Pastrnak's First Hat Trick Leads An Epic Late Comeback

Published March 13, 2018 at 10:10 PM

For 50 minutes tonight, the Boston Bruins were outplayed, outhustled and outscored. 

Then they flipped a switch and scored the last five goals of the game, including a hat trick from David Pastrnak, over the final 9:56 for an epic comeback victory.

The first period was far from a barn burner, but the Bruins got a late goal to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. 

With just 10.5 seconds remaining in the period, Pastrnak made a great no-look, behind-the-back pass from below the goal line out front where Brad Marchand slammed it home for his 30th goal of the season.  Riley Nash picked up the secondary assist on the play.

This makes three straight seasons of at least 30 goals for Marchand.  In fact, since the start of the 2015-16 season, only Alex Ovechkin has scored more goals in the NHL than Marchand.

The Hurricanes tied the game with Pastrnak in the penalty box for hooking just over two minutes into the second period. Sebastian Aho scored his 25th goal of the year by going top corner from the top of the right circle.  Tuukka Rask never saw the shot as there were multiple players from both team in front of him.

Teuvo Teravainen's 21st goal gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead nearly 10 minutes later.  While Carolina was on a 5-on-3 advantage, Teravainen took a feed from Aho at the right dot and blasted home a one-timer that was aided by a Jordan Staal screen in front.

The Hurricanes extended their lead to 3-1 to at 18:43 of the second period.  Brock McGinn fired a heavy shot off of a faceoff win that trickled behind Rask.  Justin Williams raced around both Marchand and Zdeno Chara to get his stick on the puck in the blue paint and push it over the goal line.

McGinn got his goal, while his team was shorthanded, to give the Hurricanes a three-goal lead just 51 seconds into the third period. Elias Lindholm poked the puck away from Pastrnak just inside of his own blue line and took off on a breakaway going the other way.  Rask stopped Lindholm's shot, but McGinn followed up to bang home the rebound.

Just when thinks looked bleak, the Bruins stormed back (pun intended) with three goals in 1:17.  Matt Grzelcyk was the first to strike at 10:04 as he jumped on a loose puck at the blue line and then beat Cam Ward to the far side from left dot.  Sean Kuraly and Tim Schaller had the helpers on Grzelcyk's third goal of the year.

Pastrnak made it a one goal game at the 11-minute mark by keeping the puck in the zone then working his way down to the right dot to take a pass from Marchand and beat Ward to the near side top corner for his 25th goal of the year.

21 seconds later, Danton Heinen tied the game by finishing off a 2-on-1 rush started by David Krejci by gloving the puck out of midair in the neutral zone and then making a nice pass across the slot to setup the goal.

Pastrnak struck again to give the Bruins a 5-4 lead while on the power play with just three and a half minutes left in the game.  After moving the puck around the zone, Grzelcyk found a wide open Pastrnak at the left dot where he ripped a one-time into the Hurricanes net.  Marchand picked up another point with the secondary assist on the eventual game winning goal.

Pastrnak completed his first career hat trick with an empty net goal, at 18:26, with the assists coming from Kevan Miller and Riley Nash.

This comeback was impressive, but it was made even more so with all the injuries the Bruins had to deal with.  Patrice Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy did not play, but Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk and Zdeno Chara all left tonight's game with an injury all within the first seven minutes of the third period and did not return.

Hopefully we will get some good news before the Bruins travel to the red hot Florida Panthers on Thursday. 
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