BOSTON — Tuukka Rask recorded his 30th career shutout as center Max Talbot, left winger Jimmy Hayes and center Ryan Spooner provided the offense in the Boston Bruins’ 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in a nationally televised contest Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Rask had 34 saves as the goaltender now trails Tim Thomas by one for third place on the Bruins’ all-time shutouts list. It was the fourth perfect game of the season for Rask, who has nine consecutive games with a point, going 7-0-2 during that span.
Boston (17-9-4) has won three of its last four games and improved to 4-4 in December.
Jeff Zatkoff made 25 saves in net for Pittsburgh (15-12-3), which lost its third game in a row and has dropped five of its last six. Zatkoff started in place of the injured Marc-Andre Fleury, who suffered a concussion during Monday’s game and will be sidelined one to two weeks.
The Penguins failed to earn their first win under new coach Mike Sullivan, who replaced fired Mike Johnston on Sunday. Sullivan, who played and coached in Boston, suffered a 4-1 defeat against the Washington Capitals on Monday in his debut on the Pittsburgh bench.
Talbot netted his first goal with the Bruins at 9:52 of the first period, sending a wrister from the right circle past Zatkoff to give Boston a 1-0 lead. Hayes was credited with an assist after his neutral-zone hit to Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin, which forced a costly giveaway.
Hayes’ fifth goal of the season doubled Boston’s lead four minutes into the middle frame, as the puck deflected into the net off the charging forward on a pass from Spooner.
Sullivan challenged the call, citing goaltender interference, but the referees upheld the goal.
Minutes later, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid left the game after taking a Dumoulin slap shot to the face. McQuaid instantly fell to the ice, but got up after a few moments and skated off the ice to the dressing room. He returned to the bench in the closing minutes of the period.
Spooner sealed the victory with an empty-net power-play goal with 2:43 left in the third, his eighth of the campaign.
NOTES: Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan was 70-56-23-15 in two seasons as Boston’s coach. The Marshfield, Mass., native also played for the Bruins in 1997-98. … Penguins D Trevor Daley, acquired in the trade that sent D Rob Scuderi to the Chicago Blackhawks, said he requested the deal. “I don’t know that I got the opportunity to even know that I couldn’t fit into the system,” Daley told Yahoo! Sports. … Pittsburgh C Nick Bonino (illness) did not play. … The Penguins recalled G Matt Murray and Fs Conor Sheary and Kevin Porter from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Tuesday after placing D Kris Letang and F Beau Bennett on injured reserve. … Boston recalled C Alexander Khokhlachev from AHL Providence. “The few games that he played here I thought he competed hard, worked hard,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. … Bruins F Zac Rinaldo (upper body injury) was placed on injured reserve Monday.