Tyler Seguin Makes First Goal of Playoffs Count for Bruins


Tyler Seguin Makes First Goal of Playoffs Count for BruinsLast year, Tyler Seguin wasted no time making an impact in the postseason once he got his chance to play.

After sitting out the first two rounds, he debuted in the conference final against Tampa Bay and scored six points in his first two games.

Seguin has been in the lineup from the start of this postseason, but there was no immediate impact this time around. Despite coming off a breakthrough regular season that saw him lead the team in both goals and points with 29-38-67 totals, Seguin was held off the score sheet completely in the first five games against the Capitals in Boston's opening-round series.

But Seguin made up for lost time Sunday, setting up a key third-period goal and scoring the game-winner himself 3:17 into overtime to lift the Bruins to a 4-3 win in Game 6 and keep their season alive.

"This series, I've had a lot of chances and opportunities," Seguin told reporters in Washington, "and I haven't been bearing down or finishing them off, so it's just really nice to get that feeling of finally getting one."

Seguin does lead the Bruins with 24 shots in the series, none bigger than the first one he finally put into the net. David Krejci began the play by picking off a Nicklas Backstrom pass in the neutral zone, then getting the puck over to Milan Lucic. Lucic, in turn, fed it to Seguin, who was barreling down the middle. The youngster did the rest, patiently waiting for Capitals goalie Braden Holtby to commit, then flipping the puck in at the right post.

"I saw the goalie challenging, so I just tried to make a quick move and got lucky it went in," Seguin said.

There's always an element of luck involved in any hockey goal, but there was plenty of talent involved in this one as well. Seguin is the most skilled forward on the Bruins roster, and Sunday he finally let that skill shine through.

"I thought [Saturday in Game 5] he was a pretty good player," Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters at the Verizon Center. "He missed that opportunity in close where the goaltender made a great save. When those things start happening, you know it's coming around, and I thought he was skating extremely well tonight. He used his speed, had a chance early in the game and, to me, it was fitting for him to get that goal.

"First of all, he made the great play on [Andrew] Ference's goal," Julien continued. "And then for him to be able to jump on that [OT chance], be patient enough to skate around their goaltender and finish it off, it's great to see. We need to see a young player like that gain some confidence if we're going to become a better team down the stretch."

While that overtime tally provided the exclamation point, Seguin's real statement may have come on Ference's goal in the third period. Seguin started the play by stealing the puck from Alexander Semin, then led the rush down the right side. Holtby didn't give him much to shoot at, but Seguin went up high to make it difficult for the netminder to control the rebound. With Lucic and Krejci driving hard to the net and taking defenders with them, Ference was left all alone in the slot following the play and banged home the loose puck.

"He made a great defensive play before we scored the go-ahead goal in the third," Julien said of Seguin. "He's been a player that's grown, matured, that's understanding more and more how important it is to play a great two-way game in the playoffs. I've said it many times: We're pretty proud and pleased at the way he's handled everything since he's been with us. He's a player that still knows that he's got a lot to learn, and he wants to learn to become the best player he can in this league. What he did tonight is just showcase some of the potential that he's got moving forward."

The defensive play that led to Ference's goal displayed the all-around player that Seguin is slowly developing into, but the one he scored himself a little later to win the game is still the goal that Seguin will always remember first.

"When you're a little kid, that's the dream — to get those big goals and keep your team alive," Seguin said. "I think, looking back at my career so far, this is probably one of the biggest goals I've gotten."

It may have been the biggest goal of the year for the Bruins, as it kept their season from coming to an early end. And that makes it worth waiting a few extra games this time around for Seguin to make an impact in the postseason.

Have a question for Douglas Flynn? Send it to him via Twitter at @douglasflynn or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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