RALEIGH, N.C. -- David Pastrnak's overtime game-winner was a thing of beauty.
The Boston Bruins' rookie took a pass from Carl Soderberg and launched a low shot from the left circle that went perfectly between the legs of Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Anton Khudobin, giving Boston a 2-1 victory.
Never mind that Pastrnak had it drawn up differently.
"I was trying to shoot high because the goalie was coming from the other side," he said. "It went low and it was in."
On a night when the Bruins cared mostly about substance, they had no issues with an overtime road victory. Playing their third game in four nights, they were concerned only about earning two points.
The Bruins (38-25-13) moved three points ahead of the Ottawa Senators and stayed four ahead of the Florida Panthers for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference. They host the Panthers on Tuesday.
"Today you could feel it a little bit; I had to use my whole bench," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "But it's about results right now. Today might not have been perfect, but the effort and the will of those guys to battle through fatigue and find a way to win is what I'm really proud of."
Goaltender Tuukka Rask, who left the Bruins' game on Saturday with a migraine early in the second period, made 30 saves for his 31st win. Khudobin made 28 saves.
The Bruins scored on their second shot of the game, with Pastrnak playing a key role. He carried the puck through the right circle and hit trailing forward Ryan Spooner in the slot for his seventh goal. Spooner has 15 points in 18 games since being recalled from the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League on Feb. 21.
There were few quality chances in the second period, but the Hurricanes tied the game in the final minute. During a delayed penalty to Torey Krug in the neutral zone, Chris Terry fed Nathan Gerbe on a 2-on-1, and Gerbe finished high to the short side for his eighth of the season. It was his first goal since Feb. 27.
"It was great to be in that lead, but it was frustrating to give up that goal again at the end of the period," Julien said. "Some bad decision-making there. We've seen that throughout the year at times, and we need to learn from it."
The Hurricanes (28-36-11) had their third power play of the game early in the third period when Chris Kelly tripped Carolina defenseman John-Michael Liles, but they managed only one shot. In all, Carolina had four shots in 5:22 of power-play time.
Boston countered with its own power play moments later. Soderberg tried to jam a puck under Khudobin, who smothered the puck to deny the Bruins' best chance.
In overtime, Soderberg rushed the puck up the right side before beating two defenders and slipping a backhand from beyond the goal line to Pastrnak in the right circle for the game-winning goal.
"Both teams were working really hard and sacrificing a lot," said Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara, who logged a game-high 25:49. "It came down to who's got the will, and we find a way to win those games. It was a well-played, tight-checking game."
Julien was pleased to see two rookies account for both goals on a night when fatigue was a factor.
"In my mind, they've responded well," Julien said of Spooner and Pastrnak. "They still struggle in their own end with coverage and battles, but they also bring a lot on the offensive side."
For their part, the Hurricanes left with a sense of satisfaction, despite settling for one point.
"I thought we matched their intensity today, if not exceeded it at times," said coach Bill Peters, whose team was also playing its third game in four nights; Carolina defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. "They're a very good team, well-coached. We had our looks in the third. We hit a few posts, they hit a few posts and both goaltenders were good. I thought it was a really high-end game at this time of the year."
Rask performed well one day after leaving 10 seconds into the second period of a 4-2 win against the New York Rangers. Originally the Bruins believed he was dehydrated, but he quickly was diagnosed with a migraine.
"During the (first) intermission, I started seeing dots," Rask said. "When I went out there, I saw two No. 37s taking the faceoff. I was kind of like, I better get out of here."
The symptoms lasted for 25 minutes, during which time Rask had his eyes checked by doctors. The experience wasn't entirely unfamiliar. He has had a couple previous episodes, but the headache on Saturday was the worst of the experiences.
The 2014 Vezina Trophy winner has a family history of migraines; his mother and brother have experienced them.
"It's something new," he said. "When you have a family history of that, it can sometimes happen. Hopefully it doesn't become an issue."