Boston waited a long time to pack TD Garden, and David Pastrnak made the return visit to Causeway Street worth their while.
Behind Pastrnak’s hat trick, the Bruins earned a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders in Game 1 of the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
Pastrnak had a goal in each frame, including the third-period dagger for the Bruins. Given the way he arrived at TD Garden on Saturday, such a showing should not have been surprising.
Charlie McAvoy scored what proved to be the winner for the Bruins. Taylor Hall scored the empty-netter. Anthony Beauvillier and Adam Pelech had New York’s goals.
Tuukka Rask made 20 saves for Boston. Ilya Sorokin turned away 35 shots from the Islanders.
The Bruins lead the series 1-0.
Here’s how it all went down.
Each side grabbed a goal in the first period.
The Islanders got the scoring started with Charlie McAvoy in the box for hooking. After the Bruins failed to clear their zone, Jordan Eberle and Noah Dobson had the chance to pass the puck back and forth to one another.
Eventually, Dobson held the puck at the point before sending it towards the net. Beauvillier had snuck into the slot, where he got a stick on the puck and redirected it past Rask at 11:48.
With the period winding down, the Bruins got a man advantage of their own with Andy Greene high-sticking Charlie Coyle. Just seconds into the power play, Patrice Bergeron battled hard from his knees to win a faceoff. He got the puck up to David Krejci at the right point, and he zipped a puck to the net.
Though Sorokin would turn Krejci’s attempt away, he redirected it to Pastrnak, who waited a second before ripping a shot that beat the netminder and sent the capacity crowd into a frenzy with 24 seconds to go in the stanza.
Even before the scoring started, it was an exciting period. Both teams played with pace, and there was a fair amount of edge from both sides.
The second period saw each side score one more goal.
A little beyond the midway point, Pastrnak got his second goal of the night, this time at even strength. A puck whipped around the boards and made its way to Jeremy Lauzon, who had pinched all the way down to the end line. The defenseman backhanded a pass to Brad Marchand, who turned around and fed Bergeron with a pass.
The center quickly released a shot that Sorokin stopped, but, just like on the first goal, it made its way out to Pastrnak, who one-timed the go-ahead goal at 11:08.
Boston’s advantage was short-lived.
A little over a minute later, Mathew Barzal got a one-on-one in New York’s attacking zone, but was worked off the puck. Leo Komarov came and collected it, then tried to feather a cross-crease pass to Barzal, who whiffed on the doorstep. Jordan Eberle gave chase to the puck, and after retrieving it at the half wall sent a pass to Pelech at the point.
The defenseman one-timed a heat-seeking missile that didn’t touch anyone as it beat Rask over his left shoulder at 12:34 to tie the game.
The Bruins had a brief scare in the period, as Matt Grzelcyk left due to a hit from Komarov. After a few minutes in the dressing room, Grzelcyk ended up returning.
Pastrnak and the Bruins closed the door in the third period in thrilling fashion.
The Bruins got whistled for yet another too many men on the ice penalty, which came just four minutes after the period began. Nick Ritchie served it, and upon Boston killing the penalty, Ritchie released from the box and went down to the corner of the Bruins’ offensive zone, where he got into a puck battle. The Bruins eventually gained possession, with the puck getting to Krejci at the point.
The center slid a pass over to McAvoy, whose resulting one-timer snuck past Sorokin at 6:20 to put the Bruins ahead 3-2.
Later in the period, the Pastrnak secured his hat trick and in the process buried the Islanders.
New York actually had some nice offensive zone time, but a clunky line change ended that momentum. That allowed Pastrnak to gain possession and, eventually, the offensive blue line. He weaved through the attacking zone and uncorked a wrister that beat Sorokin and sent hats onto the TD Garden ice.
With the net empty, Hall scored the Bruins fifth goal at 18:35.
The Bruins and Islanders will play Game 2 of the best-of-seven set Monday. Puck drop from TD Garden is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.