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Flyers Strategy Vs. Bruins’ Pastrnak? ‘Hope He Has An Off Night’

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Bruins David Pastrnak

Don’t blame the Philadelphia Flyers if they’re a little shell-shocked after getting the full David Pastrnak experience at the height of the Boston Bruins game-breaker’s goal-scoring powers earlier this week in an overtime loss.

The 24-year-old dropped a hat trick on the Flyers in Boston’s 4-3 overtime win at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night making it five goals in just three games since missing the first few weeks of the season – and all of training camp – while coming back from offseason hip surgery. Pastrnak scored on one-timer blasts and rushes up the wing and had a dominant 11 shot attempts while bringing the Bruins back from a 3-1 deficit.

Clearly the Flyers didn’t have any answers for a well-rested Pastrnak moving free and easy now with a surgically repaired hip, and it doesn’t sound like Alain Vigneault is doing anything more than hoping for Friday night’s rematch in Philly.

“I hope [Pastrnak] has an off night,” said Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault, chuckling at the question about adjustments to shut down Pastrnak. “Because the performance he put in the last game was one of the best I’ve seen in a while. He was part of eight scoring chances, four of them 5-on-5, and that’s a huge number. That line obviously was a very effective line and we’re going to try to do a better job against them tonight. But it’s not easy. You’re talking about three elite players; three All-Stars and they make it very challenging for you.”

There’s certainly little arguing that it’s almost impossible to stop Pastrnak when he’s feeling it right from puck drop like he was earlier this week in Philly.

The Perfection Line accounted for all four goals, nine points and a plus-2 rating in Wednesday’s win and amassed a whopping 23 shot attempts against a clearly outmatched Flyers defense. One would expect the Flyers to be a little more physical against Boston’s top line and do things a little differently on the PK to eliminate Pastrnak as a power play threat, but Philly doesn’t exactly have a ton of shutdown personnel on defense at this point either.

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Pastrnak has a chance to make history as well if he can post another multi-goal game against the Flyers on Friday night that would give him multi-goal efforts in three straight games. The only other Bruins player to do that since 1989-90: Patrice Bergeron last season when he did it wrapped around the Christmas holiday.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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