David Pastrnak

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The Buzzer: Pastrnak leads Bruins comeback, Smith blanks McDavid, Oilers


Players of the Night:

David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins: The Bruins trailed 4-1 in the third period. They then proceeded to score five in a row, including a hat trick by Pastrnak, who now has 27 goals on the season. The Bruins simply won’t die when they’re down.

J.T. Miller, Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning got shelled by the Ottawa Senators, of all teams. Still, Miller, who was traded at the deadline to the playoff-bound lightning notched Tampa’s first three goals in the loss.

Mike Smith, Calgary Flames: He didn’t have much run support, but you only need one when you turn aside each and every shot you face. Smith did just that, stopping 28 shots and Johnny Gaudreau provided the game’s only goal to put the Flames within a point of third place in the Pacific Division in a 1-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers.

Adin Hill, Arizona Coyotes: He allowed three goals on the night — with two in the third period to allow the Kings to erase a 3-1 deficit. But Hill also stopped Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar in the shootout and he did all of this to record his first NHL win. Kudos to the kid.

Highlights of the Night:

Factoids of the Night:

Predators are good:

The Bruins, also pretty good:

News of the Night:


Bruins 6, Hurricanes 4

Senators 7, Lightning 4

Canadiens 4, Stars 2

Predators 3, Jets 1

Avalanche 5, Wild 1

Flames 1, Oilers 0

Coyotes 4, Kings 3 (SO)

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Brad Marchand thriving with more ice time

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Mo ice, Mo points.

(Yeah, yeah. I’ll never make it as a rapper.)

Oh well. The point still stands: There’s been a strong correlation between Brad Marchand getting more ice time and Brad Marchand recording more points.

In 2015-16, Marchand’s time on ice jumped nearly two minutes from the previous year. Last year, that number got a 50-second bump, and this year, another 90 seconds on average per game have been tacked on. Marchand is four seconds shy of averaging 21 minutes a night this season.

It’s certainly paid in dividends for Marchand’s Boston Bruins.

His first major jump in ice time saw him record career-high numbers at that point with 37 goals and 61 points in 77 games in 2015-16. Last year, and with another ice-time bump, Marchand struck again – this time to the tune of 39 goals and 85 points.

The added two minutes and change of ice time resulted in a 30-point increase in two seasons for Marchand.

This season, he’s on pace for another 35-plus in the goal column and nearly 80 points, numbers that would be higher if he didn’t miss eight of Boston’s 31 games (including Monday’s tilt with the Columbus Blue Jackets) because of injury.

It’s led people, like PHT’s own Adam Gretz, to ask questions like this:

Solid, legitimate query.

Marchand had just 42 points in 77 games in 2014-15, the year prior to former head coach Claude Julien taking the hint.

But that’s all water under the bridge these days.

Marchand set a new career-high on Monday with a goal, giving him a nine-game point streak, and he’s helped form one-third of one of the best scoring trios in the NHL with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, the latter who entered Monday on an 11-game point streak.

Pretty, pretty good.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Marchand, Pastrnak come through in Bruins’ 3-2 overtime win against Red Wings


The Boston Bruins mounted two successful comebacks in the third period on their way to a 3-2 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

The Bruins, who have been surging as of late, won for the 10th time in their past 12.

The Red Wings, in quite the opposite scenario, lost their third straight and for the 11th time in their past 12 contests.

By all accounts, the Red Wings deserved a better fate, at least until the third period.

They limited the high-flying Bruins to just two shots in the first period and clawed out a 1-0 lead midway through the second frame, with Tomas Tatar‘s wrist shot finding twine after a perfect screen from Justin Abdelkader.

Boston found the equalizer they needed early in the third frame, and from an unlikely source.

Noel Acciari tied the game 1-1 with his second of the season after getting a couple whacks at a loose puck in front of Jimmy Howard, capping off a solid shift from the Bruins fourth line at 3:02.

Detroit took the lead for a second time, this time short-handed after David Pastrnak got caught pinching, allowing Dylan Larkin to get behind the Bruins rearguard, scoring a beauty on a breakaway to make it 2-1.

Scoring for Boston had been a strength coming into the game.

David Pastrnak, Boston’s top point-getter, came into the game sporting an eight-game point streak. Brad Marchand, sitting just behind Pastrnak in terms of points, have a five-game heater of his own going.

The dynamic duo wouldn’t be denied; the streaks would continue.

Marchand picked out Pastrnak with a perfect back-door feed to tie the game 2-2 with 1:26 remaining in regulation, forcing overtime.

Marchand, now running with good karma, took a backhand pass from Torey Krug and turned it into a partial breakaway, fending off Mike Green, and putting his backhand in the top shelf behind Howard.

Tuukka Rask extended his win streak to five games. Rask, who struggled out the gate to start the season, stopped 31 shots and continues to look like the goalie of years past.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Poll: Has the Bruins’ Stanley Cup window closed?


Back in 2013, the last time the Bruins made the Stanley Cup Final, their leading playoff scorers were, in order, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchard, Jaromir Jagr, Daniel Paille, Tyler Seguin, and Johnny Boychuk.

Of those 10 players, only four — Krejci, Bergeron, Chara and Marchand — remain on the roster. And Chara is 38 years old now.

Add to the fact Dougie Hamilton is gone too, plus the fact the Bruins missed the playoffs last year, and it’s no surprise that many feel their Cup window has closed.

But you won’t hear new GM Don Sweeney say that. Not with youngsters like Jimmy Hayes, Brett Connolly, Ryan Spooner, David Pastrnak, and Alex Khokhlachev up front. And not after picking up 27-year-old Matt Beleskey in free agency.

Remember that the NHL is a young man’s league. Teams that aren’t constantly refreshing their lineups are teams that get into trouble.

“I don’t think it’s a rebuild. We didn’t strip this down,” Sweeney said in June, per NHL.com. “We have a tremendous core group of guys that are going to obviously carry an even heavier load here in the short term while these other kids can come in and start to take footing.”

OK, time to vote:

Related: Zach Trotman is looking to make the leap

B’s re-sign Spooner: two years, $1.9 million


The Bruins locked in one of their better young forwards on Wednesday, signing Ryan Spooner to a two-year deal worth $1.9 million — a cap hit of $950,000.

Spooner, 23, finished last season with eight goals and 18 points in 29 games. He’ll likely get a crack at replacing Carl Sodeberg at center next season, now that the veteran Swede is a member of the Colorado Avalanche.

Spooner got a few looks down the middle last season and looked to have some chemistry on a line with Milan Lucic (another departed Bruin) and rookie David Pastrnak.

Boston’s 45th overall pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Spooner was a restricted free agent that, earlier, had received his qualifying offer from the B’s.