DALLAS (AP) — David Pastrnak scored with 1:16 remaining in overtime, and the Boston Bruins rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night in a matchup of the top team in each conference.
Pavel Zacha scored the tying goal in the third period for the NHL-leading Bruins in Jim Montgomery’s first game as a head coach in Dallas since the Stars fired him in 2019 for what he later admitted was a drinking problem.
The Stars couldn’t convert on 57 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play in the second period and a two minute 4-on-3 session in the extra period.
“It was nice to win a game where we had to overcome so many struggles within the game,” Montgomery said after just the second win in six games in the closest thing to a slump for Boston this season. “Keep pushing, keep believing. There’s a lot of belief in that locker room.”
Dallas finished 3-1-4 on an eight-game homestand that featured five games going to extra time, including four in a row. All five had identical 3-2 scores.
The Western Conference-leading Stars have consecutive losses to East contenders. The first was a 3-1 defeat to three-time defending East champion Tampa Bay when the Lightning scored the go-ahead goal in the final minute.
“We played some really good teams this week,” Stars coach Peter DeBoer said. “Tampa game, shoulda gotten a point, tonight got a point. You want to be greedy and get two in these games. The good thing is we got a point against the best team in the league.”
Taylor Hall opened the scoring for Boston, and Jason Robertson had his team-leading 34th to give Dallas a 2-1 lead in the second period. Joe Pavelski had two assists for the Stars.
Pastrnak, who assisted on Zacha’s tying goal, scored his team-leading 39th on a pass from Charlie McAvoy with the teams playing 4-on-4 in overtime because play never stopped after Brad Marchand’s interference penalty ended 2 1/2 minutes into the extra period.
The one-timer from Pastrnak beat Jake Oettinger on his stick side to end an otherwise stellar night for the young Dallas goalie, who finished with several point-blank stops among 34 saves.
Boston’s Linus Ullmark stopped 29 shots and the Bruins won despite a 50-12 deficit in faceoff wins.
“It was a good hockey game,” Ullmark said. “Felt like like a bit towards the playoff atmosphere that we all want to play.”
Roope Hintz’s 23rd goal got Dallas even in the first period. Colin Miller didn’t get an assist, but his two-line pass to Pavelski from behind his own net set up the play.
STRUGGLING POWER PLAYS
The failed 5-on-3 and missed chance with the man advantage in OT left the Stars at 3 of 37 on power plays over 12 games. The Bruins are in an 0-for-21 slide with the extra skater.
“The one that hurts the most is the 5 on 3 during regulation time,” DeBoer said. “When it was almost two minutes it felt like, those are the ones that you’ve got to stick the puck in the net.”
Not long after a high-sticking penalty on Zacha was rescinded on review, McAvoy was called for hooking and Connor Clifton for cross-checking about a minute apart in the second period.
The Bruins survived 57 seconds of 5-on-3 without surrendering a great chance for Dallas, and the remaining minute of the power play was mostly drama-free as Boston stayed within 2-1.
With the Stars struggling early, Oettinger had two remarkable saves to keep Dallas in it. The first was with the glove on a shot from the circle by Derek Forbort. Patrice Bergeron had an open net on a rebound, but Oettinger made a pad stop.
BACK IN BIG D
Montgomery had returned to Dallas as an assistant with St. Louis, where he spent the previous two seasons before Boston hired him. Montgomery went to rehab after the Stars fired him before resuming his coaching career.
Bruins: At Nashville on Thursday. The Bruins have won three in a row against the Predators.
Stars: At Minnesota on Friday before two more home games, starting with Columbus on a back-to-back.