David Pastrnak scored on the game’s opening shift, had two insurance goals late in the third period, and the Boston Bruins held off the red-hot Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Thursday night.

Jake DeBrusk and Jakub Lauko also scored for the Bruins, who won their third straight and improved to 8-1-3 in their last 12 games.

“I guess obviously its always nice to get one early to get the lead early,” Pastrnak said. “You definitely feel like its going to be (a good night).”

Colorado's Cale Makar collected one assist but fell a point short of tying Hall of Famer Bobby Orr as the fastest defenseman to collect 300 NHL career points. Orr did it in his 279th career game on Dec. 13, 1970. Makar played his 279th game on Thursday and now has 299 career points.

Playing his sixth straight game and making his fourth consecutive start for the first time since the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs, Jeremy Swayman made 30 saves for Boston.

Nathan MacKinnon and Miles Wood scored for Colorado, which lost for just the fourth time in 14 games.

Making his league-leading 37th start, first-time All-Star Alexandar Georgiev stopped 26 shots.

Pastrnak’s first goal pushed Boston ahead 1-0 when the All-Star winger fired a wrister from the slot that beat Georgiev inside the left post 44 seconds into the contest.

He added a power-play score with 2:36 left in the game, then put in an empty-netter for his team-leading 29th of the season.

After his trick was complete, Pastrnak was handed a cowboy hat in the team colors of yellow and black from the many that littered the ice. He brought it to the bench and handed it to an equipment person.

“The hat that was actually handed to me was a pretty nice hat,” he said, smiling. “The one is nice. Thank you to whoever threw it.”

Lauko redirected Morgan Geekie’s pass into the net from the edge of the crease for his first goal of the season to make it 2-0 at 4:58 of the first. Wood collected a rebound off the backboards and flipped the puck between Swayman’s left pad and the post to slice Colorado’s deficit in half just under 3 minutes later.

“We're trending the right way,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. “You have peaks and valleys. ... I think the last three games might be the best three consecutive games we've had all year.”

Boston opened a 3-1 lead when DeBrusk tipped in Parker Wotherspoon’s shot from the point at 14:52 of the second period before MacKinnon banged home a rebound of Josh Manson’s shot with 3:40 left in the second for his 24th goal. Makar had the second assist on the goal, sending a cross-ice pass to Manson at the blue line.

Makar leads NHL defenseman in scoring with 53 points (10 goals, 43 assists).

“It's about making the road trip a successful trip,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said of the team's final spot on a five-game a trip coming Saturday. “You come out 3-2 if you win the game. ... It has not been easy but sometimes you have to embrace the grind.”

Boston goalie Linus Ullmark, who hasn’t played since suffering an undisclosed injury on Jan. 9, practiced Wednesday and dressed as the backup.


Avalanche: At Philadelphia on Saturday, ending the five-game trip.

Bruins: Host Montreal in an Original Six matchup of longtime rivals Saturday night.

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