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Game # 15

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Horvat, Eriksson each score twice, Canucks top Bruins 8-5


Loui Eriksson scores two goals to help the Canucks defeat the Bruins in Boston 8-5.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON -- The Vancouver Canucks keep on showing that they are the surprise of the Western Conference.

Bo Horvat had two goals and two assists and the Canucks extended their winning streak to five games with an 8-5 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

"There is a lot of resiliency in this room," Horvat said. "We played a pretty good game in Detroit and after a tough loss like that to come back shows a lot. In preseason, people didn't think we were going to be that high-scoring of a team, but we keep proving people wrong and that's what we need to continue to do."

Canucks 2017 first round pick Elias Pettersson, despite notching an assist, built on his rookie scoring lead, giving him 17 points on the season. He is a big part of the reason the Canucks seemed to have made significant strides to start the season.

Loui Eriksson added two goals and an assist and spurred a five-goal outbust in the second period for Vancouver. Ben Hutton and Erik Gudbranson each had a goal and an assist, and Antoine Roussel and Jake Virtanen added goals for the Canucks, who have scored 26 goals in the last five games.

"I had some puck luck today probably," Eriksson said. "We know we have some young guys playing, and they are still learning, but they are handling their situations and responding well."

Jake DeBrusk scored twice, Patrice Bergeron, Matt Grzelcyk and Danton Heinen added goals, and David Krejci finished with three assists for Bruins. Boston lost for the second time at home this season and has dropped three of five overall.

Jaroslav Halak came into the game leading the NHL in save percentage, but was pulled after allowing five goals on 19 shots. His replacement, Tuukka Rask, didn't do much better, allowing three goals on the first eight shots he faced, including a misplay of a clearing attempt that led to the Canucks' seventh goal.

"I was just trying to keep it under 10," Rask said sarcastically. "Just trying to do damage control as it was kind of a crazy game."

Bergeron gave the Bruins their only lead of the game, 2-1 at 0:36 of the second, when he beat Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom made 23 saves in his sixth start of the season.

"Pucks just found a way tonight," Halak said. "Goalies have to have a short memory, so we need to regroup quickly and get ready for two tough games this weekend."

Eriksson and Hutton responded for Vancouver by scoring in a 1:26 span, and Vancouver moved ahead 3-2 at the 8:28 mark. After DeBrusk tied it at 3 at the 11 minute mark, Halak allowed another pair of goals 1:30 apart for a 5-3 lead at 14:53.

"The prior two years I don't know if we had the resiliency," Gudbranson said. "A goal goes in, something bad happens and doubt would creep in, but mentally we are much stronger this year."

Nikolay Goldobin and Markus Granlund each added two assists for the Canucks who swept the season series from Boston.

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Game # 16

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Pastrnak scores 3, Bruins beat Maple Leafs 5-1

David Pastrnak nets a hat trick to help the Bruins take down the Maple Leafs 5-1.

BOSTON -- David Pastrnak helped Boston escape a first-period onslaught with a lead, then turned the next two periods into a rout.

Pastrnak had three goals and an assist as the Bruins overcame a sluggish start and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 on Saturday night.

"We talked before the game that we need to be better than what we've shown the last couple of games," said Pastrnak, who was held without a point Thursday night in the Bruins' loss to Vancouver.

Pastrnak and the rest of Boston's top line bounced back nicely against the Maple Leafs.

Patrice Bergeron had a goal and two assists and Brad Marchand had two assists for the Bruins, who led 1-0 after the first despite being outshot 20-6 in the opening 20 minutes.

It was the second hat trick of the season and third career for Pastrnak, Boston's 22-year-old Czech phenom who is developing into more than just a scoring threat.

"He's obviously a great talent. He's got great smarts and he's so good at getting open," Bergeron said. "When you add being tenacious on the puck and winning battles that makes a big difference."

Pastrnak took sole possession of the NHL scoring lead with 15 goals after he entered in a four-way tie for the most.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 40 shots for the Bruins, who ended Toronto's three-game winning streak and handed the Maple Leafs their first road loss of the season.

John Tavares scored the only goal for Toronto, and Garret Sparks finished with 29 saves.

Pastrnak scored twice in the second period and added his third of the night with a one-timer from the left circle with 5:56 left to play.

Joakim Nordstrom scored again for Boston just 26 seconds later to seal it for the Bruins, who won the first meeting of the Original Six rivals after going 1/3 against the Maple Leafs last season.

"We didn't get it done when we had all those opportunities early," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said.

Halak got the start in the Bruins' first game since the club granted a leave of absence to Tuukka Rask for undisclosed personal reasons. Halak stopped all 20 shots he faced in the first period, keeping the Bruins in it despite a slow start.

"The shot count was in their favor by a big difference but I think in the second we evened it out pretty closely and we did a good job capitalizing on some scoring chances that we had," Boston captain Zdeno Chara said.

After Pastrnak set up Bergeron for the first goal of the game, Bergeron returned the favor 5:46 into the second with a pass from behind the net for a one-timer from the left circle to give Boston a 2-0 lead.

Pastrnak made it 3-0 on a power-play goal 10:24 into the second, tipping in a shot by Marchand after a cross-ice pass from Bergeron with 36 seconds left on a hooking penalty on Toronto's Martin Marincin.

Tavares scored for Toronto with 30 seconds left in the second period.

"We got off to a good start," Toronto's Mitch Marner said. "The second period, we gave up too many opportunities. We let them take the game to us.

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Game # 17

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Halak shuts down Golden Knights in Bruins' 4-1 win

Brad Marchand finds a bouncing puck and backhands it past Malcolm Subban to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead less than a minute into the 2nd period.

BOSTON -- After a rough couple of seasons, Jaroslav Halak is at the top of his game again.

Halak stopped 37 shots to help the Boston Bruins to a 4-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday night.

"We've seen it from Day 1," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said of Halak, who signed with the Bruins in July after four seasons with the New York Islanders. "I couldn't sit here and tell you that he would be leading the league in goals-against or save percentage, but the guys are just confident in front of him."

Halak had to play back-to-back games this weekend with Tuukka Rask on personal leave from the team and won both while allowing only two goals.

"I had a good sleep last night," Halak said. "It's different when you play at home and you can sleep in your own bed."

Halak was the odd man out for the New York Islanders two years ago and spent 27 games in the minors before being called back up at the end of the season. After two subpar seasons, he is in the top three in goals against and save percentage and has only one regulation loss.

David Pastrnak scored again, and Danton Heinen, Jeremy Lauzon and Brad Marchand also had goals as Boston won for the fourth time in six games. Halak has won all three starts against the Golden Knights while allowing a total of five goals.

Cody Eakin scored for Vegas and Malcolm Subban finished with 33 saves. The Golden Knights lost for the third time in four games on their road trip.

"It's tough, we got into penalty trouble there with all those 5-on-3's," Subban said. "We didn't get the results we wanted."

One day after his second hat trick of the season, Pastrnak scored on the power play for his league-leading 16th goal to cap the scoring with 3:52 left.

The Bruins had seven power plays, including three two-man advantages.

"I thought we played a couple of good games on this road trip, but tonight wasn't one of them," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said.

Heinen scored on a tip 2:54 into the game and Lauzon got the first of his career into an empty net as he took advantage of Subban's misplay off the end boards with 2:09 left in the opening period.

Marchand made it 3-0 just as a Bruins power play ended when he flipped the puck past Subban from his knees at the top of the crease 58 seconds into the second.

Eakin converted a pass from Alex Tuch with 9:05 remaining in the middle period to get Vegas on the scoreboard.

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