It’s good to have David Pastrnak back.
The Boston Bruins were without their star winger for 16 games after he fell and injured his thumb following a team-sponsored dinner back in February. And while his absence didn’t faze the Bruins too much, his return certainly was welcomed.
After not finding the back of the net Tuesday against the New York Islanders, Pastrnak provided a goal in the B’s 5-1 pounding of the lowly New Jersey Devils.
Just before the seven-minute mark in the second period, Patrice Bergeron got the puck to Brad Marchand off the draw. Marchand skated with the puck for just a moment before sending it across the slot to Pastrnak, who quickly buried it past Devils netminder Cory Schneider.
With the tally, Pastrnak’s 32nd of the year, he re-took the team lead in goals.
Pastrnak admitted after the game on NESN Bruins postgame coverage that he actually felt better Tuesday night, but that he was just happy to get back on the scoresheet.
The Bruins slowly are getting healthier, and the return of Pastrnak was a big one.
Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Devils game:
— Bergeron scored his 30th goal of the season Thursday night with a first-period tally.
By eclipsing the 30-goal mark, Bergeron now has scored 30-plus goals five times. He has a good chance of setting a career high this season, as the best mark in his career is 32, which came in the 2015-16 campaign.
— Connor Clifton continues to earn Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy’s trust, as evidenced by him being the defensive ice time leader in the first period.
Skating on the second pairing with Brandon Carlo, Clifton ultimately logged 18:50 of ice time, good for fourth-most on the team.
— Tuukka Rask turned away 21 of the 22 shots he saw from the Devils, which continues a nice little run against New Jersey for the B’s netminder.
Over his last 15 games (13 starts) against the Devils, Rask has an 8-4-2 record with a 1.44 goals against average and .948 save percentage. He also has three shutouts during that timeframe.
Thumbnail photo via Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports Images