BOSTON – David Pastrnak’s first goal required a 180-degree spin as he settled down a bouncing puck, shifted it from his forehand to his backhand and flipped it into the net.
By the time he scored his second he had already added three assists.
And when the Bruins forward completed the hat trick , faking out a second goalie with a forehand deke before sliding the puck between his legs, it was just one more chance for the Boston fans to celebrate his playoff coming-out party.
“Six points in a Stanley Cup playoff game with a hat trick,” coach Bruce Cassidy said Saturday night after the Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven, first-round series. “That’s special.”
Pastrnak shattered his previous career high of four points, scoring his third goal with 1:36 left to bring two trash cans full of caps and winter hats fluttering down to the ice. Only Wayne Gretzky (three times), Mario Lemieux and Patrick Sundstrom have recorded more than six points in an NHL playoff game.
“A lot of people in Boston already know how good he is,” linemate Patrice Bergeron said. “I think people on the outside are getting to know.”
Bergeron and Brad Marchand had four assists apiece, Torey Krug had three, and Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots for Boston. David Krejci, Rick Nash, Jake DeBrusk and Kevan Miller also scored – the second straight game the Bruins had five different players with goals.
“It’s not going to happen every night,” Cassidy said. “At the end of the day, our guys do believe – from one to 12, I do believe our guys believe they can score.”
Two nights after Frederik Andersen allowed five goals in the series opener, he gave up three more on five shots in the first 12:13 before he was replaced by backup Curtis McElhinney. The Bruins added another power-play goal – their second of the night and fifth of the series – to make it 4-0 after one.
Mitch Marner, Tyler Bozak and James Van Riemsdyk scored for the Maple Leafs, who never got closer than three goals down after that. McElhinney stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced.
The series moves to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Thursday. Game 5 would be back in Boston on Saturday, if necessary.
It doesn’t look like it will be.
“Look, we were outplayed for two games, certainly,” Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey said. “We deserve every bit of criticism far and wide. Good news is: (the) story’s not totally written yet. … We can try to change the story come Monday night.”
Already struggling on offense, Toronto lost No. 4 scorer Nazem Kadri for three games when he was suspended by the NHL for boarding Tommy Wingels in Game 1. Wingels, whose injury was not disclosed, skated in practice Saturday but did not play.
The Leafs could have used Kadri – and a few other scorers like him.
Pastrnak gave Boston a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game when he corralled a bouncing puck in the slot with his back to the goalie, settled it down, spun around and backhanded it in. After DeBrusk made it 2-0 on the power play four minutes later, Miller bounced one in off the back of defenseman Nikita Zaitsev to give the Bruins a three-goal lead and chase Andersen.
Just 11 seconds after Hainsey was given a double-minor for roughing, Nash made it 4-0.
Notes: The Bruins donated $200,000 to the Humboldt Broncos relief efforts, the money from a luxury suite auction and the team’s share of the 50/50 raffle at Game 1 of the series. Sixteen people died and another 13 were injured when the team’s bus collided with a truck last week in Saskatchewan. … With two goals on four power plays, the Bruins are now five for 10 in the series. … Ryan Donato, the son of former Bruin Ted Donato, made his playoff debut. They are the second father and son duo to play for the team in the postseason, joining two-time Stanley Cup-winner Ken (R.) Hodge and his son, Ken (D.) Hodge. … One of the biggest cheers of the night was when the scoreboard showed highlights of Wednesday night’s fight between the Red Sox and Yankees, then cut to brawl instigator pitcher Joe Kelly in the stands. The crowd broke into a chant of “Yankees Suck!”
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