That didn’t take long.
A day after Claude Julien downplayed whether he wanted to see how David Pastrnak would look with Milan Lucic as his and David Krejci‘s left wing, the Bruins finally gave their anticipated eventual first-line a look and it exploded in a 4-3 win over the division-leading Lightning (box).
Julien united the trio midway through the second period with Tampa holding a 2-1 lead and the payoff, in addition to being nearly immediate, was big. The line scored on its second and third shifts to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead going into the second intermission. In the line’s first shift of the third period, Pastrnak scored on a wraparound for his second goal of the game and fourth of the season.
Pastrnak has now scored a pair of goals in each of the last two games. He got his first Tuesday by taking a pass from Lucic, flying down the right wing and fending off Matthew Carl as he cut to the front of the net and tucked the puck past Ben Bishop. Lucic scored on the next shift when the rebound of his shot went off Anton Stralman and in.
Tuesday marked Pastrnak’s eighth NHL game. The Bruins can play him for one more game without burning the first year of his NHL contract. At this point, it’s hard to imagine the decision hasn’t already been made.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
LINES BACK TO NORMAL
With Julien putting Lucic with Krejci and Pastrnak, the ret of Boston’s lines reverted to normal. Daniel Paille, who had been playing with Lucic and Bergeron, went back to the fourth line, with Chris Kelly going back to Carl Soderberg’s line and Reilly Smith reuniting with Marchand and Bergeron.
As such, the lines became:
Lucic – Krejci – Pastrnak
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Cunningham
NEXT CENTER UP COMES THROUGH
Claude Julien revealed recently that during delayed penalties, the Bruins’ extra attacker is always the center of the next line expected to take the ice. That worked splendidly for the Bruins on a delayed penalty late in the first period.
With Krejci’s line on the ice, Soderberg took the ice as the extra attacker. He nearly got in Torey Krug’s way at the blue line initially, but moved towards the wall, took a pass from Krug and fired a sharp cross-ice pass to Brad Marchand, who blasted a one-timer past Ben Bishop to tie the game.
Additionally, good eye by the MetroWest Daily News’ Dan Cagen, who noted that the Bruins have gotten a ton of first-period power plays of late. The B’s have had seven first-period power plays (plus the delayed penalty on which they scored) over their last three games. The Bruins have scored in the first period on either power plays or during a delayed penalty in all three.
PK BAILS OUT BRUINS
You probably don’t want to give a team with Stamkos too many power plays, but Boston took three penalties in the first 30 minutes of the game. Marchand was called for a first-period goaltender interference infraction and a second-period high-stick, while Carl Soderberg was whistled for hooking in the second.
The Bruins killed off all three penalties, with Tuukka Rask stopping Tampa’s best chance of the three, a Jonathan Drouin bid during Tampa’s first man advantage.
The Bruins killed off two more penalties on the night to hold Tampa 0-for-5 on the power play.
THINGS GET CHIPPY IN THE THIRD
Zdeno Chara racked up six penalty minutes and left the Lightning plenty bruised when a hit on Carle prompted Cedric Paquette to stand up to Boston’s captain. The two took jabs at one another, with Chara hitting Paquette in the jaw/neck area to drop the Tampa forward. Chara was given a boarding minor for the hit on Carle and a double minor for roughing. Pacquette received a roughing minor.
Minutes later, Krejci and J.T. Brown got tangled up behind the play, with Krejci keeping his gloves on during the scuffle. Lucic skated back to Krejci’s aid and had to be held back from Brown. Brown was given a double-minor for roughing, with Krejci getting just a roughing minor.
With 1.7 second remaining in the game, Chara and Pacquette met again, with each player receiving a double-minor for roughing. Brad Marchand was given a 10-minute misconduct.