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Pastrnak scores two more; Bruins defeat Lightning

by Connor Mellas /

BOSTON -- Bruins rookie David Pastrnak discovered the third time was the charm. So was the fourth.

After testing Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop with a point-blank shot on an early breakaway, and later ringing a slap shot off the post, Pastrnak scored twice to help the Boston Bruins to a 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden on Tuesday.

He has four goals in his past two games after spending most of the season playing for Providence in the American Hockey League. Boston (23-15-6) has won three in a row since he rejoined the lineup Jan. 8 (four overall).

"It's always exciting to have one of those guys on your team that has that unbelievable speed and unbelievable hands," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "He's a young player (turns 19 in May) and certainly he can bring a lot to the table. And maybe, who knows, as we move forward we may have nights where we don't see much of him, he may look tired, we don't know that. But on a game like tonight that's pretty exciting to watch a guy like that play, and not only play, but make a difference in our game."

Steven Stamkos scored twice to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead before Pastrnak scored two of the Bruins' three unanswered goals.

"To be honest, I didn't feel that good tonight," Stamkos said. "I wasn't very good. One of those games where you get a couple shots, they go in, obviously [Ondrej] Palat made a great play on that first one, but hey, too many turnovers for me, that's not the way I want to lead this team. I have to be better."

Tampa Bay (27-14-4) scored first when forward Nikita Kucherov shot from distance, forcing Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask to give up a long rebound. Palat passed across the crease to Stamkos at 9:23 of the first period.

After taking two penalties, Brad Marchand tied it 1-1 at 16:42 with a slap-in of Carl Soderberg's defense-splitting pass.

Then, against the run of play at 10:55 of the second period, a wide-open Stamkos scored his second. Palat, barely hanging onto the puck against on the boards, managed to slip a pass to the Lightning captain, who beat Rask glove side.

Pastrnak scored when he blazed across the crease and left Bishop sprawled on the ice with a backhand-to-forehand move at 15:24.

"I kind of was gapped up on [Milan] Lucic and saw the kid coming wide with speed and by the time I was able to try and make a play on him it was too late," Bishop said.

Bishop's save on Lucic's shot rebounded behind him to put the Bruins up 3-2 at 19:06.

"I thought we played well, but I think those two goals in the second so close together like that, especially on the road, hurts your momentum," Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said.

Showcasing speed and hands again, Pastrnak scored 1:30 into the third period, wrapping around Bishop's net for a 4-2 lead. Pastrnak scored his first two NHL goals in a 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Callahan scored for Tampa Bay with 5:42 remaining. The Lightning played without forward Tyler Johnson and defenseman Victor Hedman, each out with a lower-body injury sustained in a 7-3 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

"We've just got to get back to the structure," he said. "We had lapses, mistakes. You're going to have those throughout the season, but you have to realize it as quick as possible and not let it slide on you and not let it snowball."

Boston hosts the New York Rangers on Thursday.

"Our players are feeling it right now, and when you feel it you've got more energy, when you're feeling it there's no doubt you're a little bit more inclined to step in and do the things that you have to do," Julien said. "This is more, obviously I think, the team we've seen for a long time."

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