Talking Points: Pastrnak continues hot start
David Pastrnak continued his blazing hot start to the season while notching his fourth goal of the season, a game-winner for the Bruins in the latter moments of the second period. The play was vintage Pastrnak as he blazed down the left side of the ice, pulled the puck back while curling around and then fired a shot at the net that ricocheted in off Toby Enstrom’s stick in front. The play was supposed to be a pass to David Backes crashing the net, but the unexpected move off the side wall ending up working in the 20-year-old’s favor. It was one of four shot attempts on the night for the right wing in 17:24 of ice time as he finished with a plus-2 rating, and continued to be the biggest game-breaker on the Bruins roster. Pastrnak ranks fourth in the NHL with 15 shots on net in the first three games of the season.
Rookie Kyle Connor was one of the players selected directly after Zach Senyshyn in the first round a couple of years ago. He was one of the players that Bruins wondered if he might have been a better choice. Well, he’s in the NHL and Senyshyn is still skating in the OHL for the Soo Greyhounds this season. But Connor was not a factor at all in tonight’s game with a minus-2 and a single shot on net while looking like he’s still getting his bearings at the NHL level after leaving college hockey early for the pros prior to this season.
The Bruins could have collectively slumped their shoulders after Zdeno Chara’s go-ahead goal in the second period was wiped out by a coach’s challenge for being offside. Instead the Bruins went back to work, and Pastrnak finally broke through at the end of the second to again give the Bruins a one goal advantage headed into the third period. That gave the B’s all the momentum after the first 40 minutes, and set up the third period as their best span of hockey for the entire game while producing a pair of insurance strikes to set up the final score. Couple the Pastrnak goal with Dominic Moore’s goal in the first period just seconds after the Jets had jumped on the board first, and the B’s had the resiliency needed to win.
Tuukka Rask stopped a season-high 34 shots after sitting out the Maple Leafs loss last weekend, and stepped up when the Bruins needed him most at the tail end of the first period. The B’s netminder allowed the first goal of the game, but then turned into a Finnish brick wall making 14 saves in the first period while keeping it a tied hockey game once the fourth line scored. Rask’s best saves came on a 1-2 combo effort at the end of the first period on a Mathieu Perreault one-timer first, and then an Adam Lowry rebound follow-up. The B’s need their No. 1 netminder to be healthy and on top of his game, and he was both of those things against Winnipeg on Monday night.
BY THE NUMBERS
2 – the number of assists for Tuukka Rask on Monday night, which actually led the entire Bruins roster in points for the game. This marks the first time in their Original Six franchise history that a B’s goalie has notched two assists in one game.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"It's pretty surreal, to be honest. I kind of blacked out." – Rookie D-man Brandon Carlo describing his first NHL goal in the third period.