BOSTON — What happens when Lights … receives struck down?
David Pastrnak’s superpowers aren’t a end result of the earth’s factors or by supernatural power his are a result of organic God-specified potential and a long time of honing these quite techniques he was blessed with.
From a crew they have struggled mightily against in recent yrs, the indefatigable No. 88 scored not once, not 2 times, but thrice, each in its individual fashion, to deliver a heaping serving to of hats onto the TD Garden ice in celebration Thursday evening. Pastrnak’s 36th tally of the year proved to be the activity-winner, coming with just 4:10 still left in regulation, permitted the Boston Bruins to take down Tampa Bay, 3-2.
On New Year’s Working day, the Bruins had been barely in the Jap Conference playoff photo, sitting in fourth place in the Atlantic Division a distant 15 factors at the rear of the Lightning. With Thursday night’s triumph — a single of their greatest of the 2021-22 time — they’ve now handed the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions in the standings, sliding up into 3rd location with 85 points.
Defenseman Hampus Lindholm played his very first game in Black-and-Gold considering the fact that arriving in a trade from Anaheim and subsequently signing an 8-calendar year, $52 million agreement extension. He wowed each his coach (“he’s a much better puck mover in little parts than I anticipated,” explained Bruce Cassidy) and his teammates (“Nasty. Incredible,” stated Pastrnak) with his size and 3-zone participate in, contributing assists on two of Pastrnak’s ambitions.
Erik Haula, the second line heart who, together with remaining wing Taylor Hall, has located extended-expression chemistry with Pastrnak, experienced a few helps, gained 10-of-16 faceoffs and experienced a helper on all three aims.
But it was Pastrnak, naturally, who stole the display.
Lindholm commenced the sequence for his 1st objective, throwing a go up ice to Haula, who fed a streaking Pastrnak. He bore in on all-environment keeper Andrei Vaislievskiy and conquer him with a deke and significant backhand to tie the score, 1-1.
Pastrnak’s next of the evening, with a tad below 12 minutes to go, was by significantly the prettiest at an region of the recreation he doesn’t get sufficient credit history for: stickhandling in restricted. Haula threw a backhand go from driving the cage to him at the ideal publish, and in one motion Pastrnak did a 180-diploma spin and backhanded a shot that went in between Vaislievskiy’s right pad and the write-up.
The very same crew — Lindholm, Haula, Corridor (good function in entrance of the internet) and Pastrnak teamed up for the video game-winner, as Haula kept the puck in and threw a shot on web, Corridor fought for it out front and the mercurial Czech winger banged household the rebound.
Participating in all over again without the need of wounded captain Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins improved to 40-19-5 all round — their 10th 40-get season in background — and a blistering 26-10-2 due to the fact January 1st. If the playoffs finished nowadays, they would not have to face Tampa Bay or Florida or Carolina in the initial round, but somewhat … Toronto.
“We’re enthusiastic that we won and performed perfectly, but we’re not receiving in advance of ourselves listed here,” claimed Cassidy. “We know who Tampa Bay is, they know who they are, and the road operates by way of them inevitably. But this is superior.”
Like Pasta ought to normally be.
Phil Stacey, the Executive Sports activities Editor of The Salem News, covers the Boston Bruins for CNHI Sporting activities Boston. Get in touch with him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @PhilStacey_SN.