BOSTON (AP) — There was Marc McLaughlin, three weeks after ending his Boston College career, sharing the ice — and the scoresheet — with childhood hero Patrice Bergeron.
“I feel like I’ve had this moment in my basement a million times over,” the undrafted BC captain said after scoring in his NHL debut on Thursday night at a six-goal outburst in the second period that propelled the Bruins to an 8-1 win. against the New Jersey Devils. “It’s definitely surreal.”
Brad Marchand scored two goals for Boston and had a third canceled out – even as fans littered the ice with caps in celebration of the potential hat trick. Patrice Bergeron had a goal and two assists, and David Pastrnak had three assists to help the Bruins score the most goals since Thanksgiving 2019.
Matt Grzelcyk, Jake DeBrusk, Erik Haula and Taylor Hall also scored for Boston. Linus Ullmark made 25 saves to help the Bruins win for the fifth time in six games and the 15th in their last 19.
Jack Hughes scored for the Devils, whose ninth straight road loss knocked them out of the playoffs.
“Nobody is outside of that,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “We all played a part in this one.”
Haula and Marchand scored early in the second period to give the Bruins a 4-1 lead, then Bergeron, Marchand and McLaughlin scored three times in 3 minutes, 3 seconds on two different goalies to make it a runaway.
Nico Daws was removed after allowing Bergeron’s goal to make it 5-1 after stopping 15 of 20 shots. Jon Gilles didn’t fare much better, allowing goals on two of the first three shots he faced before calming down and stopping 17 in total.
A native of nearby Billerica who had 31 points in 33 games in British Columbia this season and also played for the United States at the Beijing Olympics, McLaughlin signed with the Bruins at the end of the Eagles season. and took a spot on the third line due to Craig Smith’s illness.
He joined in a two-on-one breakaway, dropping to one knee to ensure Trent Frederic’s perfect pass was redirected into the net. He backed into the boards with both hands raised in the air as fans – including around 50 friends and family – got to their feet for the seventh time.
“Have you seen the bench? That tells you a bit,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I think everyone on the bench was excited for him, to score your first goal, in front of your family.”
Hall made it 8-1 four minutes later on Pastrnak’s third pass of the game. Marchand put another in the net with about a minute left in the second, but the referees canceled the goal, ruling it offside.
” I have never seen this. Do we reimburse hats? Cassidy said, asking if the Pro Shop’s policy of giving a 25% discount on hats after a hat trick would be honored. “These people should have the benefit of the doubt on this. I don’t know how they police. But it’s not in my hands.
The Bruins paid tribute to longtime goaltender Tuukka Rask before the game. The 2014 Vézina Trophy winner was on the ice with his wife and three daughters for a ceremonial puck drop and—perhaps for the last time—the chants of “Tuuuuk!” echoed in the TD Garden.
“It’s a good way for him to say goodbye to the fans,” Marchand said. “I don’t think he really had that moment. He deserved to be honored for everything he did for this team and the city.
The franchise’s all-time leader in wins and winner of the 2014 Vezina as the NHL’s top goaltender, Rask announced his retirement last month after a setback in his attempt to return from a torn labrum at the hip.
“It was a bit of a time to be honest with yourself,” he said. “I just thought it was better for everyone to call him. I had a great career. No regrets.”
Devils: hosts Florida on Saturday.
Bruins: Host Columbus on Saturday night.
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