BOSTON - On paper, there was not much David Pastrnak could have done better during the month of October.
He is tied with Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl for the league lead in goals (12) and is one point behind the Oilers' winger in scoring with 24 points in 12 games. Pastrnak also leads the NHL in power-play points (10) and is second behind Edmonton's Connor McDavid with seven power-play goals.
Pastrnak also became the third player in Bruins history to reach the 12-goal mark in the month of October, joining Charlie Simmer (12 in 1985) and Phil Esposito (14 in 1973). The 23-year-old is currently in the midst of a 10-game point streak, making him the sixth NHLer since 1989-90 to record four or more point streaks of at least 10 games before the age of 24.
OK, got all that?
Well, the National Hockey League certainly did. On Friday, the league named Pastrnak its Second Star of the Month for October, with Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson and Draisaitl the first and third stars, respectively.
"Obviously a lot of confidence. Feel great on the ice," said Pastrnak, whose month was highlighted by tying the Bruins record for goals in a game with four against the Ducks on Oct. 14. "I'm healthy and hopefully it stays this way. The team is playing really well, so it's always easier when the team is playing good. Obviously wouldn't have done it without my teammates."
Despite all of those accolades, Pastrnak believes there is still plenty of work to do - for both him and the team, as the Bruins look to build on their 9-1-2 record, which is tied for the best 12-game start in team history (1929-30).
"That's the best part about it," said Pastrnak. "We still don't feel like we're playing the way we want every game and we're still winning. It's a big sign of how strong our team is and we know we can be better. We've got the first month behind us and now off to November. We want to be a better team than last month."
Video: Pastrnak recaps early success, looks ahead
No Easy Nights
The Bruins will be trying to extend their four-game win streak and eight-game point streak when they host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night at TD Garden. Boston enters the contest just 1 point shy of the Washington Capitals for the top spot in the NHL, while the Senators come to town with a 3-7-1 record and a league-low 7 points.
Nevertheless, the Black & Gold are certainly not in the business of taking any teams lightly.
"We'll talk about Ottawa, what they do well, what we do to counter that, where we can find areas to expose without overanalyzing," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "We want to play our game, force them to adjust to us. But there's always areas of the game you have to look at. As for sleeping on them, I just think our group is solid in there.
"They know every night that two points is at stake. There's no easy games in this league. Some nights you just happen to fall into one. Some nights you don't have it and the other team gets that break. Generally speaking, we approach it that way."
Video: Marchand goes 1-on-1 to talk early success, Pastrnak
Ritchie Misses Practice
Brett Ritchie did not skate on Friday with Cassidy saying the winger took a maintenance day. Cassidy believes that Ritchie will be in the lineup on Saturday against the Senators, but added, "he wasn't out there today, so that obviously is some level of concern."
With Ritchie missing practice and the Bruins without any extra forwards, Cassidy opted to throw Connor Clifton on the wing to skate alongside Anders Bjork and Charlie Coyle.
"We were a little shorthanded," said Cassidy. "[Steven Kampfer] hasn't gotten a lot of reps with [Matt Grzelcyk]. That would be his partner if he were to go in, so it kind of worked out for us that way to move somebody up.
"I don't want to move Kevan Miller up there. Even though he's a ways away from playing, he needs to get his reps as a D-man."
Video: Cassidy talks with media following Friday's practice
Friday's Practice Lineup
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork - Charlie Coyle - Connor Clifton
Chris Wagner - Sean Kuraly - David Backes
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Steven Kampfer