Boston Bruins secure NHL record for single-season victories

ByGreg Wyshynski ESPN logo
Monday, April 10, 2023

The Boston Bruins have set a new NHL single-season record with 63 wins, defeating the Flyers 5-3 on Sunday at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center.

Bruins forward David Pastrnak tallied a hat trick to give him 60 goals on the season, second only to Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (64).

"It's been a lot of fun, I'm not going to lie," Pastrnak said of the season. "It's been enjoyable, especially the group we have here. We obviously knew the stakes, and it's definitely special to hit it in a game like this. Made history today in the biggest league in hockey."

The Bruins entered the game tied in wins with the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning. They ended the game as the first team in NHL history to post 63 victories in a single regular season.

"They had some people out," Flyers coach John Tortorella said. "But still that's a really good hockey team."

Boston now has 131 points on the season, within reach of the all-time single-season record of 132 points held by the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens. The Bruins will finish with a home game Tuesday against the Washington Capitals and a road tilt Thursday against -- potentially quite poetically -- the Canadiens.

"I think they grasp [the moment], because we're talking about the history of the NHL and how long this league has been here," Boston coach Jim Montgomery said on Saturday. "I think they grasp it, like when [Wayne] Gretzky broke [Gordie] Howe's record. Our group is aware of what we're doing as a team."

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 it home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

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 Sharks, 1984-85 Oilers and 1977-78 Canadiens.

The Bruins set NHL records for the fastest team to 50 wins (64 games) and 100 points (61 games), as well.

Rather than coast into the postseason, Montgomery and his players have emphasized that breaking those regular-season records was a meaningful goal before the Stanley Cup playoffs begin on April 17.

"Being able to stay focused and learn how to win when chasing records is the closest thing you can do when you're having a season like us to prepare for the playoffs," Montgomery said.

Boston faced the Flyers less than 24 hours after defeating the New Jersey Devils at home Saturday night. The Bruins iced a depleted lineup, missing centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, winger Taylor Hall and defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Dmitry Orlov.

Center Charlie Coyle got the scoring going just 47 seconds into the contest, firing a one-timer on a pass from defenseman Connor Carrick past Philadelphia goalie Felix Sandstrom.

The Flyers answered back with an unassisted goal from Wade Allison only 17 seconds later, on a miscue from Bruins goaltenderJeremy Swayman, who rallied to post 34 saves in the win.

"It's hard to win in this league and there's a reason why this record is at 62 because not many teams can get there, so it's a special honor," Swayman said. "These guys in this room are more than deserving."

Pastrnak broke the tie at 2:04 of the second period then added another goal at 7:31. Joel Farabee's goal at 13:58 of the second off a Bruins turnover cut the lead to 3-2 entering the third period.

Pastrnak completed the hat trick 39 seconds into the third. Flyers forward Owen Tippett's goal at 9:06 made things interesting, but center Pavel Zacha scored his 21st of the season to make it 5-3 and send Boston to its history-making victory.

"Anytime you're talking about putting your team's name in the history books of the most wins ever in a regular season, it's special," Montgomery said Sunday.

It should be noted that the 1995-96 Red Wings set their regular-season wins record in an era before the overtime shootout eliminated tie games. Detroit had a record of 62 wins, 13 losses and 7 ties. Four of Boston's wins this season came via the shootout.

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