Pastrnak and Ullmark lead Bruins past struggling Devils, 4-3

Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk also scored for the Bruins, and Linus Ullmark made 36 saves in his NHL-best 19th win. Boston has won four in a row.

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Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) gloves the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) The Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — David Pastrnak scored two of Boston’s four second-period goals, and linemates David Krejci and Pavel Zacha each had two assists in the Bruins’ 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk also scored for the Bruins, and Linus Ullmark made 36 saves in his NHL-best 19th win. Boston has won four in a row.

Jack Hughes, Tomas Tatar, and Yegor Sharangovich scored for New Jersey. Mackenzie Blackwood made 14 saves before getting pulled after two periods. The Devils lost for the seventh time in eight games (1-6-1) and dropped to 3-6-2 in December.


Boston improved to 9-4-1 when allowing the first goal, the best mark in the NHL, and won despite giving up the opening score for the second consecutive night. The Bruins struck for three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second, with Pastrnak scoring his 23rd and 24th goals of the season.

Bergeron tied it with his 13th goal at 3:12, then Pastrnak gave Boston a 2-1 lead when he put the rebound of Krejci’s shot between Blackwood’s pads at 4:34.

New Jersey had opportunities to score during that stretch, but Ullmark slid across to deny Nico Hischier on a 2-on-1 break and Tatar rang a shot off the crossbar — one of two posts the Devils hit in the second.

Pastrnak made it 3-1 when he beat Blackwood clean with a snap shot at 9:52. DeBrusk capped the huge second with his 13th goal off a pass from linemate Brad Marchand at 17:27.

Tatar and Sharangovich scored to cut Boston’s lead to 4-3, but Ullmark held New Jersey off, stopping 14 shots in the third.

Hughes broke the ice with his 18th goal, third in New Jersey’s past five games, and fourth on the power play at 16:36 of the first.


New Jersey could have had a larger lead if not for Ullmark. He made 10 saves in the first period, then stopped Miles Wood on a breakaway early in the second with the Devils up 1-0.

NOTES: Hughes played in his 200th NHL game. … Zacha, who was selected by New Jersey with the sixth pick of the 2015 NHL draft and played his first 386 games for the Devils, was honored by the team with a tribute video during the first period. … Nikita Okhotiuk, recalled by the Devils from Albany of the AHL on Thursday, played his first NHL game of the season and had an assist. Okhotiuk stepped in for defensemen Ryan Graves (lower body) and John Marino (upper body), who each missed the game due to injury. … Bruins forward A.J. Greer, who played 10 games over two seasons for New Jersey from 2020-22, returned to the lineup after being scratched the previous three games. Greer replaced Craig Smith, who was a scratch.


Boston: At Ottawa on Tuesday.

New Jersey: Hosts Boston again Wednesday after the holiday break.


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