Ryan Johansen scored two goals to back 37 saves from Alexandar Georgiev as the Colorado Avalanche extended their winning streak to four games with Monday's 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Cale Makar added a goal and an assist for the Central Division-leading Avalanche, who also received an empty-net goal from Valeri Nichushkin and two assists from Nathan MacKinnon to stop the Lightning's five-game point streak. Tampa Bay came in 4-0-1 over its last five outings.

Georgiev had 13 saves in the first period and Johansen scored unassisted 7:12 in to put Colorado in front. Johansen struck again 1:48 into the second before Makar made it a 3-0 lead with a power-play goal less than two minutes later.

Anthony Cirelli scored the Lightning's lone goal in the final minute of the second period, but Georgiev stopped all 12 Tampa Bay attempts in the third before Nichuskin scored into an empty net with 3:14 left.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 19 of 22 shots in the Lightning goaltender's second game back from offseason back surgery.

Blue Jackets send skidding Bruins to third straight loss

Spencer Martin made 31 saves and Yegor Chinakhov had a goal and an assist as the surging Columbus Blue Jackets dealt the suddenly slumping Boston Bruins a 5-2 loss.

Dmitri Voronkov, Ivan Provorov, Kirill Marchenko and Justin Danforth also had goals as Columbus won for the third time in four games following a 4-11-4 start to the season.

The Bruins, meanwhile, have suffered three straight regulation losses following a sizzling 14-1-3 start. 

Voronkov scored the lone goal in the first period before the Blue Jackets extended the lead to 3-0 on goals by Provorov and Chinakhov in the second. Marchenko pushed the margin further with a power-play goal 4:51 into the third.

Matthew Poitras and John Beecher had third-period goals for Boston, which pulled starting goaltender Jeremy Swayman after Provorov scored 5:38 into the second.

Swayman stopped 17 of 19 shots before departing, while Linus Ullmark turned back 18 of 20 chances in relief.

Tuch scores twice as Sabres pull away from Rangers

Alex Tuch had a pair of goals and the Buffalo Sabres scored three times late in the third period to pull away for a 5-1 win over the New York Rangers.

Tuch, Casey Mittelstadt and Kyle Okposo all scored in the final 4:29 of the game after New York cut its deficit to 2-1 on Mika Zibanejad's goal with just over eight minutes elapsed in the third period.

Mittelstadt, Victor Olofsson and Owen Power each had two assists to help Buffalo move to 3-1-1 over its last five games. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen finished with 25 saves for the Sabres.

Buffalo had taken a 2-0 lead on JJ Peterka's goal in the first period and Tuch's first of the night, which came with 27 seconds left in the second.

Igor Shesterkin stopped 34 of 38 shots for the Rangers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped and sustained just their fourth regulation loss of the season. 

Jimmy Vesey snapped a second-period tie and Chris Kreider had two goals to lift the red-hot New York Rangers to a 7-4 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday in a matchup of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

Kreider scored on the power play and short-handed and Artemi Panarin added a goal and an assist to help the Rangers win for the seventh time in eight games.

New York is 13-1-1 in its last 15 contests and has 15 wins in 19 or fewer games for the first time in franchise history.

Charlie Coyle scored twice for the Bruins, who have allowed 12 goals in losing consecutive games following a 5-0-2 stretch.

Jonathan Quick made 27 saves to improve to 6-0-1 in seven starts with the Rangers. 


Copley’s shutout keeps Kings surging

Pheonix Copley needed to make only 18 saves for the shutout and Trevor Moore scored twice as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-0 for their fifth straight win.

Carl Grundstrom and Trevor Lewis also scored to help the Kings win their ninth in 11 games and improve to 13-3-3 on the season.

Los Angeles allowed just one shot on goal in the first period and surrendered five total goals during the five-game streak.

Montreal dropped to 2-2-0 on its five-game road trip.


Flyers' Errson bests Sorokin in shootout

Samuel Errson made 25 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped all four attempts in the shootout as the Philadelphia Flyers overcame Ilya Sorokin’s stellar effort in a 1-0 win over the New York Islanders.

Errson notched his first shutout of the season and second of his career to help the Flyers bounce back from consecutive losses.

Sorokin finished with 40 saves with his only mistake coming on Tyson Foerster’s shootout goal in the fourth round.

This was the sixth time in NHL history where a goaltender recorded a 40-save shutout and suffered a loss. Sorokin was involved in the most recent occurrence on Dec. 19, 2022, at Colorado.

Linus Ullmark turned away 27 shots and the NHL-leading Boston Bruins defeated the Florida Panthers 3-1 on Wednesday in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

John Beecher and Jake DeBrusk scored in a 3:05 span of the second period and Charlie Coyle also scored for the Bruins, who are 14-1-3 this season.

Boston’s 31 points after 18 games ties the fifth-most in league history.

Last season, the Bruins finished with an NHL-record 135 points but lost to Florida in seven games in the opening round of the playoffs.

Anton Lundell scored for Florida, which had a six-game home winning streak stopped.


Quick perfect in Rangers’ win

Jonathan Quick stopped 32 shots for the 60th shutout of his career and Alexis Lafreniere scored early in the first period as the New York Rangers stayed hot with a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

Quick became the 20th goalie in NHL history to reach 60 shutouts, ranking second among active netminders behind Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury (73).

Quick is 5-0-1 with two shutouts and only 11 goals allowed in six starts.

Lafreniere’s eighth goal was all the offense the Rangers needed to improve to 11-1-1 in their past 13 games.

Pittsburgh went 0 for 5 on the power play and lost for the third time in four games.


Strome lifts surging Capitals in overtime

Dylan Strome scored with 8 seconds left in overtime and the Washington Capitals extended their winning streak to five games with a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

Alex Alexeyev, T.J. Oshie and Tom Wilson also scored to help Washington improve to 6-0-1 in its past seven games.

Buffalo took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals by J.J. Peterka and Zach Benson and Dylan Cozens had the other goal as the Sabres lost for the fourth time in five games.

Steven Stamkos recorded the tying goal with 4.8 seconds left in regulation, and Brandon Hagel scored on a breakaway 1:19 into overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a stunning 5-4 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins on Monday.

Both Stamkos and Hagel added assists as the Lightning won a season-high third consecutive game. Tampa Bay also received goals from Tanner Jeannot, Nicholas Paul and Austin Watson to back 23 saves from Jonas Johansson.

Stamkos' dramatic goal capped a wild third period in which the Bruins scored three times to erase a 2-1 deficit. David Pastrnak and John Beecher scored 1:21 apart to put Boston ahead, though Watson's first of the season forged a 3-3 tie with just over 11 minutes left.

Charlie Coyle briefly sent the Bruins back in front by putting home a feed from James van Riemsdyk with 3:51 left in regulation.

Boston, which got 41 saves from Jeremy Swayman, still managed to extend its point streak to six games (4-0-2). Pastrnak added an assist on Pavel Zacha's goal midway through the first period that tied the game at 1-1.


Stars score five third-period goals to end Rangers' point streak

The Dallas Stars erupted for five third-period goals to end the New York Rangers' 11-game point streak with a 6-3 come-from-behind victory.

Mason Marchment scored the go-ahead goal 7:06 into the third period, and Sam Steel and Roope Hintz each scored short-handed to help the Stars pull away and win for the fifth time in six games.

Hintz added two assists and both Marchment and Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist to support 30 saves from Scott Wedgewood. 

Pavelski started the third-period barrage by registering his eighth of the season just 1:01 into the period, tying the game at 2-2. Six minutes later, Marchment poked the puck past Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin on a play that was originally ruled a no-goal before being overturned by a coaches' challenge.

Tyler Seguin later extended Dallas' lead to 4-2 before Steel and Hintz both scored just 1:30 apart with the Rangers having pulled Shesterkin for an extra skater while on a power play.

New York, which came in having won four straight and on a 10-0-1 run, opened the scoring on Vincent Trocheck's power-play goal in the first period. Kaapo Kakko increased the margin in the second before Jamie Benn's goal brought Dallas within 2-1 with 5:37 left in the period.

Shesterkin stopped 30 of 34 shots in the loss. 


Predators shock Avalanche with two goals in final minute

Filip Forsberg and Yakov Trenin each scored in the final minute of regulation to give the Nashville Predators an improbable 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

The Avalanche were well on the way towards a fourth straight victory when carrying a 3-2 lead into the late stages of the third period. However, Forsberg scored his second goal of the night with 37.7 seconds remaining, and Trenin knocked a rebound past Colorado goaltender Alexandar Georgiev with 21.6 seconds left to complete the comeback.

Jeremy Lauzon added a goal and Gustav Nyquist recorded two assists to help Nashville to a second straight win following a four-game losing streak. Juuse Saros finished with 25 saves.

Lauzon scored less than four minutes into the second period to give the Predators a 2-1 lead, but Colorado's Devon Toews tied it later in the frame before the Avalanche went ahead on Valeri Nichushkin's power-play goal with 6:27 left in the second.

Colorado's Andrew Cogliano opened the scoring with a short-handed goal in the first period.

Cale Makar ended with three assists for the Avalanche, who also got two assists from Nathan MacKinnon and 26 saves from Georgiev.


David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists and the Boston Bruins scored the game’s first five goals in a 5-2 win Tuesday over the Buffalo Sabres, who lost star forward Tage Thomspon to injury.

Pastrnak’s 11th goal was the second of five straight by Boston, which improved to 3-0-1 in its last four games and leads the NHL with 26 points.

Thompson will miss significant time after he was injured blocking a shot by Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy in the second period.

The shot went off Thompson’s left wrist, and he winced in pain before heading back to the bench. He did not return.

Thompson is third on the Sabres with six goals and six assists for 12 points. He was among the league leaders last season with career highs of 47 goals and 94 points.


Crosby’s hat trick powers streaking Penguins

Sidney Crosby notched his 16th career hat trick and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the reeling Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3 for their fifth consecutive victory.

Crosby extended his point streak to nine games and completed his hat with the tiebreaking goal with 5:32 remaining before sealing the win with an empty-net tally.

Pittsburgh is 9-0-1 in its last 10 meetings wit Columbus, which has lost six straight (0-4-2).


Lindgren, Capitals shut out Golden Knights

Charlie Lindgren turned away 35 shots to lead the surging Washington Capitals to a 3-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.

Lindgren made a one-goal lead stand up until Washington scored twice in the final minute, including Connor McMichael’s empty-net goal.

Dylan Strome and Beck Malenstyn also scored to help the Capitals win their third straight and seventh in nine games (7-1-1).

Vegas lost in regulation for the third time in four games after opening the season 11-0-1.


Will Cuylle snapped a tie midway through the third period and the New York Rangers edged the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-1 for their sixth consecutive win on Thursday.

Chris Kreider had the other goal and Igor Shesterkin stopped 27 shots to give the Rangers eight wins in their first 10 games for the second time in franchise history. The 8-2-0 mark trails only a 9-1-0 record to open the 1983-84 season.

Seth Jarvis scored for the Hurricanes, who had a three-game winning streak stopped.

New York has won 10 of its last 14 regular-season games against Carolina and is 19-4-0 in the last 23 meetings at home.

Rangers forward Artemi Panarin assisted on Kreider’s goal to extend his season-opening point streak to 10 games with five goals and 11 assists.

New York’s Adam Fox left the game with a lower-body injury after the first period. He appeared to suffer the injury in a leg-on-leg collision with Carolina’s Sebastian Aho.


Bruins top Maple Leafs in shootout

Jake DeBrusk and Charlie Coyle converted in the shootout and the Boston Bruins downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 to remain without a regulation loss.

DeBrusk and Pavel Zacha scored in regulation and Jeremy Swayman stopped 33 shots to help Boston improve to 9-0-1 and keep pace with Vegas as the only teams yet to fall in regulation.

Toronto’s William Nylander had an assist to extend his season-opening, franchise-record point streak to 10 games.

Mitchell Marner and Auston Matthews had regulation goals for the Leafs, who are winless in their last three (0-1-2).


Golden Knights defeat Jets

The Vegas Golden Knights got a hat trick from Jonathan Marchessault and continued their blazing start with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Winnipeg Jets.

Ivan Barbashev and William Karlsson each had a goal and an assist to help Vegas improve to an NHL-best 10-0-1.

The Golden Knights are the 13th team in NHL history to record a season-opening point streak of at least 11 games.

Logan Thompson turned aside 29 of 31 shots and is 5-0-0 this season.

Alex DeBrincat recorded his fifth career hat trick to lead the surging Detroit Red Wings to a 6-2 rout of the Calgary Flames on Sunday for their fifth consecutive win.

DeBrincat scored in all three periods to continue a hot start to his Red Wings tenure. Acquired from the Ottawa Senators in the offseason, the 2020-21 All-Star now has a league-leading eight goals - all of which have come in Detroit's three home games this season.

Dylan Larkin added a goal and an assist for Detroit, which also received goals from Joe Veleno and Jake Walman. Lucas Raymond assisted on all three DeBrincat goals, while Justin Holl also finished with three helpers to support 29 saves from James Reimer.

Andrew Mangiapane and Yegor Sharangovich had goals for Calgary, which finished 1-3-1 on a five-game road trip. Dan Vladar stopped just 24 of 30 shots in defeat.


Poitras' first two NHL goals help Bruins move to 5-0-0

Matthew Poitras scored the first two goals of his NHL career in the third period as the Boston Bruins rallied for a 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks to remain undefeated for the young season.

Brad Marchand added an empty-net goal and Linus Ullmark made 30 saves to help the Bruins move to 5-0-0.

After a scoreless first two periods, Mason McTavish got Anaheim on the board first when he knocked in a rebound 5:05 into the third.

Poitras, playing in his fifth NHL game, tied it just 1:24 later before putting Boston in front midway through the period by beating John Gibson after collecting a rebound of teammate Jake DeBrusk's shot.

Gibson finished with 23 saves in the Ducks' third straight loss.


Brock Boeser became the first Vancouver Canuck to score four goals in nearly two decades as part of an 8-1 season-opening rout of the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.

J.T. Miller had a goal and four assists, Elias Pettersson added a goal and three assists and Quinn Hughes set up three scores for Vancouver.

Boeser’s first goal of the game midway through the opening period gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead. He scored twice 3 ½ minutes apart in the second period and tallied his fourth of the night at 5:43 of the third.

The last Canucks player to score four goals was Daniel Sedin against Detroit on Feb. 24, 2004.


Bedard scores first NHL goal but Bruins win

Connor Bedard scored his first NHL goal, but David Pastrnak snapped a second-period tie to lift the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Trent Frederic also scored and Pastrnak added an empty-net goal to give the Bruins a win in their season opener a year after setting NHL records for wins and points.

Reigning Vezina Trophy-winner Linus Ullmark stopped 20 shots and counterpart Arvid Soderblom made 32 saves for Chicago, which opened its season with a win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Bedard, who had an assist in his NHL debut, scored at 5:37 of the first period on a wraparound.


Matthews has trick in Maple Leafs’ shootout win

Auston Matthews completed a hat trick with two late goals and Mitch Marner had the lone tally in the shootout as the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied for a season-opening 6-5 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Toronto fell behind 2-0 and 5-3 but Matthews scored the 300th, 301st and 302nd goals of his career for his eighth hat trick.

John Tavares had three assists, setting up power-play goals by Matthews and William Nylander in the second period before drawing another on Matthews’ second tally with 4:32 left in regulation.

Matthews netted the equaliser with 67 seconds left in the third period.

Alex Newhook scored twice in his Canadiens debut.

Longtime Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron is retiring from the NHL after a Hall of Fame career.

A day after turning 38 years old, Bergeron announced he was retiring on Tuesday after 19 seasons in the NHL - all with the Bruins.

In a letter posted to the Bruins' official website, the team's captain wrote that he steps away with no regrets.

"For the last 20 years I have been able to live my dream every day," Bergeron said. "I have had the honour of playing in front of the best fans in the world wearing the Bruins uniform and representing my country at the highest levels of international play. I have given the game everything that I have physically and emotionally, and the game has given me back more than I could have ever imagined.

"It is with a full heart and a lot of gratitude that today I am announcing my retirement as a professional hockey player."

The 38-year-old Bergeron was still playing at a high level last season, registering 27 goals and 31 assists in 78 games to win the Selke Trophy for a record sixth time as the league's best two-way forward.

Bergeron helped the Bruins win the 2011 Stanley Cup and led them to the Cup Final on two other occasions.

Selected by Boston in the second round of the 2003 draft, Bergeron ends his career with 427 goals and 613 assists in 1,294 games.

He ranks third in Bruins franchise history in goals scored, fourth in assists and third in games played.

"As I step away today, I have no regrets," he said. "I have only gratitude that I lived my dream, and excitement for what is next for my family and I. I left everything out there and I'm humbled and honored it was representing this incredible city and for the Boston Bruins fans."


Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said overtime hero Matthew Tkachuk is "just a gamer" after his dramatic goal clinched a 4-3 road win over the Boston Bruins in Game 5.

The Panthers will take the series back to Florida for Game 6, with Tkachuk swooping on an error from Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark to show poise and score six minutes into OT.

Tkachuk has been a central point during the Stanley Cup first-round series, with Ullmark threatening to fight him in Game 4, but Maurice lavished him with praise after his Game 5 heroics.

"That guy is a - and then you put a long string of profanity - gamer," Maurice told reporters. "Is he not a gamer?

"There's 700 guys in the league, 640 of them jam that thing as fast as they can and lose it, and he pulls it across. He's just a gamer."

Tkachuk revelled in sending the series back to Florida, after scoring his first career playoff OT goal in his 32nd playoff game. It was also the Panthers' first OT win in their history when facing elimination (1-4).

"I think my favourite part about this is I guarantee everybody in this building thought the series was over today," he said. "Get it back on a flight down to Florida, that's the most exciting part."

The Bruins set several regular-season records, including most wins (65) and most points (135) in NHL history and were the raging favourites for the series against the Panthers, who were the East's second wild-card team.

"We were supposed to get swept this series, right? Everyone was saying," Tkachuk said. "I don't think anybody really gave us a chance after losing two games in a row at home. Coming here, it just seemed like the series was over before the game even started.

"Now they're coming down to Florida. We know there can't possibly be a Game 7 in their mind right now, and everybody here in Boston's minds. So it's up to us to see you guys back here in a few days."

It may have been different when Brad Marchand skated in alone on goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky late in regulation but was denied.

"I knew it wasn’t going in," Maurice said, before he admitted he was lying. "You can't know that it wasn't going in, so I'm full of [it] when I just said that to you.

"But I don’t feel like we’ve had a whole lot of advantage in this series, in the karma of the game. I just felt that we had stored enough karma that that shot wouldn't go in."

The result means the Bruins have lost consecutive home games for the first time this season.

"We tend to make big mistakes right now," Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said. "I don't know why, but the last two games at home we don't manage the ice or manage the puck, it's one of the two."

Boston Bruins coach Jim Montgomery was thrilled by the performance of his goaltender Linus Ullmark after 41 saves in a 6-2 Game 4 victory on the road against the Florida Panthers.

But it was not just Ullmark's shot-stopping that captured the affection of his coach, but also the fact that he tried to fight Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk.

The Bruins led 2-0 through a pair of power-play goals from Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk, until Tkachuk snatched one back for the Panthers with four minutes remaining in the second period.

Tyler Bertuzzi put Boston ahead 3-1 early in the third, and after Sam Bennett's power-play goal threatened to put the contest back up for grabs, DeBrusk collected his second goal and a late double from Taylor Hall blew out the final score.

The late Bruins' onslaught was in the midst of a series of scuffles, and Ullmark challenged Tkachuk to a fight after being unimpressed by him instigating those.

The referees prevented the clash, and Ullmark was given a penalty for trying to escalate, but his coach did not mind one bit.

"I love it," coach Montgomery said of his goalie. "He's all-in.

"[The Panthers] came up with a really good push, [but Ullmark] allowed us to weather the storm and start going back at them.

"He's been doing that for us all year. It's amazing how calm I am when I see scrambles in front of his net, because he's calm."

Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo added: "Tkachuk's kind of doing a lot of things to try and get under our skin, but for the most part we're doing a great job of keeping it between the whistles, and I'm proud of our group for doing so – but at times, you've got to show a little passion and push back."

DeBrusk scored his two goals despite suffering a nasty gash earlier in the contest from a puck to the side of the head, but he said it only helped to wake him up.

"Dusty, one of our trainers, kind of freaked out a little bit because there was a lot of blood," he said. "I thought it was the ear, but it was a little bit higher than that – it kind of woke me up honestly."

The win gives the Bruins – who set the NHL record with 65 wins this regular season – a 3-1 lead in the series, with the series heading back to Boston for Game 5.

Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said his side learned an important lesson after losing Game 2 of their Stanley Cup first-round series to the Florida Panthers 6-3.

The Panthers split the opening two games in Boston where the Bruins boasted a 34-4-3 record during the regular season, with the series now headed to Florida for Games 3 and 4.

Florida scored four third-period goals to blow the game open after it was locked at 2-2 heading into the final 20 minutes.

The Bruins came into the playoffs fresh from setting NHL records for most wins and points in regular season history.

The defeat marked the Bruins' first in their past 10 games and only their second loss at home this season by more than one goal.

"The number one lesson you learn is how hard it is to win in the playoffs," Montgomery told reporters.

"Florida did a good job. I thought they had a real good gameplan. We got to look at the tape, we've got to get better, we've got to execute better.

"For a team that's been really good in the third period for a long time, it's an opportunity for us to learn from that."

Montgomery labeled the turnovers his side gave away as "catastrophic", while he lamented their inability to regain their composure when they went 4-2 down in the third period.

"I didn’t think we re-grouped and reset," he said. "Most of the year we've been able to reset and go back to our go to our game.

"We didn’t go back to our game at 4-2. I thought we got back to our game in the first two periods."

The win means the Panthers have home-ice advantage ahead of Games 3 and 4 in Florida, although head coach Paul Maurice was not getting carried away.

"You can’t get too far behind anybody. Certainly not a team like the Boston Bruins, the season they’ve had," Maurice said.

"We’d be more than happy to play seven of them, grind it out. Play as long as we can for as hard as we can."

The Boston Bruins continued their historic season with a 3-1 Game 1 victory in the first-round series against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden on Monday.

Boston put together the greatest regular season record in NHL history at 65-12-5, beating the previous record held by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings (62-13-7) by three wins.

Kicking off their Eastern Conference playoff campaign, the Bruins jumped ahead in the first period through a David Pastrnak goal, before Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk added one each in the second period either side of Matthew Tkachuk's lone Panthers score.

While the Bruins came out with the win, they finished on the wrong end of the total shot count 32-29, also trailing slightly in hits (44-43).

Head coach Jim Montgomery said the score was not indicative of the general play, but at this time of year they will take whatever they can get.

"Results matter more than the process right now," he said. "When we look at our five-on-five game, we were not very happy with our process. 

"So we can get better there, but the result was really good, and I think the result comes from we had some players play really well, especially our goaltender. 

"The intensity of the playoffs, it surprised us a little bit, and I think we had a little bit of nerves."

Marchand is no stranger to playoff hockey, winning the Stanley Cup with the Bruins back in 2011, and he made it clear Boston are not happy with just the regular-season record.

"I don't think we've ever been satisfied with any game we've had this year," he said. "It's always good to start the first game with a win, but we haven't accomplished anything yet."

Tkachuk credited the Bruins with the way they improved the longer the game went on.

"There were parts of our game that were good, and I feel like [the Bruins] got a little bit better as it got on," he said. "Especially when you have a two-goal lead, it's easier to play. 

"You're playing safer, and they packed it in pretty good on us, but I'm confident in our team, in our game, and seeing a lot of things that I think we could hang with these guys."

Game 2 will also take place in Boston on Wednesday before the series heads to Florida.

The Boston Bruins have "much bigger goals" in the Stanley Cup playoffs than a record-breaking NHL regular season.

Boston set a new high for single-season wins with their 63rd against the Philadelphia Flyers over the weekend, and they made yet more history with win 64 on Tuesday.

A 5-2 defeat of the Washington Capitals took the Bruins to 133 points for the season, clear of the Montreal Canadiens' 1976-77 benchmark of 132.

But postseason success is the primary goal for the Bruins. Since winning their sixth Stanley Cup in 2011, this is their third Presidents' Trophy.

That Canadiens team, widely considered the greatest of all time, followed up their regular season by winning the title.

Winger Brad Marchand said: "We have a very special group. It's incredible how we've come together this year.

"We've done a phenomenal job all year of staying in the moment.

"We're proud of the group, but this is a regular-season record. That's not what we're playing for. We have our sights set on much bigger goals.

"I think it [the record] is something we'll look at down the road when we're daydreaming about what we got to do and what we've accomplished."

Boston coach Jim Montgomery was a little more open to discussing the team's latest achievement, recalling the quality of the 1977 Canadiens.

"I think of all the Hall of Famers on those teams and then Scotty Bowman behind the bench and going to the old Montreal Forum," he said.

"Think about how great those teams were and how we've surpassed that total. It's significant because those were dominant, dominant hockey teams."

The Boston Bruins saw no better preparation for the Stanley Cup playoffs than chasing NHL regular-season records under pressure.

That was the message from Bruins coach Jim Montgomery after Boston set a single-season NHL record with their 63rd win following a 5-3 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Bruins moved past the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning (both 62 wins) and have two games to lay down another benchmark.

Boston are just one point behind the all-time single-season record of 132 held by the Montreal Canadiens (in 1976-77), who they visit on Thursday after hosting the Washington Capitals two days prior.

Montgomery had previously said his group are "aware" and "grasp" their record-breaking exploits, and acknowledged his team are using the regular season to prepare for the playoffs, which start on April 17.

"Being able to stay focused and learn how to win when chasing records is the closest thing you can do when you're having a season like us to prepare for the playoffs," Montgomery said.

David Pastrnak scored a hat-trick against the Flyers to take his tally for the season to 60, only Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid has more with 64.

Bruins forward Pastrnak echoed Montgomery's sentiment as Boston aim to etch their name further in history.

"It's been a lot of fun, I'm not going to lie," Pastrnak said of the season. "It's been enjoyable, especially the group we have here.

"We obviously knew the stakes, and it's definitely special to hit it in a game like this. Made history today in the biggest league in hockey."

The Bruins set NHL records for the fastest team to 50 wins (64 games) and 100 points (61 games), while they have already secured home advantage in the playoffs after clinching the Presidents' Trophy.

Their latest record may come with some slight contention, given the Red Wings' 62 wins came without shoot-outs replacing tied games, whereas Boston have won four games via that deciding method this term.

Nevertheless, Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman says the 62-win mark stood for so long for a reason and revelled in breaking it.

"It's hard to win in this league and there's a reason why this record is at 62 because not many teams can get there, so it's a special honour," Swayman said.

"These guys in this room are more than deserving."

Montgomery added: "Anytime you're talking about putting your team's name in the history books of the most wins ever in a regular season, it's special."

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