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Pastrnak Pots First Two NHL Goals in 3-1 Win Over Flyers

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

PHILADELPHIA - David Pastrnak threw his arms up in the air and embraced teammate Torey Krug with a bear hug and smiles befitting a first NHL goal.

"It was something new, you know?" Pastrnak smiled, thinking back on the moment. "Some new feeling is what I got after the goal. Yeah, it was nice, I can't describe it."

Pastrnak had just backhanded in a rebound off Krug's shot on the power play to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead over the Flyers on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

It marked his first career goal in the NHL, in his seventh game.

Pastrnak would later add goal No. 2, off a give-and-go with centerman David Krejci, to give the Bruins more insurance en route to their 3-1 win.

"Means a lot you know, first NHL goals," Pastrnak said after the win. "And it's even better when we won and we got two points."

The Bruins picked up a third straight win for the first time since Nov. 15-21. It is just the third time this season that they have won at least three in a row.

In the final minute, Pastrnak was out on the ice as the Flyers pulled goalie Ray Emery for the extra attacker. He had a chance to pot an empty-netter for the hat trick, but time ran out.

"I just congratulated him and asked him, why didn't he want that third goal there?" Tuukka Rask quipped following the game. "Good for him, you know. He's a good offensive player so it's good to see him get rewarded."

"Yeah, I thought I had more time, so I just wanted to make sure," said Pastrnak. "But it was time over. Doesn't matter. We won."

The Bruins had to start the game on the penalty kill, when Adam McQuaid picked up an instigator penalty just seven seconds in. The defensemen didn't like a hit on Daniel Paille in the neutral zone and challenged Nick Schultz to drop the gloves.

"Well, that's the way we respond," Head Coach Claude Julien said of the fight that ensued. "We're used to seeing our team respond."

"I think Adam just said listen, I'm going to set the tone here and make sure that I'm going to protect my teammates here, so he went in, did the job and those kind of things, I can live with. They're for the right reasons, they're for showing everybody that we're team tough, and we're going to stick up for each other, so I have no issues there."

The Black and Gold controlled the pace in the first. At 10:21 of the opening frame, Chris Kelly drew an interference penalty on Jakub Voracek off a faceoff. Kelly had plenty of words for Voracek before the puck dropped.

On the ensuing power play, a passing sequence saw Krug find Milan Lucic down low. Lucic retrieved the puck for Zdeno Chara, who wrapped around the goal and fed Krug for the chance with Pastrnak finding space atop the crease to be there for the rebound.

As the game hit the 11:23 mark, Pastrnak had his first NHL goal.

"I think we stuck in their zone during the power play, we had a few chances, a few shots, then Torey got a great shot and I just got the rebound," said Pastrnak. "Tried to just get the puck and went to the net."

The second period had its lulls for the Bruins. They were outshot 8-4, and didn't generate much on a power play.

"Instead of pushing the tempo, we kind of flattened out and were making cross passes and not battling that hard," said Rask, who stopped 17 of 18 shots in the win and is now 5-0-3 in his last eight starts. "But they never really got too much going on offensively."

The Bruins regained their tempo in the third period. At 4:58 in, Pastrnak netted his second of the game to make it 2-0.

After a quick up from McQuaid, Pastrnak raced into the Flyers zone, fed Krejci a drop pass and found space at the bottom of the left circle to fire home Krejci's perfect return pass through four bodies.

"I think we went three against two or something, I dropped the puck to David and just moved where my skates go and David found me with a great pass," said Pastrnak.

The chemistry between the pair, along with Brad Marchand's creativity, was undeniable in the game. Pastrnak appeared more confident and more comfortable.

"It was first game last game for us together, so just taking time to get used to each other and find each other on the ice and I think it will be every game better," said Pastrnak. "He found me a really great pass you know, so it wasn't that hard to score."

"He's been skating well, he makes things happen and I think starting to feel a little better around David Krejci and understanding how David plays," said Julien. "They're both smart players, so they always get themselves in places and positions where they can make things happen."

"You know, Krech is one guy that's going to find guys who are open and Pastrnak is a guy that knows where to go, so it was nice to see him. He skates well, puts Ds on their heels with his speed and at the same time, he's really shown us that he's coming around with his game without the puck."

Pastrnak now has two games remaining, before the Bruins have to make a decision whether or not they'll burn a year of his entry-level contract.

"It's just, it's a thing about confidence you know," said Pastrnak, who scored two goals on two shots in 16:08 of ice time.

"I was a little bit nervous but the guys helped me you know, team played really well and it helped me too, so just felt better and better."

"I don't see a fear in him at going to the net," said Julien. "I don't see a fear in him in the corners. Right now, it's just a matter if he's strong enough and does he have enough durability to be able to do that on a nightly basis in this league right now at the age of 18."

"So we're evaluating him as each game goes on and at the end of it, we'll make a decision."

While Pastrnak's game is coming around, it's coinciding the the Bruins finally finding a way to string together wins.

"It's been good. We've gotten better and playing more consistent hockey and not giving up too many scoring chances," said Rask. "So it's good, but you know, no time for us to relax and take it easy. We have to keep pushing."

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