Pastrnak building on experience with the Bruins at world juniors

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David Pastrnak setup three goals Wednesday night at the world junior hockey championship as the Czech Republic defeated Russia 4-1 in a must-win game.

The Bruins’ prospect now has a team-leading seven points (one goal and six assists) heading into Friday’s quarterfinals against Slovakia.

Pastrnak, the 25th overall pick at last June’s draft, appeared in five regular season games with Boston to start the season before being assigned to the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League. The 18-year-old says his experience in the NHL is helping him even at the international level.

“It helps me a lot,” he said. “I played on the team with stars in the NHL so I picked up a lot of experience. I tried to learn as much as I can. (World juniors) is very different hockey than the NHL, but the experience has helped me a lot and I’m trying to get better every day.”

Entering Wednesday’s game Pastrnak said the team has been feeling pressure from the Czech Republic after being out-scored 10-4 in preliminary round losses to Sweden and Switzerland. The Czechs used overtime to edge the Danes 4-3 prior to Wednesday’s win which secured them a berth in the final four.

“We felt some pressure from back home,” said Pastrnak. “When you get to this situation, you feel you don’t play for yourself, you play for all of your country. All you want is to make your country proud of you. That’s what we said to each other, we have to play as one (unit) and do it for our country.”

A native of Havirov in the Czech Republic, Pastrnak had 10 goals and 27 points in 23 AHL games prior to joining the Under-20 team.

Pastrnak knows what to expect from the Slovaks on Friday.

“They are our neighbours so we have to get ready,” he said. “They beat us in a training game, but that doesn’t matter (now). It’s going to be about one game, the quarterfinals and we have to play our game.

“They’ve got a good power play, they play really simple hockey, but they skate well.”

The winner of the Czech and Slovakia quarterfinal will meet either Canada or Denmark in the semifinals on Sunday.

Video: Kessel lights up the Bruins

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Phil Kessel had gone six games without a goal. Then he faced the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. Skid snapped.

Kessel, earlier denied on a breakaway and then a penalty shot, gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a two-goal lead in the second period, snapping home a wicked wrist shot on the power play for career point No. 500.

What. A. Shot.

Prior to that, he danced around the towering Zdeno Chara at the Toronto blue line, flew down the wing and set up James van Riemsdyk with a perfect pass for a goal on a two-on-one rush, giving Toronto a 2-1 lead just 31 seconds after Boston had evened the score.

Here’s the video of the van Riemsdyk goal.

The news is not all good for the Leafs. Joffrey Lupul suffered a lower-body injury and will not return, according to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun.

Bergeron, Lucic return to Bruins’ practice

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After missing Boston’s 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings Monday night, both Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron were on the ice for Bruins’ practice Tuesday.

The forwards did not skate Monday morning due to undisclosed injuries and were “day-to-day” according to Bruins’ coach Claude Julien.

Lucic skated on a line with Craig Cunningham, Seth Griffith and Matt Lindblad Tuesday while Bergeron was with Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Reilly Smith.

Lucic, 26, has had a rough season registering six goals and 17 points in 36 games while struggling to recover from offseason wrist surgery.

Bergeron has seven goals and 27 points in 36 games this season.

Monday was the first game missed by both players.

The Bruins are back in action Wednesday when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the TD Garden.

Update: Bruins show old form, dominate Red Wings

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On paper, the Boston Bruins’ offense was supposed to be anemic against the Detroit Red Wings, especially with Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic on the shelf. That wasn’t the case on Monday night; Boston instead dominated Detroit 5-2.

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As CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out, the Bruins scored three goals in the first period to take a 3-1 lead against Detroit while firing a season-high 19 shots on goal in one period.

The overall effort seems especially high in the early stages:

Here’s video of the goals from the opening frame:

Detroit got back into it at times, yet Boston played a masterful game overall. The Bruins generated a season-high 45 shots on goal overall while limiting the Red Wings to 30 of their own.

Loui Eriksson continued his strong play of late with two assists. Carl Soderberg topped all point producers with a goal and two assists. Brad Marchand didn’t score a point, but he caused problems pretty regularly without his partner-in-crime Bergeron.

The Bruins have a long way to go to resemble the team many expected to top the Eastern Conference – or at least their division – but they at least looked hungry again tonight.

WATCH LIVE: Red Wings at Bruins (7 p.m. ET)

The Boston Bruins hope to shrug off some struggles as they host the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

Puck drop is at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can also watch the game (not to mention the pre-game show, which is on now) via NBC Sports’ Live Extra stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are a few links to get you ready for the action:

Game notes

NHL on NBCSN preview

Boston hopes to shake off struggles

Gustav Nyquist’s magical goal