''Hell of an effort. We got a big point for us. To comeback from 3-0 against Washington, it's not that easy,'' Pastrnak said. ''Too bad we couldn't get the two points, but in this case the one point is huge for us.''
“Obviously if he continues to score at this clip, you’d have to say he’s ahead of that,” Sweeney said. “When you’re playing with better players, and now all of a sudden he’s creating anxiety in other teams’ defensemen that have to understand that they now have to watch out for him as opposed to just the other two guys on the line, well, then now you’ve got something.”
Couture got the Sharks on the board with a power-play goal midway through the second period. The Senators cleared the puck two straight possessions before Joe Pavelski rushed to the net and then slipped the puck to an open Couture, who has six goals in his past eight games, about 10 feet away for the score.
The sudden breakout of Pastrnak has, as Bruins general manager, Don Sweeney, emphasized, been a product of “natural progression” mixed with the right amount of opportunities.
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Staal scored yet another goal against Toronto, lifting the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night.
Perhaps the biggest driving force behind his success is that increase in confidence. It has become so apparent that when asked what the difference is in Pastrnak from last year to now, “confidence” was the first word out of most of his teammates’ mouths.
After Winnik's tally, Washington went over 26 minutes without a shot on goal. Boston dominated the final five minutes of the second period, when Dominic Moore and David Pastrnak beat goaltender Braden Holtby. Colin Miller's power-play score 8:19 into third tied it at 3.
NOTES: With his 673rd career win, Trotz passed Mike Keenan (672) for eighth place on the NHL's career wins list. ... Williams' first goal was the fastest for Washington since 2012. ... Boston assigned F Noel Acciari to the Providence Bruins two days after the 24-year forward returned to practice. Acciari injured his right leg on Nov. 7. ... Holtby improved to 10-2 career against the Bruins. His first career win came in relief against Boston in November 2010. ... The three-game season series resumes Feb. 1 in Washington.
“When a player has a better feel where he is and what’s required of him out on the ice in all situations, coaches develop more of a rapport and the player is more confident as a result,” Sweeney said. “I think those go hand in hand.”
Boston arrived in Washington 4-0-1 over its last five games with three wins in a row, including a 4-3 overtime triumph against Florida on Monday night. The Bruins outshot Washington 34-20.