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Pastrnak's first two NHL goals lead Bruins past Flyers

by Adam Kimelman /

PHILADELPHIA -- David Pastrnak is adjusting to life in the NHL. On Saturday he got some help from a fellow Czech Republic native.

Pastrnak scored his first two NHL goals in his seventh NHL game, the Bruins' 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.

At 18 years, 230 days old, Pastrnak is the second-youngest Bruins player since 1988 with a multigoal game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau; Patrice Bergeron was 18 years, 172 days old when he scored twice against the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 12, 2004.

Chris Kelly scored a shorthanded goal, and Tuukka Rask made 23 saves for the Bruins (22-15-6), who have won three straight and have a point in seven in a row (4-0-3).

Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers (16-19-7), who lost for the first time in three games. They lost starting goaltender Steve Mason 7:07 into the game with a lower-body injury.

Mason went down to make a save on a long, bouncing shot by Craig Cunningham but couldn't get up. Mason was able to skate off under his own power but went immediately to the locker room. The Flyers said Mason would be evaluated Sunday.

Ray Emery came on and made 10 saves on 13 shots.

Pastrnak skated on a line with center David Krejci for the second straight game. Playing with Pastrnak (6 feet, 167 pounds) is a change for Krejci, who for most of his time with the Bruins has played with large power forwards.

"He's a good player," Krejci said. "For him to get those two goals, especially the first one, kind of gets the monkey off his back, gets him some confidence. Now he knows he can score in the NHL. That's big; took me 40 games. It's good to see him get the first one, and the second one as well. Hopefully from now on he'll feel more comfortable with the puck."

Pastrnak had 10 goals and 27 points in 24 games with Providence of the American Hockey League, and in six NHL games entering Saturday had one assist. Playing with Krejci, a fellow Czech Republic native, has made things a bit easier.

"Just take time to get used to each other, to find each other on the ice," Pastrnak said. "I think it will be every game better and better."

They looked like they found some chemistry on Pastrnak's second goal at 4:58 of the third period that gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead. Pastrnak took a pass in transition from Adam McQuaid at the Philadelphia blue line and blindly dropped the puck for Krejci. As the Flyers turned their attention to Krejci, he passed across the zone to Pastrnak for an easy tap-in.

If the second goal was skill, the first showed some grit. Pastrnak jumped into the slot to poke in the rebound of a Torey Krug shot at 11:23 of the first period for a power-play goal.

"The first one we were in their zone on the power play, had a few shots," Pastrnak said. "Then Torey got a great shot and I got a rebound, try to just hit the puck and sent to the net. The second one we went 3-on-2, I drop the puck to David and just move to where my skates go and David found me with a great pass. Wasn't hard to score that one."

The Bruins certainly have been happy with Pastrnak, the 25th pick of the 2014 NHL Draft. But he is the youngest player in the League, and coach Claude Julien said the evaluation is ongoing.

"I don't see a fear in him at going to the net," Julien said. "I don't see a fear in him going into the corners. Right now it's a matter of, is he strong enough and does he have the durability to go out and do that on a nightly basis in this League at 18. We're evaluating as each game goes on."

Trailing 2-0, the Flyers had three straight power plays midway through the third period. But they allowed Kelly's shorthanded goal off a 2-on-1 rush with Loui Eriksson to go down 3-0 and had a total two shots, one of them Giroux's goal from the left side through a Wayne Simmonds screen to end Rask's shutout.

The Flyers, who entered with the best home power play in the League, went 1-for-6 Saturday and had four shots.

"With the power play we scored one goal and that gave us momentum, but then we had five other opportunities," Flyers forward Jakub Voracek said. "We have to get better at that special teams, but everyone's working really hard for it, so hopefully we are going to get better at it."

The Bruins, who killed 17 straight penalties prior to Giroux's goal, were happy with the effort from their penalty killers.

"We took a lot of penalties in the third but they really never got the momentum because we killed those penalties off," Rask said. "That's something we've been looking for, get that penalty kill going on a streak. It's been good."

The Flyers said they felt good about their game; they allowed 18 shots and felt like they created chances at even strength.

"Obviously the power play wasn't good today, but other than that I think the 5-on-5 we pretty much outplayed them," Flyers defenseman Mark Streit said. "It's one of those type of games that unfortunately we came up short. I think there is a lot of positive we can take out of the game. It's a quick turnaround, so I think we have to get some rest for Monday [against the Tampa Bay Lightning]. It is another big game for us and we face a really good team on Monday."


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