Rarely, if ever, had David Pastrnak enter a scenario where he became public enemy No. 1 in an opposing building.
Until Game 2 Wednesday night at PNC Arena.
Pastrnak heard the chorus of boos from the Hurricanes faithful following a collision with goalie Antti Raanta during Boston’s second power-play attempt of the first period. The officials initially assessed Pastrnak a five-minute major for interference before downgrading his penalty to a two-minute minor.
Raanta didn’t return following his collision with Pastrnak, prompting third-string goalie Pytor Kochetkov into action. The Bruins hardly peppered Kochetkov until the third period of a frustrating 5-2 setback in Game 2.
Pastrnak didn’t address his story on the Raanta incident with the media until Friday following Boston’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena. And indeed, he disagreed with Brind’Amour’s assessment.
“Whoever thinks I was trying to injure Raanta obviously doesn’t understand hockey,” Pastrnak told reporters of his incident with Raanta. “I’d rather say no comment on that, but…”
…The 2014 first-round selection eventually expressed his thought process in an attempt to retrieve the puck.
“I’m coming in full speed trying to get the puck, and he’s trying to clear it. Obviously, I want the puck to hit me, but I’m not going in there to bury the goalie. I’m there to stop the puck and maybe get a bounce in [the net]. He’s getting out of the crease, so yeah, I just tried to stop the puck and set up the power play.”
The booing of Pastrnak continued every time he touched the puck. Pastrnak didn’t receive any supplemental discipline from the NHL Player Safety Department. But a couple of Pastrnak’s teammates returned home with lighter wallets after the league assessed $5,000 fines for Derek Forbort (for high sticking Teuvo Teravainen at 2:53 of the third period) and Brad Marchand (during an exchange of slashes with Kochektov at 17:52 of the middle stanza).
Pastrnak and company enter Game 3 Friday night as a battered bunch. The Bruins face a 2-0 series deficit for the first time since the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. And this time, Boston’s coaching staff opted for wholesale lineup changes instead of minor tweaks ahead of a must-win game at TD Garden.
Mike Reilly will slot in on D for the injured Hampus Lindholm, who exited Game 2 following a second-period collision with Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov. Chris Wagner will enter the lineup for Trent Frederic, who committed an ill-timed interference infraction shortly after Sebastian Aho extended Carolina’s lead to 3-0 early in the second period. Rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman will make his first career postseason start.
The most significant development, however, came with reuniting Pastrnak with Marchand and Patrice Bergeron on the top line. The Bruins reunited the aptly named “perfection line” after Cassidy benched Frederic following his untimely interference penalty.
Cassidy’s bunch desperately needs a spark with the Hurricanes outscoring the Bruins by an eye-opening 26-4 margin in their three regular-season meetings and two playoff matchups. Perhaps a top-heavy lineup will provide the perfect trickle-down effect as the series shifts to Causeway St.
“I think it’s the perfect time,” Pastrnak said of reuniting with Marchand and Bergeron. “Playing with those guys, we’d been together for a while. So we know what to expect from each other. I’m excited. You know, it’s been a while. It’s going to be fun tonight.”
Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.
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