BOSTON — The Boston Bruins’ top line is rolling, pushing aside any talk of a Stanley Cup hangover.
David Pastrnak scored a career-high four goals on Monday for his fifth career hat trick, leading the Bruins to a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.
“I think the best thing that happened to our group was pretty much staying together,” said winger and Pastrnak’s linemate Brad Marchand, who had two assists. “We didn’t lose or bring in that many guys. It’s allowed us to continue our chemistry and kind of roll in from last year.
“It’s easy to get into the game early in the season when you feel comfortable with one another.”
Jaroslav Halak stopped 30 shots and top center Patrice Bergeron added an assist for the Bruins, the Cup runner-up off to a 5-1 start.
The Pastrnak-Marchand-Bergeron trio has accounted for 24 points, with Pastrnak collecting 10 and Marchand nine.
“We’ve been together a long time now,” Pastrnak said. “It’s kind of expected from us.”
Rickard Rakell and Adam Henrique scored for the Ducks, and John Gibson made 19 saves. Anaheim has lost two of three after winning its first three games this season.
“Those are the kind of nights where the puck kind of finds you,” Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm said of Pastrnak. “He had one of those nights.”
Pastrnak completed his hat trick with an unassisted goal off a faceoff. He stole the puck from defenseman Josh Manson and slipped a wrist shot between John Gibson’s pads 2:20 into the third period to make it 3-1, prompting fans to throw hats on the ice.
The 23-year-old forward scored 2:14 later off a nice feed from Marchand, who sent a pass from the left circle to Pastrnak. He was at the edge of the far post, where he redirected the puck into the net.
Eight seconds into Michael Del Zotto’s penalty for slashing, the Bruins made it 1-0 when Bergeron sent a backhand pass from the slot to Pastrnak, who one-timed a shot past Gibson just 4:18 into the game.
Boston made it 2-0 less than a minute after Halak made the second of two stellar stops midway through the second period. Marchand stole the puck from Lindholm and fed it to Pastrnak, who had just left the bench. The winger beat Gibson with a wrist shot from the right circle at 11:38.
Halak stopped two clean break-ins to keep the Ducks off the scoreboard until late in the period. On the first, Ondrej Kase cut in and the goalie made a blocker save on a backhander. Max Jones skated in alone from the right circle on the second chance, getting off a backhander while being hooked by defenseman Steven Kampfer.
Rakell beat Halak with a wrist shot to the glove side, slicing it to 2-1 with 2:08 left in the second.
The last Bruin to score four in a game was Bergeron on Jan. 6, 2018 against Carolina. … Boston C David Krejci left to an undisclosed injury early in the game. … Anaheim D Brendan Guhle was sidelined for the second straight game with a lower body injury. … The Ducks had killed 15 of their first 16 penalties this season before Pastrnak’s power-play goal. … The Bruins held a “moment of applause and celebration” for longtime defenseman Ted Green, who died over the weekend at 79. … Anaheim D Sam Steel (upper body) was activated from IR before the game and played 14 minutes. “It’s really nice getting back in,” he said. “It was frustrating being out for a bit. It’s good to be back in, but would have been a lot better with a better result. You’re waiting all summer to get going into regular-season play, and to be held out gets a little frustrating.”
Ducks: Host Buffalo on Wednesday.
Bruins: Host Tampa Bay Thursday.