SOUTH BEND, Ind. – David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist, Tuukka Rask made 36 saves and the Boston Bruins defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Tuesday in the Winter Classic at Notre Dame.
Patrice Bergeron, Sean Kuraly and Brad Marchand also scored when Boston won for the second time in three appearances in the annual outdoor competition NHL on New Year's Day. The Bruins went 2 for 5 with the man advantage and killed each of the four power plays of the Blackhawks.
The game was equal to 2 when Boston (22-14-4) took a break in the third period – a bit of luck in the home of the Fighting Irish. Matt Grzelcyk's big hit shot went ahead of teammate Chris Wagner, but Kuraly defeated Blackhawk's defender Gustav Forsling and recovered the puck by Cam Ward at 10:20.
Supported by the most sold out groups of 76,126 in perfect conditions for outdoor hockey – the game time temperature was 35.5 degrees and a gray, cloudy sky took the sun off the equation – Chicago pushed hard for the tying score in the last minutes, but came empty.
Jonathan Toews sent a shot from the post after the Blackhawks Ward had retired for an additional attacker with about 1:30 left. Marchand then added an empty netter for his 13th of the season.
Chicago had won five out of six, but it remained scoreless in an NHL-high fourth appearance in the Winter Classic. It also fell back to 1-5 in six outdoor games – also top in the league.
Brendan Perlini and Dominik Kahun scored for the Blackhawks (15-21-6) and Ward made 32 stops.
Chicago jumped in front when it scored first for the sixth free game. David Kampf dug the puck out behind the net and found a wide open Perlini in the final 8:30 in the first.
It was Perlini's third goal in his last eight games. He had two goals in 22 games with Arizona before trading to Chicago on November 25.
Pastrnak responded with his team-best 24th goal at 12:38. With Artem Anisimov in the penalty area for tripping, Pastrnak got a free lead and moved the puck past Ward. He then celebrated it by flapping his arms like a bird.
The teams again swapped goals in the second. Kahun scored his fifth of the season when he diverted Erik Gustafsson's shot from Rask, but Bergeron tied it up when he scored a power play goal with 1:12 over in the period.
COMMENTS: Blackhawks F Patrick Kane lost his seven-game point streak. … Bruins F David Backes filed the second of a three-game suspension for an illegal hit against the head. … Marchand returned to the line-up after having missed 3-2 overtime on Saturdays at Buffalo with an injury to the upper body.
Bruins: Open a four-game home on Thursday-evening against Calgary.
Blackhawks: Visit the New York Islanders on Thursday night.