By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — At this point, it’s become an expectation that David Pastrnak will score a goal every single night. At least a goal, that is. He’s just been that hot.

The Canadiens learned that fact the hard way on Tuesday night, as they witnessed the 23-year-old put the finishing touches on a hat trick before the game was even halfway over.

Pastrnak scored on a one-time bomb on the power play late in the first period, and he ripped a wrister past Carey Price just eight seconds into the second period.

Nine minutes later, he redirected a Brandon Carlo shot past Keith Kinkaid to complete his hat trick and give Boston a 6-1 lead. The Bruins went on to win 8-1.

With that hat trick, Pastrnak upped his own lead for most hat tricks since the start of the 2018-19 season.

Even more impressive, Pastrnak became the first NHL player to record 23 goals through his team’s first 24 games since Mario Lemieux did it all the way back in 1992.

Joining names like Lemieux, Hull and Jagr is a fairly solid accomplishment. After the game, Pastrnak was asked what it says about his goal-scoring abilities that he was able to score three different ways to record this particular hat trick.

“I don’t know,” he said with a chuckle. “It was one of those games, I guess. And, yeah I don’t know what it says. I’m not hockey analyst.”

Pastrnak’s hat trick was the first by a Bruins player in Montreal since Steve Kasper did it in December of 1987, and he’s the first Bruins player to record a hat trick in any game against Montreal since Cam Neely in February of 1988.

If Pastrnak continues at this pace, we’re likely to hear more mentions of Neely in the coming weeks and months. Neely’s 50 goals in 44 games in the 1993-94 season still stands as one of the most dominant goal-scoring stretches in NHL history. Pastrnak, currently on a comical pace for 78 goals, will have to slightly increase his scoring rate if he wants to pass the current team president in the franchise record books.

Realistically, Pastrnak probably won’t score 78 goals. And he probably won’t hit the 50-mark by the middle of January.

Yet with five more goals than anybody else in the NHL, it’s clear that Pastrnak is in the midst of a special, special season.

Comments