Pastrnak's blazing slapper with 47 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Bruins to a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden and snapped Boston's four-game losing streak.
"That definitely felt good," said Pastrnak. "There's not much you can do. You've got to play the right way, and obviously it's always going to be back in your head….Our team, we went in and I think we deserved it today. We were the better team - at least that's what I think - for most of the game."
Video: DET@BOS: Pastrnak blasts one-timer for OT game-winner
Pastrnak, whose tally was his 20th of the season, credited his teammates for providing support and encouragement during his goal-less stretch. After starting the season with 19 goals in his first 26 games, Pastrnak had not scored since Dec. 14 in Pittsburgh.
"I always have guys that will help me and support me all the time," said Pastrnak, who also added an assist on Brad Marchand's first-period power-play tally. "Also, when I had that stretch with a lot of goals, I said that might happen that I might not score for a couple games, and it was more than a couple. But it was really nice to get that one and especially to win."
Linemate Patrice Bergeron believes the goal will provide Pastrnak with just the jolt he needed to get the goals flowing again.
"Sometimes, it's just a mental thing to get that number to 20 and move forward. Especially at a young age, it's not always easy and you're going to hit stretches like that where you have to stick with it," said Bergeron.
"He was doing a lot of great things and contributing in other ways and a lot of assists and creating plays. So, we all knew it was going to come and now that it's behind him - it's a huge goal, as well, game-winner - I'm sure it's given him a lot of energy and momentum looking forward."
Video: Pastrnak's OT winner leads Bruins past Red Wings
On the winner, Pastrnak dumped a pass off to David Krejci and drifted into the offensive zone, where he abruptly stopped at the top of the left circle, leaving just enough distance between himself and Detroit's Frans Nielsen. Krejci spotted Pastrnak and sent a pass that Pastrnak one-timed glove side past Detroit goalie Jared Coreau.
"Obviously, get it into Krech's hands and I try to get open for him with a bit of speed so I can beat my guy or get in good position for a shot," said Pastrnak. "Krech is a great playmaker. He saw me, I stopped, and they kind of held back their guy. So, it was a good play.
"It's a lot of fun, three-on-three, for skill players."
What made the winner even sweeter for Pastrnak was having his mother, Marcela, in the building. She is in town for the team's first-ever Moms Trip and was able to see her son score a National Hockey League goal in person for the first time.
"That's the third time she came and the first goal she saw live," said Pastrnak. "So, I'm happy for her. She was kind of frustrated, too."
The winning goal may not have been possible if not for a stellar stop from Tuukka Rask in the final minute of regulation. Rask, who left Sunday's game in Pittsburgh with a migraine, went post to post to deliver a right pad stop on Darren Helm and keep the game knotted at 3.
"I think they got a couple really good chances there and then later in the third period, but we were able to stick with it and were able to get that goal in the overtime," said Rask, who made 23 stops.
"So, you always want to end these losing streaks and get an easy game, an easy win, but a lot of times it doesn't happen and today was a great example of that. But we got rewarded in the end and that's all that matters."
Video: DET@BOS: Rask recovers for incredible pad stop in 3rd
Marchand Pots Two
Marchand notched his 18th and 19th goals of the season. The first came - on the power-play - at 17:34 of the first period and gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead. The second was even bigger as Marchand tied the game, 3-3, with a backhander off a rebound with 11:40 to go in regulation.
"We are in a tough spot right now," said Marchand. "So it was a little frustrating, but we showed a ton of character tonight, coming out and getting that win. I thought we played a pretty good game all the way through, but, again, teams just seem to be capitalizing on every mistake.
"But if we continue to work on our game and play the way we are then we are going to continue to get better. There's no way we are going down."
Video: DET@BOS: Marchand slides home loose puck, ties game
Hayes Gets Back In
Jimmy Hayes played in his first game since Jan. 8 after missing the previous seven games as a healthy scratch. The hulking winger played well and was a key contributor on the Bruins' first goal.
While he did not show up on the scoresheet, Hayes (two shots, three hits in 9:27 of ice time) provided a tremendous screen to block out the view of Coreau on Kevan Miller's goal just 3:39 into the game.
Video: Julien, Bruins discuss 4-3 OT win to Detroit
"You look at the first goal - if he's not there, there's no goal, probably," said Julien. "He did a great job. He hasn't played in a while….he came, he played hard and he got an opportunity to get back into the lineup.
"What people don't realize is that he worked extremely hard throughout the summer - he came in in great shape. He did a lot of adjustments to his training, his lifestyle and everything else.
"He's had a tough start and it's too bad because right now in that dressing room he has a lot of players hoping that he can really get himself going."
Millers Return, Too
Kevan Miller (concussion) and Colin Miller (lower-body) both returned to the lineup after missing time with injuries and were reunited on the third pairing. John-Michael Liles and Joe Morrow were healthy scratches.
Kevan Miller, who missed the last four games, played 15 minutes, 5 seconds and tallied his first goal of the season with a wrister from the right circle at 3:39 of the first period. Colin Miller played 17:09 and delivered four hits and a blocked shot.
"First period was a little, you know, kind of feeling it out," said Kevan Miller. "I think overall we had a pretty good first period, second period wasn't our greatest but we finished pretty hard in the third. It was a good first game."
Video: DET@BOS: Miller roofs snap shot through Hayes' screen