BOSTON — David Pastrnak scored four times — the 19th Bruin to do so in franchise history — to lead the Bruins to a 4-2 win over the Ducks in a Columbus Day matinee at the Garden on Monday.
“Right now, he’s on,” said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “We’re happy he is. Got some nice looks from (Brad Marchand) too, but he’s going to the spots he needs to, to score those goals. Their chemistry is on now, it was off a little bit earlier, didn’t play a lot. We talked about that, we weren’t going to play them a lot. Now they’re fine.”
The Bruins were sluggish in the second period, but survived with a one-goal lead to the third period, until Pastrnak struck twice again to give the Bruins plenty of cushion.
“It’s always nice. That’s what I’m getting paid for,” said Pastrnak. “Good for confidence. We got some goals, and overall my line and I got nice passes from them. It’s a good two points for us.”
Pastrnak netted a hat trick in the preseason as well, but Monday afternoon’s four-goal outburst counted for more. It was his sixth career hat trick.
“I’m just trying to be a better player than last year. That’s my biggest focus,” he said. “Every year come into the season, you want to be better than the year before. That’s what I’m working on.”
Eight seconds into the Bruins’ first power play, they struck first.
Patrice Bergeron slid a backhand pass to Pastrnak from the slot, and with 4:18 gone in the first period, Pastrnak one-timed in his third goal of the season to go ahead 1-0.
The Ducks didn’t get their second shot on goal until 7:14 left in the first, and despite being outshot 9-2 to open the game, went on to outshoot the Bruins 15-3 midway into the second.
The Bruins had to kill off two second-period penalties — one a phantom trip call against Pastrnak and then a Steven Kampfer hook as Max Jones wove his way into a semi-breakaway — but found the net again shortly after to double their lead.
This time it was Marchand who found Pastrnak, with the latter connecting for his second tally of the afternoon with 8:22 left in the middle frame. Marchand got the puck off a bad turnover from Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who backhanded it right into Marchand’s stick at the edge of the circle.
The Bruins were sloppy again in the second period, continuing a trend that’s been with them since the start of the season. Jaroslav Halak denied Ondrej Kase on a breakaway to keep the Ducks off the board while it was still 1-0, and the Bruins avoided disaster when a weird bounce off the boards had the puck in front of an empty Bruins cage, but no Ducks were in position to get a shot.
The Ducks also had two 3-on-1 chances in the second, with the first being stopped by Halak with Steven Kampfer defending, and the second coming late in the frame after Charlie Coyle’s shot in the slot was blocked and led to the Anaheim breakout, where Halak denied Ryan Getzlaf’s slap shot.
Anaheim finally broke through with 2:08 left in the second. Rickard Rakell snapped a shot through the Bruins’ defense and past Halak to cut it to a one-goal game.
Pastrnak netted his third just 2:20 into the third. Bergeron won the faceoff and Pastrnak rifled it in for his hat trick goal. It was the first third-period goal for the Bruins this season.
He wasn’t done just yet. With 4:34 gone in the third, Pastrnak tapped the puck past John Gibson off a pass from Marchand at the edge of the faceoff dot.
Adam Henrique got the Ducks their second goal with 3:52 left. Halak mishandled the puck at the edge of the crease, and Nick Ritchie stripped it from the B’s goalie and found Henrique in the slot for an easy open net.
That was as close as the Ducks would get. They pulled Gibson with 2:55 left, but that wasn’t enough to close the gap any further.