Pastrnak nets hat trick, Bruins rally to stun Hurricanes 6-4
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Boston Bruins trailed 4-1 with 10 minutes to go and were down to four healthy defensemen. It was an adverse set of circumstances, to be sure.
No matter. Spurred on by Brad Marchand’s words and David Pastrnak’s play, the Bruins pulled off a stirring comeback.
Pastrnak scored three of Boston’s five goals in the final 10 minutes for his first career hat trick, and the Bruins stunned the Carolina Hurricanes by rallying for a 6-4 victory Tuesday night.
“We knew we didn’t play well, close enough to our standards,” Pastrnak said. “We don’t quit, and that showed today.”
Matt Grzelcyk, Pastrnak and Danton Heinen scored in a span of 77 seconds to turn a 4-1 Bruins deficit into a 4-all tie.
Grzelcyk fired home a slap shot with 9:56 remaining, Pastrnak scored on a wrister 56 seconds later and Heinen followed 21 seconds after that with the tying goal, banging home a one-timer off a 2-on-1 rush with David Krejci.
Pastrnak put Boston ahead on a power-play goal with 3:30 left and finished off his hat trick with an empty-net goal with 1:34 remaining.
“The whole night we kind of don’t have the legs and look kind of tired, no energy,” Pastrnak said. “And then we get a couple goals and it seemed like all of a sudden everybody is flying and everything clicks.”
Marchand had a goal and two assists for the Bruins, who snapped a three-game road losing streak. Tuukka Rask made 29 saves.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy credited Marchand, who missed the previous game with an upper-body injury and was a game-time decision, for rallying the bench when the team trailed 4-1.
“Right around Grzelcyk’s goal, Marchy said, ‘Listen, there’s a lot of time, we’re not out of it,’” Cassidy said. “We knew it was a big ask to be able to come back. There’s a lot of energy there, a lot of emotion in his game. He brings it every night.”
The comeback victory did come at a cost. Bruins defensemen Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug and forward Jake DeBrusk all left the game with injuries and did not return. Cassidy did not have an update on their status.
“It wasn’t easy (playing four defensemen),” Grzelcyk said, “but it was a credit to the guys for buckling down and finding a way.”
Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Justin Williams scored in the second period for the Hurricanes. Brock McGinn added a short-handed goal 51 seconds into the third to make it 4-1, but the Hurricanes couldn’t hold it.
“I’m still kind of stunned, really,” Williams said. “Things can go so right for 50 minutes and you can dig in and you can do all the things right. You let one goal turn into another one turn into another one. I don’t know what else to say.”
Justin Faulk and Elias Lindholm each had two assists, and Cam Ward stopped 28 shots. It was a deflating loss for the Hurricanes, who missed a chance to make up ground as they chase the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They are seven points back with 12 games remaining.
“We’re in a position, trying to scratch and claw, our backs are against the wall, and we’re playing tight,” Faulk said. “We’re not playing loose. We’re probably not playing with much confidence as a whole.
“I don’t really know how to explain what just happened. It’s tough.”
NOTES: Chara, Krug and DeBrusk are the latest injuries to hit the Bruins. Boston forward Patrice Bergeron (broken foot) won’t be back until next week at the earliest, Cassidy announced before the game, and defenseman Charlie McAvoy (MCL sprain) missed his fifth straight game. ... Aho set a career high with his 25th goal. ... Teravainen has eight goals and three assists in his last 11 games. ... Bruins forward David Backes returned after serving a three-game suspension for a late hit to the head against Detroit’s Frans Nielsen last Tuesday.
Bruins: At the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Hurricanes: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
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