Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

On Red Sox' day, Bruins' David Pastrnak steals a little spotlight

Matt Kalman
October 13, 2018 - 10:06 pm

David Pastrnak turned what could have been a game-turning miscue into a spectacular goal and an unlikely assist for Brandon Carlo in the Bruins' 8-2 blowout win over Detroit at TD Garden on Saturday .

With the score 0-0 late in the first period, Carlo needed to get to the bench for a change. But Carlo missed forward Chris Wagner’s pass, the puck deflected off the defenseman’s skate and instead of racing to the bench Carlo was forced to race Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist for possession.

Suddenly Pastrnak swooped in to grab the puck, and with the help Carlo's slight interference on Nyquist to prevent a forecheck, Pastrnak to able to pick up speed while wheeling back into the Boston zone. By the time the game clock struck 51 seconds left in the period, Pastrnak had blown threw three zones and beaten goaltender Jonathan Bernier with a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot for the first of his three goals in his second career hat trick.

“Well with Pasta, you never know,” Carlo said about unexpectedly getting an assist after what seemed like a dead play. “But overall you think that puck’s most likely going to get into the zone, which is good. But no, those are very fortunate, but you love them because they don’t come around often.”

Those types of assists may not come around often, but breathtaking plays by Pastrnak are becoming a nightly occurrence around the Bruins, who have won four in a row.

Pastrnak bedazzled the Edmonton Oilers for a power-play goal in 4-1 Bruins win on Thursday.

Just when you thought that goal might stand as the goal of the season for at least a month or two, Pastrnak comes up with his end-to-end goal against the Red Wings. And then he scored two more goals, both assisted by Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

On a day the Bruins started their game four hours earlier than originally scheduled in order to cede the primetime spotlight to the Red Sox and Astros in Game 1 of the American League Championship series, Pastrnak did his best to make sure the Bruins wouldn’t be overshadowed.

At 22 and in his fifth NHL season, Pastrnak has become must-see TV along the lines of Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. You never know what he’s going to do, and it’s not just about scoring. At least twice this season a strong backcheck or strong play to keep a puck alive has either prevented a goal against or led to a goal by the Bruins.

Coach Bruce Cassidy, who mentored Pastrnak a bit when the wing started his North American pro career in Providence, has been wowed.

“Well, listen he’s growing up. He’s trying to get everyone involved and that’s part of being a good teammate,” Cassidy said. “In the second period he had a turnover too and really hustled back. Parts of his game are growing, and his shot is too. Like last year he had a lot of great one-timer goals but this year he seems to be even more on with it ... I just like the fact that he’s trying to keep everyone involved in those plays and trying to be a good team player and good 200-foot player.”

After the Bruins’ victory, Pastrnak did what most of New England did and turned his attention to the Red Sox. He and a legion of teammates headed to Fenway Park.

 

If Pastrnak keeps scoring electrifying goals, earning his teammates assists (even on plays that are broken) and carrying the Bruins’ offense, there’ll be plenty of time all winter for the attention that’s being directed toward Yawkey Way to zero in on No. 88 on Causeway Street.

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