The Boston Bruins are the now the most successful regular-season team in NHL history, owning both the single-season wins and points records.
That achievement comes after Boston set a new single-season regular-season wins record on Sunday with their 63rd victory, breaking a two-way tie with the 1995–96 Detroit Red Wings and the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning,
“We have a very special group. It’s incredible how we’ve come together this year,” Bruins veteran winger Brad Marchand said. “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.”
Marchand Tyler Bertuzzi Scored in the second period to give Boston a 2-0 lead. The Capitals’ Nick Jensen cut the lead 1:07 after Bertuzzi’s goal. Tomas Nosek extended the Bruins’ lead to 3–1, only to have the Capitals’ Tom Wilson answer on the power play. But former Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway, whom the Bruins acquired at the trade deadline, made it 4–2 just 36 seconds later. Boston’s Jake DeBrusk scored an empty-netter to clinch the win.
The Bruins, now 64-12-5, finish their season at the Canadiens on Thursday night.
The only question mark for the Bruins on a brilliant evening: Goaltender Linus Ullmark left the game in the third period, replaced by Jeremy Swayman, Ullmark was still credited with his 40th win of the season, and Boston coach Jim Montgomery said it was “just precautionary. He’s going to be fine.”
The Capitals were coming off a victory against the visiting new york islanders on monday night. Washington was missing star winger Alex Ovechkinas well as forwards TJ Oshie, Anthony Mantha and Nick Dowd and defender Trevor van Riemsdyk,
Boston has dominated the 2022-23 NHL season from start to finish. It has clinched the Presidents’ Trophy with the league’s best record — and with its home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
“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,” Montgomery said of those legendary Canadiens. “Think about how great those teams were and how we’ve surpassed that total. It’s significant because those were dominant, dominant hockey teams.”
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the Bruins are the fourth team in the NHL’s modern era to sit atop its division standings for the entire season, joining the 2008–09 San Jose Sharksthe 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers and the 1977–78 Canadiens.
The Bruins set NHL records for the fastest team to 50 wins (64 games) and 100 points (61 games), as well. Their triumph against the Capitals set a new franchise record for home wins in a season (34).
Rather than coast into the postseason, Montgomery, in his first year, and his players have emphasized that breaking those regular-season records was a meaningful goal before the Stanley Cup playoffs begin on Monday.
“We’re looking forward to next week, but we’re going to go to Montreal and get ready for another game,” Montgomery said. “I think we’ve been able to keep moving on to what’s next, not looking too far ahead.”
It should be noted that the 1976–77 Canadiens set their regular-season wins record in an era with an 80-game season and before the overtime shootout eliminated tie games. Montreal had 12 ties that season.
“I think it’s something we’ll look at down the road,” Marchand said of the record, “when we’re daydreaming about what we got to do and what we’ve accomplished.”