Bruins rookie Pastrnak scores 2 in 4-3 win over Lightning
BOSTON (AP) Boston rookie David Pastrnak is making a looming decision for the Bruins' front office appear much easier.
Pastrnak scored twice for the second straight game as the Bruins extended their winning streak to four straight, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Tuesday night.
''I think he's making a case for himself,'' Boston coach Claude Julien said.
Pastrnak has played in eight games and the Bruins can use him in one more before having to decide whether to keep him in Boston or return him to the AHL.
Judging from his last two games, Pastrnak may be done with Providence.
''We see what he can do,'' Julien said. ''I think he's made unbelievable strides in a half year of being in Providence and coming up with us a little bit and going back.''
Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist and David Krejci had a pair of assists, skating with Pastrnak on a newly formed line that has shown immediate results for the Bruins.
''They're great players and I'm just trying to do the best for them and best for the team,'' Pastrnak said.
Pastrnak, called up from Providence on Jan. 6, scored his first two career goals Saturday in Boston's 3-1 win at Philadelphia.
Boston's first-round draft pick in 2014, Pastrnak doubled his total against the Lightning as the Bruins continued gaining ground in the Eastern Conference standings by improving to 5-0-3 in their last eight games.
''He's come in and had two really good games,'' said Brad Marchand, who also scored for Boston. ''We need that. The young speed and the young legs, it brings a lot of emotion to us and gives us more energy. When he's playing the way he did tonight, he's all over the place.''
Steven Stamkos scored two goals for Tampa Bay, giving him 25 for the season. Ben Bishop had 30 saves as the Lightning lost their second straight. Ondrej Palat had two assists for the Lightning, who were coming off a 7-3 loss Monday in Philadelphia.
''I thought we were playing pretty well and then we kind of just unraveled a little bit,'' Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. ''We lost two in a row. It's happened to us before. Big thing for us is we can't make it three in a row.''
Tuukka Rask had 13 saves for Boston.
Stamkos beat Rask with a wrist shot high to the stick side with 9:05 left in the second to put Tampa Bay up 2-1, then Boston scored the next three.
Pastrnak took a drop pass from Lucic at the blue line and skated it the rest of the way to the net, warding off Matthew Carle with his right hand while controlling the puck with his left. Pastrnak skated across the slot and slipped the puck past Bishop to tie it with 4:36 left.
''His first goal was pretty amazing,'' Krejci said.
The second wasn't too shabby, either.
After Lucic got the tiebreaking goal with 54 seconds left in the second. Pastrnak scored again just 1:30 into the third on a wraparound. Pastrnak taking a rebound outside the right post skating around the net in time to tuck it in before Bishop could reach the other side.
NOTES: Pastrnak, who turns 19 in May, has been the youngest player in both the NHL and AHL this season. ... Lightning F Tyler Johnson and D Victor Hedman missed the game with undisclosed upper-body injuries from Monday night in Philadelphia. ... Nikita Nesterov had an assist on Stamkos' second goal for his first career point.