David Pastrnak and the Boston Bruins look to keep their momentum rolling when they host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
Pastrnak snapped a nine-game goal drought with his go-ahead strike with 5:49 remaining of a 5-3 home win versus New Jersey on Tuesday.
It was Pastrnak’s first goal since Nov. 30 and gave the Bruins a third straight victory coming out of the NHL’s COVID-19 schedule pause. The victory marked Boston’s first and only three-game winning streak since rattling off three in a row on Nov. 13-20.
“Yeah, it felt good,” Pastrnak said. “Obviously been in a little grind lately, but we’ve been playing well. The game overall is fun, every line is rolling right now. Hopefully we can keep going and keep winning like that.”
In the team’s third game since breaking up the so-called “Perfection Line” of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Pastrnak, the Bruins continued to get production from unexpected places.
Curtis Lazar, Oskar Steen and Trent Frederic all scored before Pastrnak’s go-ahead tally and Brandon Carlo’s last-minute tally to put the game away. Linus Ullmark finished with 23 saves in net for Boston.
On Wednesday, the Bruins were again bitten by the COVID-19 bug as the team placed forward Tomas Nosek and one additional team staffer in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. Jake DeBrusk and three team staffers were placed in the protocol ahead of Tuesday’s game.
Minnesota has gone winless over its last five games in a nearly month-long span due to abrupt COVID-19-related starts and stops. The Wild last played on New Year’s Day, falling 6-4 against St. Louis in a frigid Winter Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis.
The team’s scheduled Jan. 3 game at Ottawa was postponed due to Canadian pandemic travel restrictions. Two more upcoming games in Canada — Jan. 10 at Winnipeg and Jan. 12 at Edmonton — were also postponed.
Prior to Saturday’s loss to the Blues, four of the team’s previous six games were postponed.
On Tuesday, the Wild recalled highly touted forwards Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi from AHL’s Iowa to the team’s taxi squad.
Minnesota coach Dean Evason sees the two 20-year-old forwards making an impact for the team sooner rather than later.
“They’re going to be Minnesota Wild hockey players, right? Why not now?” Evason said. “They’re power-play guys, so they should be put in that position to have success. … We’re not putting them there just to see if they can play. We’re putting them there to score goals.”
Boldy, drafted No. 12 overall by the Wild in 2019, totaled four goals and six assists through 10 games with Iowa this season. Rossi, the team’s No. 9 overall selection in 2020, has seven goals and 16 assists in 21 AHL games this season.
With starting goalie Cam Talbot out indefinitely with a lower-body injury, the Wild on Wednesday recalled goalie Andrew Hammond from the taxi squad. The team also recalled goalie Hunter Jones from Iowa while returning goalie Zane McIntyre.
Meanwhile, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy has tabbed rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman to start versus Minnesota.
It will be the first meeting between the Wild and Bruins since Feb. 1, 2020, due to last season’s pandemic realignment.
–Field Level Media