Boston — David Pastrnak took control of the game, and then he took over the postgame news conference from linemate and Game 5 co-star Brad Marchand.
After scoring twice, including the tiebreaking goal with 1:28 left, Pastrnak noticed that the man known as a “Little Ball of Hate” was getting a little salty about the questions surrounding their line’s lack of production earlier in the playoffs.
“I’ll take this,” Pastrnak said with a smile, “Marchy’s a bit crispy tonight.”
One game after the Bruins’ top line combined for five points, Pastrnak, Marchand and Patrice Bergeron scored three goals and totaled six points in Game 5 on Saturday night to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 and give Boston a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Pastrnak flipped a cross-ice pass from Marchand into the goal to cap a wild third period, and Tuukka Rask stopped 33 shots for the Bruins. Marchand had a goal and two assists, and David Krejci also scored for Boston.
“They break through the other night and now they’re feeling good about themselves,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “They’re dominant when they’re on. And when they’re feeling it, it’s a tall task for the other team.”
Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves for the Blue Jackets, who need a win in Game 6 on Monday night back in Columbus to force the series back to Boston for a decisive seventh game on Wednesday.
The winner will advance to the Eastern Conference finals to face the Carolina Hurricanes, who swept the New York Islanders in their series.
“Things happen for a reason. I truly believe that,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. “We’ll be back here for Game 7.”
Asked what gives him that confidence, he said: “Because we will.”
When the comments were relayed to Marchand and Pastrnak, they declined to take the bait.
With Hall of Famer Bobby Orr greeting the team before the game and then watching from a box, Rask got some help from the post when Matt Duchene stretched out to try to tip the tying goal in with less than a minute remaining and Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky off for an extra skater.
In all, six goals were scored in the third, four during a 3 1/2-minute span that turned Boston’s 2-0 lead into a 3-3 tie.
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(At) San Jose 2, Colorado 1: As loud as the Shark Tank got following Tomas Hertl's two goals, the roar was even more deafening when injured captain Joe Pavelski emerged from the tunnel to wave a towel for the fans in the third period.
Hertl's goals led the Sharks Saturday night, leaving them one win away from a berth in the conference final and a greater possibility that their fallen leader will be able to return to the ice.
"That was as loud as this building gets," forward Logan Couture said of the ovation for Pavelski about a minute after Hertl's tiebreaking goal in the third period. "That was a pretty cool moment. I had goose bumps on the ice."
Pavelski made his first public appearance since his head slammed against the ice and he was helped off with a bloody concussion in Game 7 of the first round against Vegas. The Sharks rallied around their captain by scoring four goals on the ensuing power play to erase a three-goal deficit and eventually advancing with an overtime win.
Pavelski got back on the ice skating earlier this week and coach Peter DeBoer said he's getting "closer" to making a return to the lineup that would likely lead to even louder cheers than he got during this game.
"I didn't know it was going to happen but a give-you-a-chill type moment. That type of ovation," DeBoer said. "Our coaching staff would give him the same kind of ovation when we find out he's back."
But in order to increase those chances, the Sharks will need more games like this where they controlled the play for almost the entire game and rode the strong play from Hertl, Couture, defensemen Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and goalie Martin Jones to a win.
Hertl tied the game with a power-play goal in the final minute of the second period and then delivered the go-ahead score with 13:34 remaining in the third for his first two goals of the series after recording six in the first round.