Bruins

How David Pastrnak's 25th goal compares to Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky

How David Pastrnak's 25th goal compares to Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky

David Pastrnak hasn't scored in every Bruins game this season. It only seems that way.

The NHL's leading goal-scorer was up to his old tricks Sunday night against the Canadiens, tying the game in the third period with a howitzer from the right faceoff circle.  

It was Pastrnak's 25th goal of the season, and it came in Boston's 27th game, making him the eighth player to reach the 25-goal mark that quickly in the last 30 seasons.

The last player to reach the 25-goal mark faster was Jaromir Jagr, who needed just 26 games to get there in the 1996-97 season.

Pastrnak also joined an even more select club with his 25th tally: players who have scored that many goals by December 1.

Only 10 players in history had reached 25 goals by December 1 before Pastrnak, and that group includes hockey immortals like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Brett Hull.

Pastrnak is now on pace for an astounding 77 goals this season, and even if he can't reach those ridiculous heights, he's well on his way to exceeding his own career high of 38 goals (set last year) and becoming the first Bruin with a 50-goal season since Cam Neely in 1993-94.

His next chance to light the lamp is Tuesday night against the Hurricanes.

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Slumping Bruins say matchup against Capitals 'should get our attention'

Slumping Bruins say matchup against Capitals 'should get our attention'

The Bruins are always wary going into Capital One Arena given the recent history between the Bruins and Washington Capitals, where the Caps have dominated the Black and Gold for the better part of the last 10 years.

Sure, the Bruins have sprinkled in a win here or there, but the big, fast and skilled Capitals team has routinely pushed Boston around in these matchups between Eastern Conference powers and was the victor in the only recent playoff series between the two teams way back in 2012.

This season, the Capitals and Bruins are No. 1 and No. 2 in the Eastern Conference in terms of record and points through the first two-plus months of the season, and Washington won in a shootout in the teams' only matchup earlier this season in Boston.

Both teams lost in their last games, so there will be hunger for both elite clubs to get back into the win column. But things should be a lttle more desperate for a Bruins team that’s lost three games in a row, including back-to-back regulation games for the first time this season, and has seen their lead in the division “drop” to 10 points with a surging Florida Panthers club chasing them.

“Over the years they have had the better of us, so we’d better be ready to play. Their record this year backs that up,” said Bruce Cassidy. “We’re more concerned about ourselves, but the opposition tonight should get our attention. We’ll see how it all plays out.”

More than anything, however, the Bruins have seemed to lack focus or motivation in the last couple of weeks with forgettable opponents like the Senators and Blackhawks getting the better of them while they hold a commanding lead in their own division. It goes without saying that the challenge of the big, tough and dangerous Capitals should be exactly what the Bruins need to rise to the occasion, and that will be followed on Thursday night by a date with the Tampa Bay Lighting in Amalie Arena.

“[The Capitals] are obviously very dominant. They’ve had our number over the last several years, so it’s definitely one we tend to pay a little more attention to,” said Brad Marchand. “It’s always a hard building to play in. [It’s] a loud, obnoxious crowd so they gain energy from that. It’s a game we know we have to be prepared for. It doesn’t always go our way, so hopefully this one will.”

If anything can snap the Bruins out of their recent self-induced slumber over the last week, it’s the natural challenge of playing against a Capitals team that’s served as the ultimate challenge for them over most of the last decade.

Watch tonight's Bruins-Capitals game on NBCSN beginning at 7 p.m., or live stream the game by clicking here.

 

Bruins vs. Capitals live stream: Watch NHL game online

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Bruins vs. Capitals live stream: Watch NHL game online

The two-best teams in the Eastern Conference (and perhaps the entire NHL, too) will square off Wednesday night when the Washington Capitals host the Boston Bruins at Capital One Arena.

The Capitals lead the league with 49 points and have won seven of their last 10 games. Washington's offense has been red-hot with a league-leading 114 goals scored in 32 games.

The Bruins have 46 points atop the Atlantic Division, but their recent play has failed to impress. The B's have lost three consecutive games, including a lackluster 5-2 defeat to the Ottawa Senators on Monday night. Wednesday's matchup is the second in a four-game road trip for Boston. This trip also includes tough games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.

The Capitals have owned this matchup in recent seasons. Washington has won 15 of its last 16 games against Boston, as well as the most recent playoff series between these teams in 2012. 

Will the Bruins end their losing streak and send a message to the rest of the East with a statement win on the Capitals' home ice? Here's how to watch Bruins vs. Capitals on your computer or mobile device.

When: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBC Sports

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