BOSTON — The Bruins got a little “uglier” Tuesday as head coach Bruce Cassidy put it, but Boston’s latest injury victim not only played Thursday, he delivered in the clutch.
Noel Acciari took a puck to the mouth in the Bruins’ win over the San Jose Sharks, and the fourth-line center lost two teeth as a result of the incident and needed to get stitches on both lips.
Acciari never doubted his chances of playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning, however. And with Boston clinging to a 1-0 lead just under 12 minutes into the third period, the 27-year-old — donning a protective caged facemask — doubled his team’s advantage with a gritty goal. The home team rode the momentum from there, extending their point streak to 15 games with a 4-1 win.
A handful of Bruins players have found success while wearing the protective “bubble.” As such, Sean Kuraly, one of the more recent beneficiaries of the cage, knew his linemate was in store for a big night.
“Sean’s was like ‘It’s a lucky helmet. It’s a lucky bubble. Good things will come,'” Acciari said. “He was right.”
Given the circumstances, Kuraly wasn’t sure which higher power to thank for his clutch tally.
“It was the hockey gods or the bubble gods,” Kuraly said.
Jake DeBrusk also lost a tooth in Tuesday’s win over the Sharks, but luckily for the young winger, his incident wasn’t nearly as severe as Acciari’s. Despite not being damaged enough to require a protective cage, DeBrusk might look into rocking one anyway.
“Yeah, it was a huge goal by Noel,” DeBrusk said. “That bubble is working for everyone, eh? I might need one of those.”
Coincidence or not, Acciari plans on riding the wave of success that has come with the “bubble.”
“We’re not gonna question it,” Acciari said. “It’s not fun getting hit in the face, whether it’s a nose, teeth or whatever. But hey, whatever works.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images