David Pastrnak is the spark that gets the Perfection Line going for the Boston Bruins.
It was like watching magic happen witnessing David Pastrnak in full flow on Wednesday night, with the elite forward powering the Boston Bruins to a big win over the Philadelphia Flyers in what was a huge East Division showdown on Wednesday Night Hockey.
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Pastrnak recorded a hat trick – the ninth hat trick of his career already – in just his third game back after undergoing hip and labral repair surgery in the offseason, helping the Bruins to come back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Flyers in OT at Wells Fargo Center.
And, not only did the 24-year-old light the lamp three times, but he also claimed the primary assist on Patrice Bergeron‘s game-winning goal in Overtime to play a gigantic role in Boston improving to 7-1-2 on the year and moving to the top of the East Division. The B’s have recovered from a turbulent offseason in which they lost a number of franchise leaders, and they are now beginning to really hit their stride now that they have their main offensive weapon back.
It really was an impressive outing from David Pastrnak who proved once again just how clinical he is in the offensive zone, and what makes last night’s heroics even more eye-catching is the fact that the right-winger probably isn’t even at full tilt yet having only played in three games all year, so the best is probably yet to come and that is scary news for the rest of the National Hockey League.
David Pastrnak is the engine that makes the Perfection Line go
Both Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron managed to get by without their reliable sniper through the first couple of weeks of the 2020-21 season with 10 and eight points respectively, but you could really see the difference once David Pastrnak made his return over the weekend in a two-game series against the Washington Capitals, where he recorded two goals and an assist.
And it was clearly evident on Wednesday night as the dynamic trio provided a tantalizing reminder of why they are referred to as the “perfection line,” and why they are widely regarded as one of the best lines in all of hockey. And it was all down to Pastrnak who really makes that line and this Bruins team tick.
It took just 12 seconds for Pastrnak to remind us all of just how insanely talented he is when he has the puck on his stick, receiving a long pass from defenseman Charlie McAvoy before executing a filthy between-the-leg move to breeze past one Flyers player to get to the net and switching to his forehand to slip the puck past Carter Hart. There’s only a handful of players that can pull off that kind of slick move and put together a highlight-reel goal that combined insane skill, speed and confidence, and David Pastrnak is one of those players.
Granted, the Flyers have been dominant in the East Division all season despite having plenty of areas in which they could improve upon, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when they scored three unanswered goals to take control of the contest thanks to Kevin Hayes, Jakub Voracek and Joel Farabee with Philadelphia boasting four lines that can all make huge offensive contributions at any given moment.
However, David Pastrnak is an elite game-changer who can take over a contest in a second, and that’s exactly how it unfolded in what was a wild game. With the Flyers unable to stay out of the box and unable to stop taking stupid penalties in the latter stages of the game, one of the most consistent and best franchises when it comes to special teams over the last few years really began to take control.
On the power play midway through the third period, the Bruins’ top power play unit showcased their formidable prowess when Brad Marchand found Nick Ritchie down low who then found Patrice Bergeron, with the veteran pivot knowing exactly where his partner in-crime was before feeding the puck to Pastrnak at the back door who did the rest with a wicked one-timer.
It was a similar story with 15 seconds left in the third period when, on the PP again and having pulled goaltender Tuukka Rask, Boston had a 6-on-4 and were in prime position to make Philadelphia pay for their lack of discipline. And it worked. After David Krejci, Bergeron and Marchand all had shots blocked as the Flyers got bodies in the lane in one last desperate attempt to hold on to their lead, the puck fell perfectly to Pastrnak who waited for the puck to fall before batting it into the goal to tie the game and force Overtime.
His heroics were not finished, either. Because, with just 31 seconds played in OT and with the Boston Bruins again on the power play, Pastrnak was fed the puck inside the circle and instead of unleashing another wicked one-timer, he instead fed a sublime slap-pass over to Bergeron in the slot area with No. 37 doing the rest to put home his own rebound past Carter Hart for the game-winner.
It was Pastrnak’s fourth point of the night and also Bergeron’s fourth as the Perfection Line combined for a total of nine points (4 G, 5 A) on the night, and there is simply no stopping that explosive trio when they play like that. They are the heartbeat of this team and, if all three can stay healthy and continue to play as they did on Wednesday, then the Bruins will be a team to watch coming out of the East.
This was also a statement game for David Pastrnak who missed the first seven games of the 2020-21 season after undergoing various repairs during the offseason but, rather than feel his way back in and take a few weeks to get up to speed, one of the purest goalscorers in the entire NHL has come back swinging. He led all players with seven shots on goal in 21:31 of ice time, he had another four shots blocked and, according to Natural Stat Trick, he leads all players with 60 or more minutes played in the NHL with 4.84 goals per 60 minutes of all-situations play, not bad for someone who has played in a grand total of three games this year. With seven points (5 G, 2 A) in just three games, David Pastrnak is well and truly back for the Boston Bruins and he really does put the P in the Perfection Line.