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Pastrnak Joins Bruins on Road Trip to Pittsburgh

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins - David Pastrnak traveled with the Bruins to Pittsburgh on Tuesday after being recalled from the Providence Bruins.

It marks Pastrnak's second recall to the big club this season after he made his NHL debut on November 24 against the Penguins at TD Garden. He has five NHL games under his belt, with his first career assist coming on December 1, when he assisted on Brad Marchand's tally against Anaheim.

"It's exciting to be here and I have a second shot to be here with the guys," Pastrnak said after practicing with Boston on Tuesday.

The winger skated with fellow Czech David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith during practice.

"I had the one practice with David and it was - you know, he's a great player, so but everybody here is good and I'm happy for every minute I be on the ice," said Pastrnak.

While he's on the road trip with the big club, the plan for him moving forward is still yet to be known. With five NHL games, Pastrnak can play four more with Boston before his entry-level contract would kick in.

"I definitely have to talk to our group here and see how they want him to be utilized," Head Coach Claude Julien told reporters following Tuesday's practice. "Again, I don't make those decisions by myself. I work with my general manager and we look at the situation."

"I haven't had a chance to discuss that with Peter and hopefully that's going to happen today, so I'm honestly saying, that's why I had Griff with those guys and I had the lines how they were, because I'm not quite sure."

Pastrnak suited up for the P-Bruins on Sunday, after spending the end of December and early January competing for the Czech Republic in the 2015 World Junior Championship. He put up a goal (overtime winner) and six assists through five games.

He doesn't feel too tired after the tournament. If anything, it could be a confidence booster for Pastrnak, playing against his peers. This season, the 18-year-old has been the youngest player in the AHL, and when called up to Boston, the youngest player in the NHL.

"It was a good experience," Pastrnak said of his time at World Juniors. "It was a little bit different hockey than I play, but I just tried to do my best for the team and it was unfortunately too short for us, but it was a good experience for me."

"It was nice to play with guys the same age as me, and I enjoyed it, but a little disappointed it was too short for our team and we wanted to stay there longer for our country."

There was a time when it was easier for Pastrnak to play over in Europe. He had to adjust to the North American game. Having spent the past four months in the AHL, that comfort has flipped.

"I felt it was easier to get back from World Juniors and play in Providence than it was to come to World Juniors from Providence. It was easier to come back here," he said.

The last time Pastrnak played with Boston, he faced heavy opponents out West. The Bruins tasked him with trying to be stronger on the puck and working to get to the inside.

"I learned to be more simple," he said of what he's improved on since his last recall. "Some of the plays, I just have to play simple and be smarter on the puck and be heavy with the puck and make the right plays."

While Pastrnak's situation was uncertain on Tuesday, there should be more clarity following Wednesday's pregame skate in Pittsburgh.

"They call people up and they make decisions. Upper management makes certain decisions and we go with it," said Julien. "And then we discuss and see where we go with this individual."

"I'll find out more of why and what they want to do."

Bergeron Back at Practice

Patrice Bergeron took a maintenance day on Monday, and was back on the ice Tuesday at TD Garden, centering Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith.

Rising to the Challenge

The Bruins face a back-to-back set this week, facing the Penguins in Pittsburgh at 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday night and then hosting the New Jersey Devils in Boston on Thursday.

It presents an opportunity for the Bruins to turn their game around, something that was oft talked about on Tuesday, from the top (new CEO Charlie Jacobs), through the coaches and players.

"We've talked about it throughout different parts of the season - going on the road is a benefit for our team, because it really simplifies the game," said Torey Krug, of rising to the challenge of facing the Pens. "And I think what's important for us right now is to get back to the basics of our system and trust our system a little bit more, and a road game can do that to you, against a high-powered offense like Pittsburgh has and they're right near the top of the Eastern Conference."

"It's a good test for us."

All For Fun

During practice, Krug and Marchand got into a wrestling match that ended them up along the end boards in a bear hug, jawing at each other. No punches were thrown, and it brought out plenty of stick taps - and smiles - from their teammates.

The pair joined together at the end of practice, leading the team stretch from the center of the Spoked-B.

While it was all in good fun, the pair admitted postpractice that those types of moments might be good for the team right now, to loosen the players up.

"I think it's no secret in here that guys are not happy with where we're at. It's got to start somewhere, so why not in practice?" Krug said. "And I thought after that you noticed the guys were a little more intense and having some fun so who knows? Maybe it could be good for our team and maybe we could use that [on Wednesday]."

"I think it shows emotion and right now, I think that's one thing we need, is to show a little more emotion so that's what we need," said Marchand. "Obviously you don't want to be going at each other in practice, but sometimes things happen and hopefully that all carries over into the game."

Practice Lineup 1/6

White Jerseys: Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Seth Griffith/David Pastrnak

Gold: Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith

Gray: Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson

Burgundy: Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Craig Cunningham/Jordan Caron


Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton

Dennis Seidenberg - Adam McQuaid

Torey Krug - Kevan Miller

Matt Bartkowski

Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Niklas Svedberg

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