OTTAWA -- David Pastrnak has a goal in his first career Stanley Cup playoff series, but the 20-year-old winger knows he’s got to start getting more rubber to the net if he wants to be a difference-maker for a Bruins team that sorely needs one right now.
Pastrnak has just two shots on net in the four playoff games against the Ottawa Senators and said his focus is going to be on generating more offense after going shot-less in Boston’s Game 4 loss at home.
“I just want to play the same hockey I did during the season, you know?" said Pastrnak, who finished second on the Bruins with 34 goals scored in the regular season. "I want to try and shoot the puck a lot. I didn’t really shoot a lot in the last games and I don’t know why. I definitely need to get back to shooting the puck at the net. There weren’t many games during the season when I had zero shots, so I definitely need to start shooting.
“I’m still finding opportunities and chances to shoot, and I’ve just been passing on them. Today is one of those days when I want to start shooting again. Shoot to score.”
There were exactly two games during the regular season when Pastrnak had zero shots on goal, and there have already been two of them in the four games against the Senators.
One other area where Pastrnak needs to get a little more focused is on simply hitting the net after missing with 12 of his shot attempts in the first four games. That’s an area coach Bruce Cassidy mentioned after the B’s shutout loss in Game 4, and goes into the general idea that Boston’s best offensive players need to do a little more of the heavy lifting with Erik Karlsson, Bobby Ryan and Derick Brassard going off for the Senators thus far in the series.
“We’ve got to match their production,” said Cassidy. “That’s certainly one way to counter [Ottawa’s depth]. We’ve got to ask a little more from our group. We need to start making the extra plays here or there that tilt the game in our favor. I think our back end has done a pretty good job with the matchups. We’ve plugged people in defensively and we’ve talked a lot about that and losing players.
“Maybe we need to switch the focus a little bit to the other end of the ice, and how we can have puck more and generate more to put them on their heels. We have talked about that this morning, and let’s hope that’s what transpires.”
Pastrnak is one of those players that can tip the scales in favor of the Bruins in a playoff series, so it was encouraging to hear him talk about “shooting to score” prior to a game where they most certainly need his kind of offense.