Even before David Pastrnak went down with an injury on Tuesday, the Boston Bruins were a team that was short on scoring depth. All season their offense has been carried by the same four or five players, with Pastrnak being one of the best.
Without him, it obviously makes the lineup even thinner and is going to put a lot more pressure on the likes of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, and Torey Krug to do even more.
On Tuesday night in a 6-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, a lot of them stepped up and did just that.
The win improved the Bruins’ current point streak to eight consecutive games and was their fifth win in the past six games.
There were no shortage of offensive stars in the game for the Bruins as they had three players recorded at least three points — Marchand finished with four, tallying a goal and adding three assists, while Krejci (two goals and an assist) and Danton Heinen (a goal and two assists) each finished with three points.
While the offense was a big development for the Bruins in the absence of Pastrnak, the turning point in the game may have happened early in the first period when their penalty kill came through in a big situation. After Alex DeBrincat gave Chicago an early 1-0 lead, the Blackhawks found themselves on an extended two-man advantage following penalties by Marchand and Zdeno Chara. The Bruins not only kept the Blackhawks off the scoreboard, they completely shut down the Blackhawks’ power play with a textbook penalty kill that was probably even better than they could have drawn it up. The Blackhawks never even managed to get a good luck on the extended advantage.
Shortly after that two-man advantage ended, the Bruins erupted with three goals in a four-minute stretch.
For the Bruins, the win helps solidify their playoff positioning in the Atlantic Division.
For the Blackhawks, it snaps what had been a seven-game winning streak and is a missed opportunity to keep gaining ground in the highly competitive Western Conference Wild Card race.
More: Injured thumb to keep Bruins’ Pastrnak out of lineup for at least two weeks
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.