David Pastrnak’s Hat Trick, Tuukka Rask’s Return Propels Bruins Past Flyers, 3-2

Bruins' David Pastrnak

Tuukka Rask returned to the ice of TD Garden Thursday night in his first game since last season’s playoffs, but David Pastrnak had the spotlight as his hat trick powered the Boston Bruins past the Flyers, 3-2.

Boston got on the board just minutes into the action, as a poor pass from Flyers d-man Ivan Provorov ended up in the hands of Taylor Hall after a bounce off the board, and he gave it to Erik Haula, who fed it to Pastrnak in the slot for him to rip it past Carter Hart.

Just minutes later, with the Bruins on the power play, Brad Marchand slid a cross-ice pass — following a fake shot — to Pastrnak who netted it past Hart for the two-goal lead, just under six minutes in.

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The Flyers got back into it, however, in the second period. Eight minutes into the period, Cam Atkinson deflected a wrister from Provorov into the back of the net to put Philadelphia on the board. Joel Farabee then went through the legs of Charlie McAvoy, before receiving a pass right back and tying the game with five minutes left in the period.

But, just a minute and a half after the Farabee goal, Pastrnak would snatch the lead right back. With the Bruins on the two-man advantage, McAvoy slid a pass point-to-point to Pastrnak, who one-timed it past a screened Hart for the one-goal lead.

From there, Boston would never look back. The Flyers pulled the goalie with three minutes left, mustering some chances but never tying the action as Boston held off Boston.

Matt Grezclyk placed in COVID-19 protocols

Bruins’ Matt Grezclyk was placed in COVID-19 protocols Thursday.

Tuukka Rask shines in return

Earning the second star of the game was Tuukka Rask, who stopped 26-of-28 shots and stopped multiple Flyers breakaways.

A chippy, heated affair between the Bruins and Flyers

Overall, it was a chippy game between Boston and Philadelphia as there were constant penalties. All 10 skaters on the ice fought in a heated scrum near the penalty box late in the first, before a net-front battle broke out in front of Hart late in the second.

A total of 14 penalties were racked up between the two sides, and exactly half of them were roughing or fighting.

Two nights, two hat tricks

Following the hat trick of Marchand Wednesday night in Boston’s 5-1 win over the Canadiens, Pastrnak followed that up with one of his own Thursday.

What’s next for Boston?

The Bruins take on the Predators Saturday, at 1:00 p.m. EST, in Boston. It’ll be the third game of the seven-game homestand for the Bruins.

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