David Pastrnak was the man of the afternoon Saturday at PPG Paints Arena.
The Bruins beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 behind the winger’s second hat trick of the season and the 14th of his career. Pastrnak reached the 100-point mark in the season, which made him the third Boston player to reach the mark in the last 20 seasons — Brad Marchand and Joe Thornton were the other two players to reach 100 points.
The ninth-year forward also became the second Czech player in NHL history to record a 100-point season, joining Jaromir Jagr, per NHL Public Relations.
“It’s obviously amazing. Things have been going well,” Pastrnak told ESPN’s Emily Kaplan when asked about his hat trick, as seen on the ABC broadcast. “The whole season’s been amazing. It’s been special, and we all recognize it. And we are really enjoying it because it’s not often things go so well. It’s been a lot of fun this year.”
Pastrnak is up to 56 goals on the season after Saturday’s win, which put him past Cam Neely’s tally of 55 from the 1989-90 season and made him the highest goal scorer in franchise history since Phil Esposito scored 61 goals in the 1974-75 season.
“I think Pasta put the team on his back a little bit for us,” Jeremy Swayman told reporters, per team video. “It was just really special to watch. We don’t get those two points without his line — from every line for that matter — but especially to see a player like that to have success and be a gamer when it matters. So it’s cool to see that, and it was a pleasure to watch.”
The winger admitted postgame he hasn’t personally met Esposito and was not aware he had scored the most goals since his career marks in the ’70s. But he felt humbled and honored to have his name up their with a franchise great.
The Bruins will be without captain Patrice Bergeron for a second consecutive game, but Pastrnak will try his best in an encore performance Sunday against the St. Louis Blues.