David Pastrnak became the first Boston Bruins player to score 50 goals since Cam Neely in 1993-94. The Bruins defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in the shootout for their seventh straight win.
It wasn’t long before Pastrnak reached this important plateau. “Pasta” came alone in front of Frederik Andersen and surprised him between the pads by dropping the puck.
The 26-year-old Czech becomes the second player this season in the NHL to score 50 goals after Connor McDavid, who already has 60. His 50th goal allowed him to collect the 600th point of his career in his 583rd game. He is the third fastest in Bruins history to reach that mark after Bobby Orr (461) and Raymond Bourque (569).
The Bruins’ star forward didn’t want to stop at 50. On a power play, Pastrnak fired a one-timer to give his team a 2-1 lead, less than 90 seconds after Jack Drury’s net. Charlie McAvoy had a second assist on the game.
Jakub Lauko doubled the Bruins lead just over two minutes later. Lauko, however, had to leave the game in the third period after falling heavily against the ramp.
Trailing by two, the Hurricanes quickly closed the gap early in the third. Brady Skjei and Sebastian Aho beat Jeremy Swayman in the space of 2:07 to bring both teams back to square one.
After a spectacular overtime period, where both teams had good scoring chances, the Bruins got the better of the Canes in the shootout. Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk eluded Andersen’s vigilance, while Swayman stopped attempts by Brent Burns and Teuvo Teravainen.
The Bruins goalkeeper collected his 20th victory of the season with a performance of 34 saves. Andersen suffered the loss despite making 35 saves.
In this duel between the two best teams in the East, the Bruins presented a diminished formation in Raleigh. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Hampus Lindholm and Derek Forbot have all withdrawn from the game. However, this is nothing serious for the four Bruins players.