Pastrnak scores twice, Bruins defeat Senators for 4th straight win
BOSTON — David Pastrnak scored twice, including his 40th goal of the season, for the Boston Bruins in a 3-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden on Monday.
Charlie McAvoy had three assists, and Linus Ullmark made 30 saves for Boston (43-8-5), which has won four in a row.
“When [Pastrnak’s] really on like he was tonight, it jumps out at you,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “When he has his B-game, it still jumps out at you. That’s how good he is, and he was just ultracreative. I thought him and Charlie McAvoy were special tonight.”
Claude Giroux scored, and Kevin Mandolese made 29 saves in his second NHL start for Ottawa (27-25-4), which lost for the third time in 10 games (7-2-1).
The Senators won their previous two games against the Bruins this season (7-5 on Oct. 18; 3-2 in a shootout on Dec. 27).
“You’re never going to be satisfied, obviously, with a loss,” Ottawa defenseman Travis Hamonic said. “A tough back-to-back (after a 7-2 win against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday), really difficult building to come into historically no matter where that team is in the standings. They’re the No. 1 team in the League, so we feel like we played them really strong, obviously, all season, and it was a good game for us this afternoon, and just a couple chances end up going [in] the back of our net.”
Pastrnak put Boston in front 2-1 at 17:06 of the second period, scoring glove side from the bottom of the left circle off a pass from McAvoy.
Video: OTT@BOS: Pastrnak scores his 40th, 41st goal in win
David Krejci, who had the secondary assist on the play, was honored in a pregame ceremony for playing 1,000 NHL games, which he accomplished on Jan. 16.
“I knew what to expect a little bit, but it was more than I expected,” Krejci said. “It was a pretty special moment, having the family there with me. … Just a special moment and I’m very, very thankful that I’m part of this team.”
Pastrnak pushed it to 3-1 at 12:10 of the third period, shooting five-hole on a breakaway after receiving a stretch pass off the boards from McAvoy.
Pastrnak has 41 goals this season, trailing Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (42) for the NHL lead.
“It was a set play,” Pastrnak said. “[McAvoy and I] didn’t connect the tape-to-tape. He just let it bounce off the boards, and I told him right away, ‘That’s an unbelievable play.’ Heads down to him, great pass.”
The Senators were unable to score on a 5-on-3 power play for 1:49 after Bruins forward Craig Smith received a tripping penalty at 9:16 of the first period and Patrice Bergeron got called for hooking 11 seconds later.
“We would love to have that back in a tight game like this,” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. “But you can’t let it affect the rest of the game, which I didn’t think it did. I thought we played hard. That’s a really good team. We had our chances, I thought we checked really hard. [Mandolese] was really good. It’s just at the end of the day, a couple mistakes we made, you know, ended up in our net.”
Jake DeBrusk gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 15:09 of the first period, putting in the rebound of his own shot over Mandolese’s right shoulder. It was DeBrusk’s second goal in as many games after missing 17 games with hand and leg injuries.
“It’s obviously always a good time when you see the puck go in the net,” DeBrusk said. “To get us up in the first there, to get the first goal of the game, it’s always [nice getting] the crowd involved, and that’s what I wanted to do.”
Video: OTT@BOS: DeBrusk picks up his own rebound for goal
Giroux tied it 1-1 at 19:30 of the first. Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk‘s pass attempt hit the skate of Senators forward Dylan Gambrell, who corralled the puck in the corner and centered it to Giroux in the slot.
“Just trying to work to get that puck back,” Gambrell said. “A couple of guys changing, and staying out there [for] the extra second just to keep them in their zone, but you know, it was a great finish.”
NOTES: Gambrell’s assist was his first of the season in his 36th game. … Pastrnak reached 40 goals for the third time in his NHL career (40 goals, 2021-22; 48 goals, 2019-20). Only four active players have more: Alex Ovechkin (12), Steven Stamkos (six), Auston Matthews (four) and Connor McDavid (four). … Boston has 91 points in 56 games, tying the NHL record for fewest games needed to reach 90 points in a season, previously set by the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers.
Maple Leafs clinch playoff berth with Panthers loss to Senators
The Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday.
The Maple Leafs (44-20-9), who clinched when the Florida Panthers lost 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators, are second in the Atlantic Division, 22 points behind the Boston Bruins and seven ahead of the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning.
It’s the seventh straight season Toronto has clinched a playoff berth. It hasn’t won a postseason series since 2004.
The Maple Leafs are led by forwards Mitchell Marner (94 points), William Nylander (81), Auston Matthews (77), and John Tavares (75). Ilya Samsonov is 24-9-3 with a 2.46 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and three shutouts in 36 games (35 starts). Matt Murray is 14-8-2 with a 2.97 GAA, .905 save percentage and one shutout in 25 games.
Toronto made several moves prior to the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline on March 3, acquiring forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 17, defenseman Jake McCabe and forward Sam Lafferty from the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 27, defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the Washington Capitals on Feb. 28 and defenseman Luke Schenn from the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 28.
O’Reilly is expected back before the playoffs begin April 17. He hasn’t played since getting hit in the hand by Matthews’ shot in the second period of a 4-1 loss at the Vancouver Canucks on March 4 and was projected to be out four weeks.
The Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup 11 times, once each as the Toronto Arenas (1917-18) and the Toronto St. Patricks (1921-22). They are without an NHL championship since 1967.
Canadian Bianca Andreescu retires from Miami Open match after suffering injury
Canadian Bianca Andreescu suffered an apparent leg injury during the second set of her match against Ekaterina Alexandrova at the Miami Open on Monday.
Andreescu was injured in the third game of the second set of the Round of 16 match while trying to run down a ball in the back court. She remained down on the court, before receiving medical attention and leaving the court in a wheelchair.
Alexandrova won the first set of the match 7-6, Andreescu was up 2-0 in the second set when she retired from the match due to the injury.
The match was delayed for an hour by rain in the middle of the opening set.
The 22-year-old Canadian was playing well at the Miami tournament, entering play on Monday with victories over Emma Raducanu, No. 7 Maria Sakkari and Sofia Kenin earlier in the competition.
Quick Reaction: Wizards 104, Raptors 114
|O. Anunoby37 MIN, 29 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 11-21 FG, 4-10 3FG, 3-4 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 18 +/-
From the opening tip OG was a force offensively and continued to flash the self creation signs that everyone wants to see, he had a career high 18 in the first quarter and hit a lot of tough jumpers off the bounce, as well as spaced the floor with catch and shoot triples.
|P. Siakam34 MIN, 19 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 7-17 FG, 1-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -3 +/-
Pretty poor game from Pascal by his standards, a lot of shots seemed forced and he couldn’t finish through contact, very well, his playmaking also was muted because he seemed to be hunting his own shot.
|J. Poeltl26 MIN, 12 PTS, 12 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 6-9 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 7 +/-
Jakob’s floaters and push shots worked wonderfully tonight and he did a great job not rushing it like he does most games, offensive rebounding was also key as well, Jakob had 6 in this game which led to countless second chance points.
|S. Barnes32 MIN, 13 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL, 5-14 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-
Solid game in his first game back from injury, hit some tough looks in the paint, passing looked good tonight as well, efficiency was a bit off but we can chalk that up to being rusty.
|F. VanVleet36 MIN, 28 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL, 10-21 FG, 5-9 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-
Offensive masterclass from Fred VanVleet, he was zooming all over the floor and he was really burning Washington with his outside shooting, but his playmaking shined really bright tonight as well.
|W. Barton04 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-
Left the game early with an injury.
|C. Boucher22 MIN, 6 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-
Boucher was battling on the class yet again and often gave Toronto an extra look tonight, he also was solid as a rim protector as well.
|J. Dowtin Jr.19 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 14 +/-
Didn’t add a whole lot offensively but he was harassing guys on ball as a defender, and moving the rock well as well, would like to see Dowtin look for his own a bit more often
|C. Koloko15 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 3 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-
Koloko entered the game by recording a steal and then a block on back to back possessions, and then he continued to play solid defense in drop coverage, really strong game for the rook.
|M. Flynn07 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-
Didn’t take advantage of his looks on the floor tonight.
|P. Achiuwa06 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-
Another rough night for Precious as he tries to regain his footing, just couldn’t find it defensively, ran the floor in transition just fine during limited time.
Although Toronto was healthier, Nurse didn’t force anyone into minutes that were going to damage the team.
Things We Saw
- OG Anunoby flashed creation skills once again, in the face up game he burned Washington many times and he even hit a pull up three.
- Christian Koloko played some pretty nice defense, his technique in drop was really good tonight.
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