GOLD STAR: Patrice Bergeron is Boston’s best player on most nights and the 5-1 win over the Devils on Thursday night was no different. Bergeron scored a pair of goals to get him 30 on the season and that now makes it all three members of the Perfection Line that have scored 30 or more for the second season in a row. Bergeron finished with the two goals, three points and a plus-4 rating in 17:10 of ice time and finished with four shots on net and won 9 of 19 on face-offs. It was Bergeron who got the Bruins on the board first and it was Bergeron who won the face-off in the offensive zone that led to the game-winning goal for David Pastrnak. Truthfully, he was all over the place and the best player on the ice.
BLACK EYE: Damon Severson has enjoyed some pretty good games against the Bruins as a New Jersey defenseman, but Thursday night was not one of them. Instead, Severson was on the ice for three Bruins goals, turned over four pucks in his more than 23 minutes of ice time and really didn’t make many positive plays. Certainly, Severson wasn’t the only one who struggled in a 5-1 loss where things really caved in for the Devils in the third period, but he was one of the worst offenders for a New Jersey team just struggling to get to the finish line.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins were already in the driver’s seat, leading 2-1 after two periods. But New Jersey had scored in the second half of the second period to halve the lead and it appeared that there would be a competitive game in the third period. But the Bruins picked up the pace in the third while outshooting the Devils 11-7 and scored three unanswered goals that blew the Devils right out of the water. The first was a big Danton Heinen goal that started with a Sean Kuraly blocked shot and then Bergeron and Backes kicked in two more goals to close things out.
HONORABLE MENTION: David Pastrnak looked a tiny bit rusty in his Tuesday night return to the Bruins lineup after missing the last month-plus with a thumb injury, but that was gone Thursday night. It was Pastrnak who fed Bergeron for the Bruins first goal, and then Pastrnak scored a tap-in for the game-winner in the second period after a Bergeron face-off win in the offensive zone set everything up. In all, Pastrnak finished with a goal, two points and a plus-2 in 15:51 of ice time, along with five shot attempts and a couple of hits. Even better, it looked as if Pastrnak’s game was pretty much back to normal with no complications from the splint on his left hand.
BY THE NUMBERS: 90 – the number of points for Brad Marchand after collecting three more assists. There's an outside chance of his first 100-point season if he can avoid any late-season disciplinary trouble.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "A lot of good read-and-react plays. We could have had a few more [goals]. The chemistry was definitely back.” –Bergeron, to reporters in New Jersey about things beginning to click with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak in their second game back together again.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.