By: Nick Parker | Follow me on Twitter @NickParker15
David Pastrnak is an elite player in the NHL. Finishing tied with Alexander Ovechkin in goals last season, the Boston Bruins knew that after off-season hip surgery, it might take some time to get back up to game speed and find his scoring touch again. Apparently, he just needed three games. On Wednesday night, Pastrnak scored all three goals in regulation against the Philadelphia Flyers for the Bruins and then assisted on the game-winner in overtime on a slick slap pass on net rather than choosing to tee it up, knowing he could trust in his captain to score.
So far, Pastrnak has a total of seven points, five goals, and two assists, ranking him sixth on the Bruins in points. But the other six players ahead of him have also played seven more games. When Pastrnak returned against Washington last Saturday, he looked good but could not get his shot past Vitek Vanecek. He was on the ice to start the overtime paired with David Krejci and Charlie McAvoy, who were unable to close in on Ovechkin, who sniped a shot just beyond the blueline to win the game for the Caps. Usually, coach Bruce Cassidy would start overtime with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, but he may have been trying to get Pastrnak going with an opportunity to win the game had Boston been able to gain possession and get a chance to score in OT.
Monday’s game against the caps saw Boston fall behind, trailing three to nothing before Pasternak took a pass from Marchand at the top of the right circle and one-timed the shot into the back of the net. This started the comeback for the Bruins and who else, but Pasternak would get the second goal after receiving a pass from Jakub Zboril behind the net and sneaking his way in front and sniping a wrister blocker-side over Vanecek. Through this season, there has been a narrative that in the second game of the back to backs against the same opponent, the road team looks like they are tired and unable to find the energy to compete after sitting in the hotel during this pandemic season. Pastrnak was able to energize his team, and they showed a huge spark after he scored his first two goals of the year.
Fast forward to Wednesday night against Philadelphia, where Pastrnak scored only 12 seconds into the game after driving down the ice and showing his quick hands and getting the puck past Carter Hart.
Boston then gave up three unanswered goals before Bergeron found Pasta to the left of the net on the powerplay, all alone with three-quarters of the net empty. He did not miss.
To complete the Hat-Trick, the Bruins pulled goalie Tuukka Rask and again, while on the powerplay, scrambled to get pucks on net with time winding down. Pastrnak smacked the puck out of the air and tied the game with only 15 seconds remaining.
Pastrnak has nine Hat-tricks and in 393 total games played.
With his return to the Bruins’ top line, Boston continues to have an elite first line and one of the most dangerous power-play finishers in the league in Pastrnak. Most players take time to get their feet and hands going in so few games, but David Pastrnak is Elite.