BOSTON (CBS) — The postseason struggles and travels of David Pastrnak continue. The Bruins forward has just one point in Boston’s playoff series with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and while going first to third is a good thing in baseball, it’s not the best of moves for a hockey player. With Pastrnak looking like a shell of himself this series, Bruce Cassidy has had no choice but to move him down from Boston’s top line.
But it Pastrnak is on the move again for Thursday night’s must-win Game 4. Pastrnak will be back on Boston’s top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, Cassidy announced after Thursday’s morning skate. Nothing is working at this point, so Cassidy must feel the best place for Pasta is the spot where he succeeded in the regular season.
Pastrnak reunited with his usual linemates for stretches in the final period of Tuesday night’s Game 3 loss, and showed some signs of returning to form. He looked lifeless to start the game and was bringing down Boston’s third line, but the 22-year-old appeared reinvigorated in the closing minutes of the loss. He was able to create some chances as Boston looked to erase a 2-1 deficit, stealing one puck in Columbus’ end and feeding it to Marchand for a good look in front of the net. It caused a scramble in front of the net and got a few decent scoring chances for Boston, which is more than you could say for most of Tuesday night’s contest.
Veteran forward David Backes is also returning to the mix Thursday night, taking Karson Kuhman’s spot on the right side of David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk’s line. Boston sorely needs a net-front presence in front of Sergei Bobrovsky, and Backes may be able to provide that. He helped on that front in the middle games of Boston’s first-round series against the Maple Leafs, but was back to being a healthy scratch by series end.
But with the Bruins trailing in the series and struggling to find the back of the net, they are in desperate need of a spark. It looks like Cassidy is willing to try anything to get it.