BOSTON – Mark Recchi needed only two games to fit in perfectly with the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins.
Recchi scored two goals in his second game for Boston, and the Bruins snapped a three-game winless streak with a 5-3 victory over Chicago on Saturday,
“They call him the wrecking ball for a reason,” Bruins defenceman Aaron Ward said about Recchi, acquired from Tampa Bay on Wednesday. “It takes courage and bravery to do what he does. He gets in the dirty places and plays with grit.”
David Krejci, Phil Kessel and P.J. Axelsson also scored to help Boston – which won for only the fourth time in 13 games – avoid tying its longest losing streak of the season. After a 3-3 homestand, Boston will visit the New York Rangers on Sunday.
“We played a team that’s one of the better ones in the Western Conference,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “This is probably what we needed this kind of challenge.”
Jonathan Toews, Kris Versteeg and Patrick Kane scored for Chicago. The Blackhawks lost for the fourth time in six games.
Chicago’s third-period rally fell short after Versteeg and Kane narrowed Boston’s lead to 4-3. Versteeg beat Tim Thomas with a wrist shot at 10:26, and Kane fired a shot through a screen 4:08 later.
“We had a dangerous opponent and we knew after the loss to Phoenix they would be ready for this one,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “We were lucky to get out of the first down only 1-0. We got ourselves back into the game a few times, but we couldn’t finish.”
Recchi opened the scoring, tipping the puck through goalie Cristobal Huet’s pads at 10:19 of the first period.
Toews tied it during a stretch of 11 straight shots by the Blackhawks, notching his 27th of the season with 4:49 remaining in the second. Toews also assisted on Kane’s goal and has five goals and two assists in his past four games.
Krejci and Recchi responded for Boston with two shots and two goals in the next 65 seconds. Krejci squeezed a shot inside the left post and Recchi redirected Dennis Wideman’s shot for a 3-1 lead with 3:44 left in the second period.
“It meant a lot to get those two goals,” Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. “We had been coming back all year, but lately we had gotten away from that.”
Wideman and Bergeron added two assists, and Thomas made 32 saves for Boston.
Kessel scored his 27th for Boston for a 4-1 lead. Blackhawks defenceman Brian Campbell fell down at the blue-line and Kessel converted a 3-on-2 with Milan Lucic and Marc Savard 1:35 into the third period.
“It’s tough to come back in this league,” Campbell said. “Recchi’s a good player and has been for a lot of years.”
Huet came into the game with a 10-3 record and 1.91 goals-against average in 14 career starts against the Bruins. He finished with 34 saves.
The Bruins swept Chicago after beating the Blackhawks 2-1 in November and have taken at least one point in the last five games against the Blackhawks.
Axelsson added an empty-net goal with 33 seconds to go for the Bruins.
Notes: Newly acquired Bruins defenceman Steve Montador missed the game because of the flu. … Chicago is 7-3-3 against the Eastern Conference. … Blake Wheeler was a healthy scratch for the first time this season for the Bruins. He’s tied for first in the NHL with a plus-32.