BOSTON — The Boston Bruins take this Original Six thing pretty seriously.
Playing their 15th game of the season against an Original Six opponent, the Bruins won for the 12th time against a traditional foe Saturday when they held off a Blackhawks rally to claim a 5-3 victory at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Boston, which had lost 9 of 12, regained the form it had most of the season and won the fast-paced contest to drop the Hawks' road record to 19-13-3.
Mark Recchi, who was acquired at Wednesday's trade deadline, scored his first two goals as a Bruin before a crowd of 17,565 to lead the Bruins, who also got scores from David Krejci, Phil Kessel and P.J. Axelsson (empty net).
Jonathan Toews' power-play goal in the second, Kris Versteeg's tally midway through the third and Patrick Kane's score with a man advantage with just more than five minutes remaining provided the Hawks' offense.
The Hawks weren't able to get much going offensively against the Bruins and goaltender Tim Thomas until Toews' goal late in the second period tied the score 1-1. But 30 seconds later Boston struck for two goals 35 seconds apart, including Recchi's second of the game that gave the Bruins a 3-1 lead.
Toews' goal, which came when he bounced the puck in off Thomas from the right of the net gave the Hawks captain 10 goals and five assists in the Hawks' last 10 games.
"They scored two quick ones and that's frustrating, especially when we had just scored to tie it up," said Hawks defenseman Brian Campbell, who had an assist on Kane's goal. "Maybe they score the one but you have to buckle down and not lose your concentration for them to get the other one."
After Boston took a 4-1 lead in the third on Kessel's goal, the Hawks made a game of it as Versteeg fired in a shot from the bottom of the left circle off a rebound of a Matt Walker shot.
Kane's blast from the top of the left circle made it 4-3 but Thomas came up big on several Hawks chances to secure the victory.
"We just got out-worked a little bit in the first period," Toews said. "We knew they were going to come out hard and we managed to come out of it being down just one goal. They spent a lot of their energy in the first period and we knew that if we came back hard and played solid we eventually could wear them down. We had great shifts and we had moments when everybody was working and all five guys were doing the right things."
"We got ourselves back into the game a couple of times," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We had a real good second period. At 4-1 we got ourselves right back in it and had a couple of sniffs. There was a great pace to the game. Tough loss."
Chicago Blackhawks rally falls short against Boston Bruins in 5-3 loss
Colin Fraser watches as the puck gets away while Boston reaches for control. (AP / Michael Dwyer)