BOSTON — The Bruins have been looking for a way to break out of a recent funk at home over the past month.
They found that spark in one of their youngest players.
Boston entered the night in a 1-3-1 skid at home, in which it had given up 26 goals. The Bruins avoided their first three-game home losing streak since they went 0-3-1 to open the season.
Pastrnak, a 19-year-old Czech, was all over the ice in the first two periods, and said he thinks he is starting to find his game in his second year after scoring 10 goals in 46 games last season. The Bruins’ 2014 first-round pick now has eight goals in 29 appearances.
"I think it’s getting there," Pastrnak said. "Today, it went my way and gave me some confidence."
Boston coach Claude Julien said he likes what he is seeing from Pastrnak after he lost 25 games with a foot injury earlier this season.
"At the beginning, it really looked like he was having a tough time. But now it looks like he’s getting better," Julien said. "And he was the guy who was really skating well all three periods."
Boston outscored Pittsburgh 14-3 while sweeping the three-game season series.
Bruins forward Ryan Spooner, who had an assist, said the team’s issues at home have been a talking point in the locker room.
"Yeah, we talked about it. We’ve been talking about for about a month now. We seem to have some problems here. I think it’s just a mental thing for us," Spooner said. "It was kind of hard to kind of pinpoint what it was, but I think it’s just focus."
Tom Kuhnhackl scored to bring Pittsburgh to 2-1 late in the second period. The puck went in off Kuhnhackl’s skate, and the goal survived a video review.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots, and Pittsburgh got its first regulation loss in its last five road games. The Penguins entered the night two points behind Boston and one point ahead of New Jersey for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Pastrnak was hacked by Derrick Pouliot as he split the faceoff circles late in the first, and then got his seventh goal on the ensuing penalty shot. The Bruins are 3 for 3 on penalty shots this season, and that’s the most they’ve taken since getting four attempts in 2009-10. It was also Pastrnak’s first regulation penalty shot attempt in his young career. He missed all four of his shootout tiebreaker attempts last season.
Pastrnak added his second goal 3 minutes into the second when he curled from behind the net — and while falling down — was able to slip it into the right corner of the net past Fleury.
After Kuhnhackl’s goal, Hayes gave the Bruins a two-goal cushion in the third. He took a last-second pass from Spooner on a breakaway and flipped it by Fleury with 9:26 left.
Ferraro made it 4-1 with 5:34 left after Olli Maatta whiffed trying to knock down Dennis Seidenberg’s zone clearance.
About a minute later, Marchand was in the slot when the puck made its way to his feet. He gathered it and put it into the net to make it 5-1.
The Penguins stayed close early despite playing without a pair of key players. Center and second-leading scorer Evgeni Malkin was out for the 10th straight game with a lower-body injury, and Nick Bonino missed his 17th straight game with a hand injury. Both players practiced on Tuesday for the first time since their respective injuries.
Spooner said he hopes Wednesday’s performance at home will become the new normal.
"As a whole I thought it was one of the best games we’ve played in a long time, and that was good to see for sure," he said.
NOTES: The rest of the league entered the night 13 for 47 on penalty shots. … Penguins F Oskar Sundqvist recorded his first NHL assist and point. … Pittsburgh D Ben Lovejoy (upper body) sat out for the second straight game. LW Sergei Plotnikov and D Steve Oleksy were also scratched. … The Bruins are now 25-10-1 when scoring the first goal of the game this season.