David Pastrnak completed a hat trick on a one-timer from the slot with 2:25 left in regulation Saturday to give the visiting Boston Bruins a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The game was potentially a preview of an Eastern Conference first-round playoff matchup.
Charlie McAvoy also scored, and Pavel Zacha had three assists for the Bruins (59-12-5, 123 points), who have won nine of 10.
Boston goaltender Jeremy Swayman made 21 saves.
Bryan Rust had two goals and an assist, and Jake Guentzel also scored for the Penguins (37-29-10, 84 points), have lost seven of 10 and are trying to hang onto a wildcard spot.
Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry made 31 saves.
The Bruins, who have clinched the Presidents’ Trophy, played without captain Patrice Bergeron, who was rested because of what the team termed nagging injuries.
With 1 second left on a power play, McAvoy gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 6:20 of the first. Zacha, in the slot, dove to send a pass to McAvoy. From the bottom of the left circle, McAvoy one-timed the puck into an empty near-side of the net.
The Penguins responded 1:13 later. Sidney Crosby stickhandled through traffic from the neutral zone to the slot. He slid a backhand pass to Rust, who lifted the puck over Swayman’s left shoulder.
On a power play, the Bruins upped their lead to 2-1 at 1:41 of the second. Dmitry Orlov, from the center point, shoveled a high backhander toward the net. Pastrnak tipped it down and past Jarry to reach 100 points for the first time.
Rust tied it at 4:09 of the third. He stole the puck and as he shot from the slot, McAvoy slid backward into Swayman, preventing the goalie from making the stop.
At 7:07 of the third, Pastrnak, from the top of the right circle, rifled the puck over Jarry’s right shoulder to make it 3-2. Guentzel tied it with a blast from the slot at 12:30.
–Field Level Media