As expected, over the course of an NHL-best season, the Boston Bruins reached yet another historic milestone Thursday night.
Boston demolished the Buffalo Sabres, making the night a complete nightmare for goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who allowed seven goals en route to a 7-1 Bruins victory at TD Garden, featuring a five-goal third period to further add insult to injury.
With the win, the Bruins became the quickest team in NHL history to 100 points. Doing so in 61 games played, Boston surpassed the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens, who previously held the record.
“It feels great to be a part of this hockey club and this group of young men that play incredible hockey with and without the puck and are really committed to being better every day,” Montgomery said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It’s just been an incredible run.”
Boston’s effort was as spotless as could be.
Any possible chances of the Sabres fighting back were quickly shut down. Whether it was Jeremy Swayman keeping Buffalo off the net for the first two periods or Jakub Lauko coming through with goals in the final two frames. Montgomery saw a domino effect from how well the Bruins were able to protect the puck, ultimately translating into a dominant effort at the end of the night.
“How well we protected pucks,” Montgomery said. “That’s a team that comes at you in a lot of angles and they try and create a lot of turnovers. And I thought we managed the puck really well, which led to them defending a lot, which over the course of the game, led to a lot of good scoring chances by us.”
Here are more notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Sabres game:
— Dmitry Orlov got his first-ever experience of the Boston home crowd. In four games with the Bruins, Orlov has scored 3 goals with four assists and a plus-eight rating.
“I think (Orlov) just gives us one more player that — an all-special player situation,” Montgomery said. “Power play, penalty kill and obviously he can make plays offensively just as well as he can shut down plays defensively. So it just makes us really deep.
“… We thought he was extremely versatile. And he plays the left side and the right side extremely well and again, that’s why we were so attracted to him.”
— Swayman allowed just one goal against the Sabres on 27 shot attempts, winning his fourth consecutive start.
— The victory marked a season-best ninth straight for the Bruins.
“I think our guys did a good job,” Swayman said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “… I got the best seat in the house. It’s pretty special watching these guys do what they do and I think we just fill each other’s tanks every game and we wanna make sure we’re pushing each other to be better.”
— Brad Marchand made an early exit in the third period due to a lower-body injury.
— The Bruins will host the New York Rangers next on Saturday for daytime action. Puck drop from TD Garden is set for 1 p.m. ET, and is being televised on ABC.