The Bruins are good for business.
Well, if your business is dedicated towards helping those in need of a new hat, anyway. That’s because for the second time in as many nights, the Bruins made it rain hats at TD Garden, as it was a David Pastrnak hat trick that pushed the Bruin to their fourth straight victory with a 3-2 final over the Flyers.
With Pastrnak’s hatty coming one night after Brad Marchand torched the Habs for three goals, this marked the first time that the Bruins scored hat tricks in back-to-back games since Sergei Samsonov and Steve Heinze accomplished the feat in Apr. 1998. It was also the first time that the Bruins scored hat tricks on back-to-back nights since Apr. 1982.
The three-goal performance was yet another Philly dismantling at the hands of No. 88, who has now scored 10 goals and 16 points in nine games against the Flyers dating back to the start of last season.
Thursday also marked the long-awaited return of Tuukka Rask, of course.
In action for the first time since Game 6 of the team’s second-round loss to the Islanders last June, Rask stopped 25 shots for his first victory of the season. Rask had a long wait for his first action of the new season, as the Flyers went the first half of the first period without a shot on goal, but the 34-year-old had to stand tall — and did — with saves on second-period breakaways from both Joel Farabee and Cam Atkinson.
Tuukka Rask stops Joel Farabee on the breakaway attempt:— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 14, 2022
Rask and the Bruins were also forced to kill off a 53-second five-on-three advantage for Philadelphia late in the third period, and did exactly that to hold on long enough for time to run out on the Flyers.
“In terms of just tracking the puck, playing the game and stopping the puck, it looked like old Tuukka,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He got tested late, but good for him. I think the guys played hard for him.”
Boston played this game seriously shorthanded on the backend, with Matt Grzelcyk joining Connor Clifton and Derek Forbort in the league’s COVID protocol and John Moore (upper body) ruled out after leaving Wednesday’s win early.
That paved the way for the return of Jack Ahcan, as well as the 2021-22 season debut of P-Bruins call-up Tyler Lewington. The big-bodied Lewington, who had NHL runs with the Capitals and Predators prior to tonight, lived up to his career line in this contest, too, and dropped the gloves with the Flyers’ Zack MacEwen in a spirited bout.
The Bruins will continue their homestand Saturday afternoon against the Predators.