GOLD STAR: While David Pastrnak got the hat trick and plenty of attention will be rightfully heaped on him, it’s got to be Jake DeBrusk this time around. He scored the two of the team’s other three goals aside from Pastrnak, and he assisted on Pastrnak’s final score when he tried to jam it short-side on an odd-man rush that No. 88 cleaned up in front.
Perhaps his best play of the night, though, was blocking the clear-in attempt of Luca Sbisa and racing down the other end of the ice to pop it in past Lauren Brossoit for a breakaway score. In all DeBrusk finished with two goals, three points and a plus-3 to go along with four shots on net and a huge four takeaways in a game where he was aggressive, skated hard and made things happen for himself.
This is the kind of game the B’s want to see out of DeBrusk consistently even if it’s not resulting in goals.
BLACK EYE: Blake Wheeler didn’t do much in his 16th memorial revenge game (I’m making that number up) against the Bruins. He finished without a shot on net even though he did have an assist on one of Winnipeg’s goals, had a couple giveaways and lost 9-of-15 face-offs in a performance that was completely forgettable for a Jets team playing their third game in four nights.
He also tripped up David Krejci that led to a second period Boston power play that the B’s ended up scoring on five seconds into the power play possession. Wheeler has turned himself into a very good player for Winnipeg since leaving Boston, but this was not one of his good nights.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins were looking down after falling behind by a goal in the third period on a bad goal that Mark Schiefele banked off Jaroslav Halak, but that didn’t stop them from roaring back against a fatigued Winnipeg team.
Jake DeBrusk was right in the middle of both goals after charging the net short-side on an odd-man rush that ended up turning into David Pastrnak’s third goal of the night, and then DeBrusk scored one of his own for the game-winning difference. The two goals were scored within 33 seconds of each other and made certain that the B’s once again ended in the winner’s circle for the second game in a row.
HONRABLE MENTION: It’s got to be David Pastrnak, right? He was basically refusing the let the Bruins lose by powering up for a hat trick, and erasing any mistakes that the B’s made against a Winnipeg Jets team that was putting up a fight. It was the 33rd, 34th and 35th goals of the season to again widen the gap between Pastrnak and Auston Matthews for the NHL goal-scoring title and puts him back on pace for 60 plus goals this season.
Pastrnak finished with three goals and a plus-2 rating in 20:34 of ice time, six shot attempts and two hits and looks like he’s again super-heating up after dropping off in December from 12 goals in October and November.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – the number of hat tricks for David Pastrnak in the last two seasons to lead the entire NHL over that span by a wide margin.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I think the last two games you’re seeing more [scoring] up and down the lineup wheras the few games before that it was a struggle for some guys. But it’s a long year and you hope they’ll come out of it and it looks like, at least in the short term here, we have.” –Bruce Cassidy on the scoring trending back upward in the last couple of games.