Pastrnak in rarefied air with early-season scoring
Francois Lacasse / National Hockey League / Getty

Over a quarter of the way into the season, there doesn't appear to be an answer for stopping David Pastrnak.

The Boston Bruins sniper potted his second hat trick of the campaign against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, bumping his league-leading goal total to 23 in just 24 contests.

With the big night, Pastrnak became the first player since Simon Gagne in 2005-06 to score that many goals through 24 contests. The last player to net more goals in that span was Mario Lemieux during the 1992-93 campaign.

Pastrnak's production, though remarkable, shouldn't come as a surprise.

The 23-year-old tallied 38 goals in 2018-19 despite appearing in only 66 games and owns the third-highest goals-per-game rate (0.53) since the start of 2016-17.

Pastrnak has a five-goal lead on Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid for the Rocket Richard Trophy and is currently scoring at a 78-goal pace.

Though it's unlikely he maintains that rate, Pastrnak could certainly challenge Alex Ovechkin's 65-goal campaign in 2007-08 for the highest single-season total this century.

Pastrnak in rarefied air with early-season scoring
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