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Bruins fight their way to Presidents’ Trophy, set team record for wins on David Pastrnak’s overtime goal

For the fourth time in franchise history, the Bruins claimed the Presidents' trophy.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The Bruins’ clinching had to wait until late Thursday night.

But David Pastrnak’s overtime goal provided a 2-1 win over the Blue Jackets, giving the Bruins the Presidents’ Trophy and breaking the team record for victories.

Pastrnak finished 41 seconds into the extra session off a Hampus Lindholm feed for his 53rd goal of the season, the Bruins (58-12-5) rallying after a slow start to surpass the 1971-72 team’s win mark.

The Bruins might not have expected a strong challenge from the last-place Blue Jackets (23-44-7), but they ended up relying more on fight than finesse for motivation. There were three sets of fisticuffs, and at least two served a purpose.


First, Jakub Lauko took on Billy Sweezey, a Hanson native, at center ice, the altercation stirring the Bruins out of their doldrums early in the second period. That seemed to fire them up, but it took awhile to match a Jack Roslovic short-handed goal at 8:06 of the first period.

Jakub Lauko and Columbus' Billy Sweezey mix it up Thursday night at TD Garden,John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The Bruins equalized on a power play after Patrice Bergeron absorbed a cross check from Lane Pederson in front of the net. The original five-minute major was reduced to a two-minute minor after a video review, conducted while Bergeron was being evaluated on the bench — he wound up with five stiches near his right ear.

Tyler Bertuzzi made it 1-1, redirecting from Pavel Zacha in front at 10:07, but there was more at stake than tying the score for the Bruins. Trent Frederic went after Pederson for a one-punch knockdown at 11:55.

“We always said that we’re there for one another and it means a lot for him to do that after that play,” Bergeron said of Frederic. “I’d like to think we’re like that for everyone, you know what I mean. I feel like we’re a tight group and it’s a pack mentality and it’s one of those things that it means a lot that he stepped up but I know he would’ve done it for anyone else.”


Bertuzzi appeared to break the deadlock but his goal was waived off, the call confirmed by a video review that determined the play had been whistled dead before the shot slid over the line at 13:36 of the second.

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery agreed the downgrade of Pederson’s major “they got it right,” noting the referees said “it was Bergy’s stick that clipped his own ear,” and Bertuzzi’s disallowed goal was “the right call, that’s why we didn’t challenge it.”

The Bruins had plenty of motivation by the third period, but it took a Linus Ullmark stop on a Johnny Gaudreau breakaway to keep them in the game before Brandon Carlo mixed it up with Boone Jenner.

In overtime, the Bruins wrapped it up quickly, a Tomas Nosek faceoff win starting the play. Pastrnak broke away into the right circle, cut back, and tucked in a backhander in the crease for the decider.

“Everyone relishing their role, even though tonight’s game was not the standard we’ve seen all year,” Montgomery said. “But it exemplifies how good of a team we are because of people executing and relishing their roles.

“Lots of positives to build off there. I still don’t think we were very sharp as we normally are — as far as crisp passing, our breakouts were slower, neutral zone was slow, O zone play was slow. We’re not at our game and there’s fatigue that comes in. It’s not easy but we’re finding ways to win. It’s been a magical season so far and we know the hardest part is ahead of us and we’re looking forward to that grind.”


Tyler Bertuzzi is congratulated by teammate David Krejci after a second-period goal -- much to the enjoyment of the Bruins' fans in the background.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

With 121 points, the Bruins captured their fourth Presidents’ Trophy, third since Bergeron joined the team.

“I’m proud of the way we’ve done it, by sticking to our process and growing as a team and learning, and really playing for each other,” Bergeron said. “It’s nice, but you have your eyes set on something bigger, obviously, and we know there’s a lot of work in front of us.”

Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at