Up until Sunday, it had been a bit of a snake-bitten series for Jake DeBrusk against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Bruins winger made a big splash a year ago on this same stage in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs but entered Game 6 this year with just one assist in the series.

But DeBrusk got on the board in a big way on Sunday, potting his first goal of the playoffs to make it 3-1 as the Bruins would force a Game 7 with a 4-2 victory at Scotiabank Arena.

DeBrusk has solidified himself as a primary scoring option for the Black and Gold this year, netting 27 goals in the regular season, and getting him going in the playoffs has been an important factor in Boston’s success.

After Game 6, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy noted that he spoke to DeBrusk about his game after practice on Saturday and told the 22-year-old to keep at it.

“I talked to him yesterday after practice. He’s got to stick with the right way to play. Play the right way. He was terrific in Game 2, he was all over the ice, he was physical, he was annoying people, had chances to score that didn’t go in,” Cassidy said, as seen on NESN’s post coverage. “The goal he scored tonight, very happy for him cause he didn’t take the easy way. He got inside drive, he knows the relationship there with (David Krejci), when Krech is going to pitch it in there. … They’ve scored that goal a number of times. And it got inside.”

“That was basically the message. Shoot the puck when you get a chance and get inside. He had another chance late. It’s good to get him going. I said with Pasta the other day, and I believe coaches throughout the league would say the same thing with their skill guys — wingers, when they start scoring look out. They start getting a little more excited and Jake is no different.”

DeBrusk was monumental in Game 7 last season against the Leafs, potting two goals in the 6-4 win. And as Cassidy made sure to point out, sometimes, it’s just a matter of getting the first one before the rest begin to follow.

Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images