BOSTON — David Pastrnak scored his 39th team-leading goal after missing the previous eight games with an undisclosed injury, helping the Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 3-1 on Saturday.
Taylor Hall and Trent Frederic also scored for Boston, which is battling for the Eastern Conference playoff seeding. Linus Ullmark made 30 saves.
“The timing was good,” Pastrnak said of his comeback. “A bit of puck handling, the ice wasn’t great and you’re coming off an injury, so it was a bit bouncy for a little while.
The Bruins had lost four of their previous six games.
Mika Zibanejad scored his 29th goal for New York and Igor Shesterkin made 32 saves.
After locking the ice at home in the first round of the playoffs with a win over the Islanders on Thursday, the Rangers saw their four-game winning streak shattered.
“I think intensity-wise, I thought we had it,” New York center Barclay Goodrow said. “Obviously they’re preparing for the playoffs like we are too. It’s good to play against one of these teams and it was a close game. We did a lot of things well and some things we could have done better; small mistakes that cost us.
New York finished the road portion of its regular season with 25 wins, tied for third most in team history.
Boston has gone 0-for-3 on the powerplay and hasn’t scored in its last 29 chances.
“I think our power play over the year has been pretty good,” Pastrnak said. “The season is long and sometimes you go through these crises. You need a goal and then you start over.
Ullmark is competing with Jeremy Swayman to be Boston’s No. 1 playoff goaltender.
“I don’t think about that at all,” he said. “I try to focus on what’s important right now. For me, it was that game. … If they ask me to play, I’ll play, and if it’s Sway they want to play, I’ll be there for him and support him.
Charlie McAvoy made a nice cross pass to Pastrnak, who fired the puck past Shesterkin from the left circle with 35 seconds left in the first period.
Hall beat Shesterkin on a partial breakaway just over a minute into the second, slipping a wrist shot inside the far post. Pastrnak, 25, assisted on the play for his 500th career point.
With Boston shorthanded after Ullmark flipped the puck over the glass for a late game penalty early in the third period, Zibanejad fired a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle.
Frederic scored on a rebound with 10:23 left.
Ullmark, who has missed three games through injury, robbed former Bruin Frank Vatrano midway through the second, using his glove to trap the one-timer. He even pulled off a skate save against his own teammate when a puck went off the skate of defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who also returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a lower-body injury.
Ullmark was not worried about his free time.
“We are so far into the season, everything is in place,” he said. “I had only been out for a week, so I wasn’t worried at all.”
Boston improved to 11-2 in afternoon games.
New York forward Chris Kreider needs one goal to tie Adam Graves for second on the team’s single-season roster. Graves scored 52 goals in 1992-93 – the last season the Rangers won the Stanley Cup.
Jaromir Jagr had the most in team history with 54 in 2005-06.
Center Andrew Copp, who scored the first natural hat trick in a first period by a Ranger in 72 on Thursday, did not play with a lower-body injury. New York center Filip Chytil (upper body) was also ruled out. Coach Gerard Gallant said Friday that no injuries were serious.
The Penguins blanked the Bruins without a punch, 4-0