DALLAS - For most teams, Jamie Benn's backbreaking shorthanded breakaway in the closing minute of the second period would have been the kiss of death, as Bruce Cassidy called it.
Fortunately, his Bruins are not most teams.
As they have all season long, Boston brushed off a two-goal, third-period deficit, tallying three unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes to secure a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on David Pastrnak's winner with just 12 seconds to play.
"It bothers you in the moment, obviously, you think it's a game-changer," Cassidy said of Benn's goal. "You're in between periods and you've just got to take a deep breath. I thought we played a really good second period, came out on the short end of it, had a bad break at the end of it. It happens to be their best player who has the breakaway.
"Listen, you keep playing the way you're playing and live with the end result. I thought we were good in the second, we were competing hard, we won our share of pucks, we weren't perfect by any means, but that's it, that's kind of the message if we're going well."
Video: Bruins react after 3-2 comeback win over Stars
Despite a desperate team in the Stars fighting for a playoff spot and a depleted roster without the likes of Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara, Boston once again found away, notching their third victory this season when trailing by a pair or more entering the third - Edmonton on Feb. 20 and Carolina on March 13 were the others.
"We've shown that numerous times this year that we can come back when we're down," said Brad Marchand, who factored in all three of Boston's third-period goals. "Tonight's another example of that. When we get that one, we get life and we start to feel it. It's dangerous. It was nice to get that win, it doesn't always happen that way, but nice when it does."
Boston's comeback was jumpstarted by the duo of Marchand and Pastrnak, who teamed up for two of the three tallies, including the winner with just 12 seconds to play.
David Krejci - on the ice in place of Riley Nash for the final shift - and Pastrnak did the dirty work down low, pressuring Dallas' defensemen and freeing the puck to Marchand at the left face-off dot. Marchand thought about shooting, but instead zipped the puck right back to Pastrnak. The winger caught the puck on his backhand, avoided Kari Lehtonen's poke check, and reached around the sprawling netminder to pot his 29th of the year as he tumbled to the ice.
"We need our best players to be our best players, especially now," said Cassidy. "We've got a lot of offense out of the lineup. A lot of guys that we rely on - and I don't have to list them all because we'd be here all day. At the end of the day, that's what you need…that's what made our team good this year when we've been able to get timely scoring."
Video: BOS@DAL: Pastrnak nets go-ahead goal in final seconds
Cassidy was particularly impressed with Pastrnak's work in the corner leading up to the goal.
"I find where he's matured is his strength on the puck," said Cassidy. "Those 50-50 pucks that squirt away, he used to get knocked off them and he's getting those a lot more. That's where I see his maturity level, his second effort and some of that is physical as well."
Marchand and Pastrnak also teamed up earlier in the period to light the spark on Boston's comeback, when Marchand struck - or was struck - for his 32nd of the season just 1:17 into the third.
Nash corralled the puck from his knees and dished to Pastrnak in the high slot. Pastrnak danced through Jamie Benn and fired a shot towards the net with Marchand parked out front. As he tumbled to the ice, the puck ticked off Marchand's left knee and by Lehtonen.
"We said between periods, we just need the one goal," said Pastrnak, who had a goal and an assist. "We said to each other that if we get one, we have the whole period to get another one. We've done that a couple times already. We came strong in the third."
Video: BOS@DAL: Marchand scores on redirection in front
That they did. The Bruins continued to push through the first 10 minutes of the third and were rewarded with a fortunate bounce midway through the frame. With Brandon Carlo in the box for boarding, Kevan Miller rimmed a clearing attempt around the boards. The puck careened off of Tyler Seguin and directly to Marchand, who sprinted immediately out of the zone with Tim Schaller alongside.
Once they reached the Dallas zone, Marchand feathered a pass to Schaller at the tops of the circles. Schaller took the feed, switched to his backhand, and flipped the puck over Lehtonen to tie the game 2-2 with 10:13 to play.
"It was bobbling a little bit, I thought the goalie might come out a little bit and I thought if I gave him a little flinch he would react to it and he would and I was able to sneak it in," said Schaller.
"Timmy did a great job," added Marchand, who had a goal and two assists. "Love seeing him score. He works so hard, made a phenomenal move, great play to tie it up, especially shorthanded there. He did a great job to get that for us."
Video: DAL@BOS: Schaller nets filthy backhander for SHG
Not to be overlooked was the work of Tuukka Rask, who made 40 saves, including 17 in the first period as he kept the Bruins in the game while Dallas carried the play.
"He made a lot of really big saves, especially early on, saved a breakaway, some really big saves on the power play," said Marchand. "He had a great game. He's been the backbone of our team all year, for a few years now. It's great when he plays the way he did tonight."
Video: Pastrnak's goal completes B's comeback in 3-2 win