David Pastrnak stole the show Thursday night as the Boston Bruins continued their red-hot start to January with a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden.
Pastrnak led the way with a hat trick, giving him eight goals in his last six games following a bit of a slow start to the 2021-22 NHL season.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask also made his season debut, stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced in what was an emotional return for the 34-year-old veteran.
Pastrnak actually predicted he would score a hat trick in a conversation with Rask before the game.
"Oh man, I was so happy to have him back, you have no idea," Pastrnak in his postgame press conference. "I was ready to leave it all out there for him. I told him I'm gonna get a hat trick before the game and he didn't believe me.
"It's really good to have him back. He's one of my closest friends and I missed him, obviously. He was outstanding, the saves he made. Great to have him back. I could be sitting here for 15 minutes talking about him. I have high praise for him."
The Bruins have been on fire offensively since the calendar flipped to 2022. They've scored three or more goals in seven of their eight games over that span.
On Wednesday night it was Brad Marchand scoring a hat trick, and one day later Pastrnak matched him. The last time different Bruins players scored hat tricks on consecutive nights was in April of 1998 when Sergei Samsonov and Steve Heinze accomplished the feat.
Pastrnak's resurgence is an extremely encouraging sign for the Bruins as they continue their climb up the standings. They are five points behind the rival Toronto Maple Leafs (with a game in hand, too) for third place in the Atlantic Division entering Friday.