Pastrnak Scores In OT, Bruins Rally Past Maple Leafs Thursday
BY BRENDAN MCGAIR
BOSTON (AP) — David Pastrnak scored his 57th goal of the season at 2:30 of overtime to give the history-chasing Boston Bruins a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
Pastrnak blasted a shot from inside the left circle as the Bruins notched their 61st victory — one off the NHL season record set by Detroit in 1995-96 and matched by Tampa Bay in 2018-19.
“Got it by the defense and it ended up going into the net,” said Pastrnak, who still took the ice despite battling a stomach virus. “The guys did an amazing job and helped motivate me, too. I give thanks to them.”
“I can’t give him enough credit for how he willed himself to help us win this hockey game tonight,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said.
Jeremy Swayman made 31 saves for Boston, winners of four straight, and Charlie Coyle also scored. The Bruins are now 61-12-5 – good for 127 points with four games remaining in the regular season. The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens hold the regular-season record with 132 points.
“That’s why this city is so special to play in front of. It was good preparation (in relation to the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs),” said Swayman.
Ilya Samsonov made 31 saves for Toronto, which led 1-0 heading into the third period on Sam Lafferty’s second-period goal.
“I thought our guys played incredibly hard. It took a bit to adjust to the opponent, but that’s a big point for us,” said Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe.
After outshooting Toronto, 11-7, in a scoreless first period, Boston saw the visitors break through with the first goal with 9:26 left in the second. A turnover near center ice resulted in Maple Leafs forward Zach Aston-Reese firing a shot from just inside the blue line. Lafferty beat Swayman for his 12th goal of the season.
Boston got the equalizer with 8:25 remaining in regulation. Brandon Carlo kept the possession alive in the Toronto zone before getting a pass under duress to Coyle, who beat Samsonov for his 14th of the campaign.
“I had a bunch of room to work with and that gave me time,” Coyle said. “Lucky that it found a way in.”
NOTES: Bruins C David Krejci missed his second straight game with a lower-body ailment. … Boston recalled F Oskar Steen from Providence on an emergency basis. The 25-year-old skated in his third NHL game of the season. … Maple Leafs D Jake McCabe appeared in his 500th career NHL game Thursday. Toronto acquired the 29-year-old in February from Chicago. … Bruins D Charlie McAvoy left Thursday’s game with Montgomery saying he was being held out “for precautionary reasons.” … The teams combined to go 0-for-7 on the power play.
Maple Leafs: Host Montreal on Saturday night.
Bruins: Host New Jersey on Saturday night.