BOSTON – David Pastrnak’s mom had never seen him score an NHL goal in person, so it made the overtime game-winner all the sweeter when he punched home an one-timer against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.
Pastrnak’s mother, Marcela, was part of a large group of Bruins players' moms that attended the home game against the Wings after persevering through the discouraging road trip to Pittsburgh last weekend, and obviously came away a much happier bunch on Tuesday than on Sunday. That was thanks to a number of players including Pastrnak, who snapped a 17-game goal-scoring drought for in a 4-3 victory over the Wings while also helping end the Bruins four game losing streak.
“That definitely felt good. I said that before. Our team, we went in and I think we deserved it [against the Wings]. We were the better team; at least that’s what I think, for most of the game,” said Pastrnak, who also reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time with the overtime winner. “You’ve got to play the right way, and obviously it’s always going to be back in your head. But I always have guys that will help me and support me all the time.
“Also, when I had that stretch with a lot of goals, I said that might happen that I might not score for a couple games. It was more than a couple [of games], but it was really nice to get that one and especially to win.”
The overtime goal was a beauty for Pastrnak with David Krejci setting him up with a perfect cross-ice delivery that opened the 20-year-old right winger up for the one-time opportunity. Pastrnak made sure didn’t miss on that one for the winner past Detroit goalie Jared Coreau. The Pastrnak strike capped off an effort where he posted six shots on net, finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-2 rating that felt much more like early season Pasta than the recent one with the offensive woes.
“I think when you look at his game, he skated tonight and he took some pucks to the net. It was just a matter of time – sometimes you feel it. He did make a couple of plays there that I wouldn’t advise on him making, but overall I thought his skating was good and there was some determination in his game,” said Julien. “So you know, you like to see him get that goal. Hopefully it gets that monkey off his back. It’s been a while and I think that he has been feeling the pressure. Hopefully that’s a step in the right direction for him, and we start seeing him put more of those in the net.”
One thing the Bruins badly need is another Pastrnak offensive hot streak that can continue to push forward a Black and Gold offense that’s underachieved, and needs natural born goal-scorers like the right winger to put the puck in the net if they’re going to push back into the playoffs.
GOLD STAR: Every once in a while Brad Marchand wills the Bruins to a win that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise had, and that happened again on Friday night with a three-point explosion for No. 63 in the final 20 minutes. Marchand finished with a goal and three points in 19:57 of ice time along with a plus-2 rating, and played a key role in the three-goal outburst that allowed the B’s to vanquish a 2-0 deficit. It was Marchand that opted not to shoot from the face-off dot with a look at the net in the closing seconds, and instead dropped it down low to David Pastrnak as he curled around the net and pushed a puck past Kari Lehtonen for the game-winner. Marchand finished with two shots on net, eight total shot attempts and a number of big plays in the third period redirecting pucks in close, kicking off shorthanded scoring plays and then setting up clutch game-winners in the final 15 seconds of the game. It’s the kind of night where Marchand played like an MVP even if he isn’t going to get much of a sniff at the Hart Trophy.
BLACK EYE: Jamie Benn scored a shorthanded goal for the Dallas Stars, but he also jumped up in the air and clobbered Brad Marchand from behind with a completely unnecessary hit in the third period that went without a penalty being called. Instead it seemed to incense Marchand, who never gave up in the final sequence and ultimately fed a pass to David Pastrnak down low for the game-winner with just 11.1 seconds remaining in the game. Benn finished a minus-2 for Dallas while being on the ice for a pair of goals against, had a brutal 1-for-7 performance in the face-off dot and really acted like a punk on the play with Marchand in the third period. Benn is a better player than that and shouldn’t be resorting that level on a fellow star player like Marchand.
TURNING POINT: Once again the Bruins really turned things around in the third period while outscoring the Stars by a 3-0 margin, and really flooding the Dallas net with 10 of their 36 shots on net for the night. It all started with a relentless shift from Boston’s top line where Riley Nash made a pass from his knees before taking a big hit, and then Brad Marchand redirected a David Pastrnak shot from the slot off his leg and into the net for Boston’s first goal. That first score finally allowed the Bruins to begin building some momentum, score each of the next two goals as the game slipped away from Dallas and once again proved themselves as a hockey club that one doesn’t ever doubt in the third period.
HONORABLE MENTION: Tuukka Rask had a career-high 40 saves and turned away some really good looks from the Dallas offense while showing exactly what the Bruins can be capable of when their goaltending is on point. The only goals that beat Rask were a first period score with droves of traffic in front of the net, and a second period shorthanded score for Jamie Benn where he pulled one of those unconventional finishing moves on Rask at the very end. Rask made 11 saves on the Dallas power play alone during a trio of PP chances, and made a crucial leg pad save on Antoine Roussel in the third period that helped open things up for the goal-scoring outburst late in the game. Hopefully the strong, resounding performance from Rask answers some of the questions about some of his recent so-so performances between the pipes.
BY THE NUMBERS: 29 – the number of goals this season for David Pastrnak as he readies to become only the ninth Bruins player to hit the 30-goal plateau in back-to-back seasons over the last 35 years of franchise history.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Resiliency. We didn’t want to go quietly for sure. We can live with the end result as long as we play the right way. The end result went our way again in the end, and I think that’s a credit to the guys.” –Bruce Cassidy to NESN about another comeback win for the Black and Gold.
DALLAS - David Pastrnak broke a tie with 12 seconds left and the Boston Bruins scored three straight goals in the third period to rally past the fading Dallas Stars 3-2 on Friday night.
A scramble followed a faceoff in the Dallas end, and Brad Marchand passed to Pastrnak in front. While falling down, he put the puck past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.
TALKING POINTS: B's resiliency on full display vs Stars
Tuukka Rask made a season-high 40 saves for the Bruins. Marchand scored Boston's first goal and also assisted on a short-handed goal by Tim Schaller that tied it midway through the third period.
The second-place Bruins won for the first time in three games (1-0-2) to move within four points of Atlantic Division leader Tampa Bay. Boston has already clinched a playoff berth.
The Stars are winless in their last seven games (0-5-2). They remained four points behind Colorado for the second Western Conference wild card.
Dallas led 2-0 on a first-period goal by Esa Lindell and Jamie Benn's short-handed score late in the second.
In the third, Marchand tipped in a shot by Pastrnak before Schaller scored on a 2-on-1 with Marchand.
Lehtonen finished with 33 saves.
Lindell scored 2:26 into the game. Jason Dickinson tried to deflect a shot from the right point into the net but the puck went wide right. Curtis McKenzie picked it up behind the goal line and passed to Lindell high in the left faceoff circle. His wrist shot went in off Rask's right arm.
Benn missed two good scoring opportunities early in the second period, but connected at 19:22. He took a pass from Tyler Seguin at the Dallas blue line and had a breakaway when Matt Grzelcyk fell down. Benn slid a backhand under Rask.