Bruins’ David Pastrnak, Oilers’ Connor McDavid in matchup of stars
Two stars of the NHL go head-to-head for the first time this season as the Edmonton Oilers host the Boston Bruins to begin a three-game homestand on Monday night.
The game features the top two goal scorers in the NHL in Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (48 goals, 113 points) and Boston’s David Pastrnak (42 goals).
Pastrnak had scored three goals in two games before being held scoreless in Saturday’s 3-1 Bruins win in Vancouver.
Hampus Lindholm and Brad Marchand scored first-period goals to provide enough cushion for Boston’s sixth straight win. Linus Ullmark made 26 saves and scored the first goalie goal in Bruins history with an empty-net tally in the final minute.
“He’s been doing this all year,” Marchand said of Ullmark, who has a 30-4-1 record. “It doesn’t happen often and just tops off an incredible season for him.”
With Lindholm scoring, the Bruins are now 21-1-0 in games in which their defense contributes a goal this season.
New Bruins forward Garnet Hathaway and defenseman Dmitry Orlov made strong first impressions, debuting Saturday without even a single practice to help acclimate them with their new team. Both players were acquired from Washington in a Thursday trade.
Hathaway skated on the fourth line with Nick Foligno and Tomas Nosek, the latter who had missed 12 straight games before Saturday with a lower-body injury.
Orlov logged 20:04 of ice time — second only to Charlie McAvoy among Boston defenders — while playing on his off side alongside Derek Forbort.
There will likely be a rotation among the bottom-six forwards and bottom-pair defensemen as the Bruins look to find the right fit while marching toward the Stanley Cup playoffs, but coach Jim Montgomery liked what he saw from the newcomers.
“Really good,” Montgomery said. “Really impressed with Hathaway’s details and penalty killing. It seems like he understands our D-zone coverage already. And Orlov made some special passes on breakouts, in the neutral zone and offensive zone.”
After a two-goal, two-assist Saturday performance in Columbus, McDavid has 25 more points than the league’s second-leading scorer, his linemate Leon Draisaitl.
The Oilers erased a 4-0 deficit with four goals in less than nine minutes during the second period before a two-goal finish clinched the 6-5 win for the host Blue Jackets.
“I thought Connor … tried to do things to spur the team on, but again, it’s the National Hockey League. You need all 20 people in the lineup to find ways to contribute,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “It doesn’t mean you have to have your A-plus game every day, but we have a certain standard in terms of our detail and adherence to structure that I didn’t see a lot of (on Saturday).”
McDavid is the fourth player this season to post three consecutive multi-goal games, joining Draisaitl, Pastrnak and Jason Robertson of Dallas.
The Edmonton center has scored six goals and six assists over that three-game span, which has extended an overall six-game point streak.
Draisaitl has scored in seven straight games, tied with McDavid and Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov for the longest in the league this season.
“He’s been playing really well,” McDavid said of Draisaitl. “Everybody goes through stretches where they don’t feel great about themselves, and it seems like maybe he was feeling that way even though he was still producing. But he’s come back in a big way and he’s playing really well and scoring goals like he always has in this league.”
–Field Level Media