GOLD STAR: It’s got to be David Pastrnak, right? The 23-year-old winger had the Canadiens beat all by himself with his three goals: a tap-in after a great net drive by Brad Marchand, a transition play where Sean Kuraly fed him the puck on a 2-on-1 where he then made a nifty stick fake before dumping the puck in and a scramble in front of the net on a 4-on-3 power play that led to the final part of the scoring barrage.
Pastrnak has 41 goals for his first 40-goal season and is the first Bruin to reach that mark since Glen Murray in 2002-03. The best part is that Pastrnak is still going strong and has a pretty good chance to at least get to 50, if not 60. He's back in the NHL lead after falling behind Alex Ovechkin and Auston Matthews for a couple of weeks.
BLACK EYE: An absolute nothing night for Jonathan Drouin, who did nothing but negative things for the Canadiens.
The first misstep was a bad decision to pass the puck in the neutral zone in the first period that got intercepted by Marchand, which turned into Marchand driving the net before feeding it to Pastrnak for his first goal. Drouin ended with zero shots on net in 14:20 of ice time, was a minus-2 along with the colossally bad turnover, took a matching penalty with Chris Wagner when the two players were slashing at each other and brought nothing good to the table for Les Habitants.
He wasn’t the only one, but he was probably the worst one.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins built a solid one-goal lead after one period, but they really blew the Canadiens out of the water in the second. The Bruins poured on a couple more goals and outshot Montreal 15-9 in that second stanza and pushed their advantage to 3-1 heading into the final 20 minutes. Amazingly, the Canadiens didn’t provide much of a fight in the third period with their playoff lives on the line. The Bruins finished strong at both ends of the ice before getting an empty-netter to clinch things in the closing seconds.
HONORABLE MENTION: Marchand made statements early in the game against the Canadiens with the excellent all-around play where he stole a pass in the neutral zone, drove the net and then fed to a wide-open Pastrnak for the first goal.
Marchand finished with a pair of assists including the helper on the empty-net goal as well, and he fired up the physical side by getting into it with Jeff Petry in an exchange where they traded cross-checks, slashes and spearing. It ended up with the Canadiens getting a power play out of it largely because the refs don’t give No. 63 the benefit of the doubt, but it also set the tone physically for the rest of the game.
BY THE NUMBERS: 10 – The number of players in Bruins history that have logged at least four consecutive 70-point campaigns with both Pastrnak and Marchand joining that club this season. Marchand joined with his first assist on Wednesday night.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I think Marchy [Brad Marchand] was dialed in today. [He] did a lot of things well [and] wanted to be a driver in the game for that line, and I thought he was.” –Bruce Cassidy, on Marchand pacing the Bruins with two points, chippy play and a whole lot of attitude in the win over the Canadiens.