David Pastrnak scored a hat trick, survived Jake DeBrusk’s body slam

Matt Kalman
March 27, 2019 - 11:56 pm

The Bruins’ season flashed before their eyes after Jake DeBrusk scored at 3:19 of the second period Wednesday, and not because the left wing’s goal gave Boston a 3-1 lead on the New York Rangers.

The 188-pound DeBrusk, who has become somewhat famous for overexuberant goal celebrations, jumped into the arms of David Pastrnak and the two crumbled to the ground like Jimmy Snuka taking out Big John Studd off the top rope.

It looked like Pastrnak, playing his fifth game back from thumb surgery, might not be able play again, never mind complete his third hat trick of the season. It was the type of hit that wouldn’t required a response from the Bruins had Pastrnak been victimized by an opponent instead of a teammate.

But Pastrnak was more “surprised” than hurt, he said. And after he dusted himself off he eventually recorded his fourth career regular-season hat trick and extended his point streak to four games (five goals, six assists) in a 6-3 win at TD Garden. The Bruins now lead Toronto by six points for second place in the Atlantic Division.

“Nothing better than [scoring> a goal in the best league, so you can’t blame a guy, he gets excited,” Pastrnak said.

Well you could have blamed DeBrusk had Pastrnak been turned to dust. The Bruins, who are still without Matt Grzelcyk, Kevan Miller and John Moore on defense and Sean Kuraly up front, can’t afford to lose anyone else before the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Sixteen games without Pastrnak were enough, and now the Bruins are getting reaping the benefits of his return. He scored two of his goals on the power play and one at even strength set up by David Krejci after coach Bruce Cassidy juggled his lines again and put Pastrnak with Krejci and DeBrusk.

The thumb injury seems to be just about fully in the rearview.

“Pretty close,” Cassidy said about Pastrnak’s full recovery. “I mean, obviously, great night. He was firing the puck well, looked like he was more comfortable handling it in traffic. That was a bit of an issue a few games there. He was still finding his timing, so certainly put up point, was physical there in the third when we needed him to be … when our group got a little more ornery, he was part of that. So I liked his game, moved him around to try to get a different line going. It worked out for them, whether that was him or the line just got going.”

Hat trick notes

Pastrnak is the sixth player in NHL history to get three or more hat tricks in one season. … He is the first Bruins player with three hat tricks in one season since Cam Neely in 1993-94.

 

 

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