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Talking Points: Pastrnak’s Hat Trick Paces Boston Bruins To Big ‘W’

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David Pastrnak

Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden on Thursday night that saw the B’s leap frog the Bolts in the Atlantic Division standings.

GOLD STAR: David Pastrnak had the hat trick, but it was Erik Haula making the plays that put Pasta in position to score all three of the goals in a whale of a game for the second line center. Haula threw a long stretch pass banked off the boards to free up Pastrnak for a breakaway on the first goal and then dished a backhanded, no-look pass that fooled Andrei Vasilevskiy a bit on the second goal for a surprise short-side backhander and then Haula made a great play to keep the puck inside the blue line before the puck eventually found an open Pastrnak after it went through Taylor Hall grinding in front of the net. Haula finished with three assists and a plus-3 in 14:46 of ice time to go along with two shot attempts, one hit, two takeaways and 10-of-16 faceoff wins for the center in one of his best games as a member of the Boston Bruins.

BLACK EYE: It was a rough night for Eric Cernak, who finished a minus-2 and accumulated six penalty minutes in the first period. His high-sticking penalty on Tomas Nosek didn’t actually lead to anything damaging for the Lightning and neither did his interference play where he decked Jake DeBrusk without the puck. But the Bruins second line had a field day with Cernak trying to shut them down as Erik Haula, Taylor Hall and Pastrnak powered up for all three goals to hand a struggling Tampa Bay the defeat the relegated them to the wild card spot for a first time in a long time.

TURNING POINT: The game was won, no question, on Erik Haula’s play to rescue the puck from heading over the blue line and tiptoe back into the offensive zone. From there he ripped a puck at the net that Taylor Hall collected and then dished to David Pastrnak for the wide open, go-ahead goal. But it was Haula that kept the play alive with extra effort and helped the Bruins really for two goals on 10 shots in the final period of play. It took perfect plays for the Boston Bruins to get pucks past Andrei Vasilevskiy on a night when he was really good, and that’s exactly what they executed on each of the three Boston Bruins goals in a playoff-like win.

HONORABLE MENTION: It’s got to be David Pastrnak with the hat trick, right? It’s tough not to give it to Hampus Lindholm on a night when he was really good in his Boston Bruins debut, but Pastrnak finished with all three Boston Bruins goals to pace them to a massive Atlantic Division victory over the Lightning. Pastrnak now has 12 career NHL hat tricks and has scored 28 goals in 38 games since Jan. 1 to take the entire Eastern Conference by storm. Pastrnak is also now sixth on the NHL scoring list for this season with 36 goals and is putting together the kind of second half that’s going to begin generating Hart Trophy talk for him and the surging Boston Bruins. It’s hard to decide which goal was the best of the bunch, but it was probably the spin-o-rama short side slam that seemed to totally take ace Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy by surprise.

BY THE NUMBERS: 12 – the number of career hat tricks for David Pastrnak, which pulls him into a tie with the legendary Johnny Bucyk on the Boston Bruins all-time list behind just Cam Neely and Phil Esposito.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “My girlfriend said I look good in black and yellow, so that’s all I needed to hear.” –Newest Boston Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm on his transition from the Anaheim Ducks to the Boston Bruins.

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