a harmless looking shot from out in the high slot, but it deflected off Charlie McAvoy and it bounced past Ullmark.

In the third period, the B’s poured on the pressure and, for a while, Lindgren was up for the challenge, making save after spectacular save.

But Tomas Nosek eventually gave the B’s a little bit of breathing space. After he had just changed on, Nosek pounced on a Washington turnover out high and he snapped it past Lindgren at 4:13. It was Nosek’s 100th career point.

Lindgren made one more terrific save on Hall at 5:21 on which he appeared to suffered a right shoulder injury, forcing him to leave the game in favor of Darcy Kuemper.

Wilson got the Caps back to within a goal when on a Washington power play, he chipped home a rebound at 7:13.

Not to worry. Just 36 seconds later, former Cap Garnet Hathaway chipped home a Nosek pass to give the B’s their two-goal pad again and, finally, Marchand set up Jake DeBrusk for an empty netter to finally end it.

The B’s now have one more very meaningless game left, Thursday in Montreal. When they return to the Garden early next week, it will be playoff time. There’s already a buzz in the air.

“You can tell the excitement that the city has right now. We love the opportunity. We’re real excited about it as well,” said Marchand. “The expectations are there, but there’s a long way to get to that point. We love that challenge, but it’s a step by step process that we need to focus on. We’ve got to worry about Game 1 and we’ll go game by game after that.”

It’s a methodical approach that has worked wonders for them in the regular season, that’s for sure.

Linus Ullmark of the Bruins tries to stop a shot during the first period. He left the game in the third period after apparently being injured. (Matt Stone/Boston Herald)
Linus Ullmark of the Bruins tries to stop a shot during the first period. He left the game in the third period after apparently being injured. (Matt Stone/Boston Herald)











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