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Growth Of Game On Display as Pastrnak Powers B's To Dominant Victory

The 23-year-old recorded sixth career hat trick; Studnicka has assist in NHL debut; Kuraly matches career high

by Michael Tolvo @NHLBruins / Boston Bruins

MONTREAL - David Pastrnak and the Boston Bruins did not feel great about their game through the first few shifts.

"To be honest, I felt absolutely [horrible]," said Pastrnak. "First couple shifts I felt really bad."

Pastrnak and company proceeded to net eight goals against their longtime rivals, recording their largest margin of victory over the Habs since Bobby Orr led an 8-0 drubbing on January 19, 1974.

"That's hockey," surmised Pastrnak. "Hockey is a big up and down game, just trying to play my game."

The 23-year-old winger now leads the NHL with 23 tallies on the season. The next closest scorer is Leon Draisaitl with 18.

Video: BOS@MTL: Pastrnak posts sixth career hat trick

"He's just showing up to play every night," said Bruce Cassidy. "He shoots when he's supposed too. He's still making plays, he's not cheating. He's not scoring goals just by avoiding defensive responsibilities. I think he's playing the right way while he's doing it."

To put Pastrnak's scorching start to the season into perspective, the last player with more goals through the first 24 contests of a season was Mario Lemieux in the 1992-93 season. When asked about his individual accomplishments, the Czech-native kept the focus on the team.

"I don't look at that," said Pastrnak. "I just play my game. That's not my focus. Hockey is a team sport and that's all that matters to me. Obviously, I read newspapers back home so you see that stuff, but that I would focus on that is definitely not at the top of the list."

Video: Pastrnak Addresses Media After Scoring a Hatty in MTL

In Tuesday night's game, Pastrnak demonstrated his well-rounded scoring by putting the puck away in a variety of manners en route to his sixth career regular season hat trick.

"I thought he did a good job on the second one," said Cassidy. "It was a one-on-one where he worked his way to the good ice against a good defenseman, got his shot off. Was willing to get inside. The first goal is typical Pasta on the power play. He's been hitting those well all year. The last one, just good hand-eye coordination. He probably got a little lucky but when you're around the front of the net, those things happen."

Cassidy credits his young winger's improved strength for the boost in production.

"He's learned to get inside a little better than in the past," said Cassidy. "That's probably due to his physical maturity. He's been through a couple playoff rounds, he knows how important that is - that you don't have as much time and space that you work to the net.

"His one-timer has been rock solid from day one. So the power play is a threat every time he goes over the boards. Like we just talked about, the other goals, he was trying to get inside, attack the net. He got to the front of the net. He's a stronger person. He's still a young guy so every year he gets a little more mature physically. I think with his speed and his hand strength, he's always had that. As an 18-year-old, I had him in Providence. He was always winning pucks. But now he is able to stay on his feet longer and absorb hits and I think that's why he's had more success this year."

Video: Condensed Game: Bruins @ Canadiens

Debut To Remember

A few hiccups were to be expected for Jack Studnicka - making his debut in one of the most historic areneas in all of hockey. The Bruins helped put him at ease by staking an early lead and never looking back.

"Good, overall," said Studnicka. "As the game went on I got more comfortable. I don't think my polish was where I wanted it to be or expected it to be. Boys made it easy on me. We scored a couple early goals and we just kept going from there."

Studnicka recorded his first career point when he made a nifty play to Danton Heinen on the Bruins eighth and final goal of the game.

Video: BOS@MTL: Studnicka supplies Heinen for first point

"Looked like he was a little nervous, when to handle the puck, when to attack," said Cassidy. "As the game went on, he still battled in the faceoff circle. Defensively, I thought he was trying to be on the right side of pucks. For him it's just going to be knowing that you're out there against men every shift, you have to bear down. I thought as the game went on, he got better.

"I know it's a meaningless goal at the end, but for him it's very meaningful. He gets an assist on it so everyone - listen, an offensive guy, you want to get your first NHL point so that's out of the way. Good for him that regard."

The 20-year-old noted areas he hopes to improve upon in his next opportunity.

"Timing is there, but more hanging onto the puck in the offensive zone," said Studnicka. "I think that's something that I've really got better at as the year went on. I wanted to show that tonight. I thought at points I did, but I wish I could have more."

Video: Jack Reacts After Recording 1st Point in NHL Debut

As a whole, the night is something Studnicka will always remember.

"Pretty much the whole experience," said Studnicka. "I couldn't really ask for a better building besides TD Garden to play in. Kind of everything. The whole experience, it lived up to the expectation."

Halak Holds Strong

While the final score shows a lopsided affair, the Canadiens got out to a fast start. Halak was forced to make a number of saves early to keep the Bruins even.

Video: Cassidy Addresses Media After 8-1 Win Over MTL

"He was really solid in the first period," said Cassidy. "Five-on-five, they were better than us early on. Obviously, our power play got us some goals and has been good for us all year in that regard but Halak made some big saves. We weren't sharp. We weren't as hard on the puck as we need to be. They were."

Halak turned aside 36 shots on the way to recording his fourth win of the season.

Video: BOS@MTL: Halak robs Hudon's close-range chance

Kuraly Matches Career High

As the lineup shuffled in the absence of Patrice Bergeron, Sean Kuraly was called upon to play a slightly different role. Usually slotted in as the fourth line center, on Tuesday Kuraly lined up next to skilled wingers Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen.

"They're a little more attack oriented," said Cassidy of Kuraly's new wingers. "So maybe - who knows, sometimes you're with the same guys a long time. I think that line has been very effective for us. This year they haven't quite found their traction. So we mixed it up a little bit, it works out for him."

Kuraly finished the night with three assists, including one on the man-advantage.

Video: BOS@MTL: Coyle hammers home Krug's stellar pass

"He jumps on the power play late at the end of one, makes a play," said Cassidy. "He's going to be want to be on it every day now so that will be a challenge for the coaching staff. Good for him. Listen, he does a lot of dirty work. Everyone likes to score, I don't care who you are in the lineup, you want to make plays. He knows his value to this team is more on the other side of the puck, but I was happy for him."

Kuraly's three points matched a career high.

"I just wanted to have fun, enjoy the game, skate," said Kuraly. "Those are my strengths. My strengths are skating and being strong on the puck and checking well, not necessarily blowing guys up but checking well and my details. When my details are good I think the rest kind of falls into place."

Video: Kuraly Addresses Media After an 8-1 Bruins Win in MTL

Streaking Again

After a lull that saw the Bruins lose four consecutive games, the Black and Gold have now rattled off four consevutive victories. After the blowout in Montreal, they are outscoring the opposition 21-8 during the win streak.

"Obviously it was a big win for us," said Pastrnak. "Especially after last game here. We knew they were going to come out strong. They are a good team, really fast and good for us that we were able to stick with our plan and get the two points."

It's a quick turnaround for the Bruins, who look to carry on the strong play in Ottawa on Wednesday.

"Two points is two points no matter how you get there," said Pastrnak. "If you win one-nothing or eight-nothing it doesn't really matter. We can enjoy it tonight and get some confidence and wash it off tomorrow and same like if we lose, and be ready for [Wednesday] night."

Marchand Makes History

Brad Marchand's goal in the first period marked the 600th point of his career. He becomes the 11th Bruins player to reach that milestone, joining Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk, Phil Esposito, Rick Middleton, Bobby Orr, Patrice Bergeron, Wayne Cashman, Ken Hodge, Davd Krejci and Terry O'Reilly.

Marchand finished the night with a goal and two assists. His 42 points on the season rank third in the NHL, and the 31-year-old has recorded a point in seven of his past eight games (7-7=14 in that span).

Video: BOS@MTL: Marchand pots backhander off of turnover

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