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Boston Bruins Pastrnak Gets Through The Goal ‘Grind’

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David Pastrnak

Nobody would exactly call it a slump because Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak had scored 16 goals over the previous 16 games, but it was also clear Pasta wasn’t his best self while going scoreless in four games after both Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand exited the lineup. Some of it was undoubtedly about opponents focusing all their attention on No. 88 with Bergeron injured and Marchand suspended, and some of it was probably about Pastrnak putting undue pressure on himself to carry things himself without his Perfection Line buddies around.

“Right now, his game is off,” admitted Bruce Cassidy on Saturday morning prior to this weekend’s road game vs. the Senators attributing it to too much 1-on-1 play and too many times mismanaging the puck. “I think it’s clear to everybody.”

Whatever the case, Pastrnak went scoreless in four games and had some rough moments with turnovers and passing up open shots prior to this weekend’s 3-2 overtime win over the Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Pastrnak finally busted through with an overtime game-winner on a spanked one-timer off the post that even the ultra-confident right winger admittedly needed after a brief February dry spell.

Pastrnak had six shot attempts in his 19:46 of ice time in the win over Ottawa and certainly didn’t pass up the golden one-timer chance off a Hall pass in overtime.

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“I got away a little bit from shooting the last couple games,” said Pastrnak, who was able to erase some of the bad feelings in road losses to the Rangers and Islanders with the OT heroics in Ottawa. “But at the same time, it was maybe a little bit of situations, sometimes I feel like there is a better spot to pass than shoot and then there’s not. Sometimes it’s the decision making and lately it’s been going the wrong way, the decision reading. It’s good to get one today.”

“It’s been a little grind lately. Obviously, a nice goal. But overall, it’s a big win for us to end the road trip. It wasn’t pretty but we got the two points. Obviously huge, you never want to come back from the road trip without wins. [Saturday] was a big one and we are really happy we got it done. But still work to do for us.”

At this point Pastrnak is on pace for 42 goals and 77 points this season, so there isn’t too much worry that his production is going to trail off as it in a slow start to this season. But it’s still a positive to see self-correction in his game from a confidence standpoint when Pastrnak starts straying too far away from the recipe for success he cooked up in January with Taylor Hall and Erik Haula as an effective second line.

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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William Mahoney

Pasta needs coaching help to work on his defensive play!

Chris Healy

Boy he can sure turn the puck over a lot! Seems to turn into his alter ego “Rasta” at times and makes some bone head plays. Decent scorer though… 😀

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