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Bruins 8, Devils 1

After distasteful loss to the Maple Leafs, Bruins take it out on the Devils in a rout

Jake DeBrusk (right) celebrates his first-period goal with Hampus Lindholm that gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead. He also was credited with an assist on Brad Marchand's second-period goal for a 4-1 lead.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Getting blown out on home ice Tuesday night by the Toronto Maple Leafs left the Bruins with a nasty taste in their mouths. Handing the New Jersey Devils the kind of beating rarely seen on an NHL ice sheet was a palate cleanse for the Bruins Thursday night at TD Garden.

The Bruins paid the punishment forward, wiping out the Devils, 8-1, on a night they paid homage to their retired veteran puck stopper, Tuukka Rask, in a pregame ceremony. Scoring seven unanswered goals over the first and second periods, the Bruins wrapped up a three-game season sweep of the Devils by an aggregate tally of 18-6.


The Bruins poured in a season high for goals in a game and, as both teams were playing out the string in the third period, even Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was wondering how long it would take to put the Devils out of their misery.

“It just seemed like the longest game ever,” Cassidy joked. “What time is it, midnight right now? It just seemed to drag.”

Boston scored six goals in a decisive second-period flurry — turning a 1-1 first-period tie into an insurmountable seven-goal lead after 40 minutes.

Brad Marchand scored twice and thought he had a hat trick when he beat reserve goaltender Jon Gillies in the second period only to have it waived off by officials.

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand celebrate Marchand's second-period goal Thursday night against the Devils at TD Garden.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Jake DeBrusk (1-1—2) extended his goal-scoring streak to three games. With friends and family on hand for his NHL debut, Marc McLaughlin, a 22-year-old Billerica native and Boston College product, scored his first career NHL goal at 12:04, highlighting a three-goal outburst that spanned 3 minutes 3 seconds.

The three-goal flurry was triggered by Patrice Bergeron’s power-play tally at 9:01 and followed by Marchand’s second tally of the period at 10:34 that ended the night for Devils starting goaltender Nico Daws (15 saves).


Four minutes after McLaughlin’s memorable tally, Taylor Hall found the back of the net at 16:12 to give the Bruins a commanding 8-1 lead.

It was just the fourth time in the last 10 years the Bruins scored at least eight goals while giving up just one. They beat Montreal, 8-1, in 2019 (the last time they scored eight goals in a game), Toronto, 8-0, and Calgary, 9-0, in 2012.

“These games don’t happen often,” Marchand said. “We did some good things but, at the same time, puck luck and we got the good bounces, capitalize on opportunities. It’s a good game but we have to kind of let this one go and prepare for the next one now.

“It definitely feels good after the last game, but at the end of the day, we lost two points last game, we get two tonight. That’s all that matters. So refocus now and get ready for the next one.”

Tough losses may sting, but the Bruins don’t let them linger. The Bruins are 19-4-2 after losses this year. They are 15-3-1 over their last 19 games and haven’t lost back-to-back games since suffering consecutive setbacks to the Ranges and Islanders in mid-February.

“Not happy with the game Tuesday,” Cassidy said, referring to the 6-4 loss to the Maple Leafs. “We tried to build some good habits in the third period [against Toronto] and have a good working practice yesterday and carry it into tonight, and I think we did.”


Erik Haula celebrates his second-period goal with fans Thursday night at TD Garden.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Matt Grzelcyk, who was minus-2 in the Bruins’ loss to the Maple Leafs, but made up for it quickly against the Devils, scoring his fourth goal of the season just 57 seconds into the game.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy wanted to make room for Josh Brown and Mike Reilly on one of the three defensive pairings after the trade deadline created a numbers game along the blue line. The loss to the Leafs only accelerated the process.

Cassidy plugged Reilly and Brown into the third line for Connor Clifton and Derek Forbort, and they clearly understood the assignment. Not even five minutes into the game, both of them were in the penalty box.

Brown was more than transparent about his style of play when he arrived (he has no problems with letting his hands fly). Mason Geertsen took exception with a hit from Brown along the boards and challenged Brown as soon as he sprung up from the ice. Brown obliged and got the better of the tussle, landing a right hand that staggered Geertsen.

Both were sent off to serve five-minute fighting majors.

A couple minutes later, Reilly saw Miles Wood check Charlie McAvoy into the end boards and immediately rushed in to defend the Bruins’ top defenseman.

Reilly came flying in and took a direct shot at Wood. The two combatants got into a quick tangle that ended quickly once they tumbled to the ice. Reilly earned a pair of roughing penalties put the Devils on the man advantage.


“It looked like Jersey was trying to be physical early on,” Cassidy said. “That’s kind of probably the game we needed to get our attention as well, so worked out both ways.”

The Bruins were able to kill that penalty, but they gave up a goal as soon as they got back to full strength.

Jack Hughes evened the score at the 16:09 mark with his 25th goal of the season. But it proved the last time the Devils would get within striking distance as the Bruins went on to put the game out of reach by rattling off seven unanswered goals.

“I think it’s both the other team gets discouraged, especially on the road,” Cassidy said. “And at home, our guys are feeling it and they’re making plays — and we do have some guys that can make plays.”

Julian Benbow can be reached at julian.benbow@globe.com.