By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It took just two scorers, but the Boston Bruins got what they needed on Thursday night, as David Pastrnak's three goals and two from Jake DeBrusk were enough to power them over the Winnipeg Jets by a 5-4 final at TD Garden.
No. 35 caps the hatty. @pastrnak96 | #NHLBruins https://t.co/7ZgKrtBl6B
All three goals carried some weight for Boston's top-line superstar, too.
Not only did all three of Pastrnak's strikes increase his league-best goals mark to a staggering 35 (Auston Matthews is now four behind No. 88), but they also erased a Winnipeg lead each time, and there was none bigger than the game-tying goal Pastrnak scored just 3:23 after Mark Scheifele put the Jets ahead with 12:10 remaining in the third period. And his first strike moved him ahead of Pavel Bure (164) for the fourth-most career goals by a European-born player age 23 or younger. Only Alex Ovechkin (219), Jaromir Jagr (202), and Ilya Kovalchuk (202) have had more.
Pastrnak's second goal, meanwhile, extended Boston's power-play goal streak to 12 games, which is their longest streak of consecutive games with power-play tallies since a 12-game run back in 1988.
And with the third goal, Pastrnak record his seventh hat trick since the start of the 2016-17 season, which trials only Ovechkin and his nine hat tricks for the most in the league over that span.
Not to be outdone per se, DeBrusk's goals were also gigantic ones for the Bruins, as he capped a tremendous solo effort with a breakaway goal on the Jets' Laurent Brossoit with 1:11 remaining in the second period, and scored what would hold as the game-winning goal on a tip through Brossoit with 8:14 remaining in regulation.
This was a win that required the Bruins to give their goaltender a lift, too, as Halak surrendered four goals on 16 shots before he buckled down and stopped the final five shots thrown his way to preserve a victory for the B's.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, meanwhile, was an unexpected scratch from Thursday's lineup. The 42-year-old Chara played 18:29 in Tuesday's win over the Predators, but did take a heavy punch to the jaw from the Predators' Yakov Trenin in their fight. Chara, of course, is just a few weeks removed from an additional jaw procedure.
Chara, for what it's worth, wanted to play, but was successfully talked out of it by Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy and general manager Don Sweeney.
With Chara out, and with Connor Clifton still out of action, Matt Grzelcyk moved up to Chara's spot with Charlie McAvoy while Steven Kampfer rejoined the lineup and skated on the B's third pairing opposite John Moore.
Up next, the Bruins will visit the Islanders on Saturday night.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.