BOSTON — Welcome to round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Are you having fun yet? The Bruins certainly are.
Boston got off to a hot start in its best-of-seven series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, taking Game 1 in dramatic fashion.
Things would get dicey in the third period, with the B’s giving up two goals in just 12 seconds around the 12-minute mark. But that’s when the heroics of Weymouth, Mass. native Charlie Coyle came into play, netting a game-tying goal with less than five minutes left in regulation.
But Coyle wasn’t done there, tossing the game-winner past Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky to give the B’s the Game 1 victory.
After the game, Coyle said scoring the game-winning goal was a “special” moment he’d been dreaming of since playing street hockey on the cul-de-sac he lived on as a child.
“I think most of the time you envision yourself in the future, I think we’ve all done that, so it’s pretty cool to be living (the dream),” he said.
Coyle also was glad his mistake didn’t cost the Bruins the match after turning over the puck in the third to allow the Blue Jackets’ first goal of the game.
“I was just relieved we got the win,” he said. “I didn’t really care who scored (the last goal) to be honest.”
As for his family, the center said they are just happy to have him home and playing on Boston ice.
“It’s special for them. … I think they’re having a great time.”
Head coach Bruce Cassidy was also proud of Coyle’s accomplishments, calling him a “great story.”
“Hopefully, (Chris) Wagner is next,” he joked after the game.
Boston took a 1-0 lead over the Blue Jackets. Game 2 is slated for Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
Here are some more notes from Thursday’s Blue Jackets-Bruins game:
— Tuukka Rask was a real stud for the Bruins, pushing away 20 of the 22 shots he faced Thursday evening.
Rask was lights out for the Bruins throughout the first 45 minutes of the contest, shutting out the Blue Jackets for the first two periods of the game. But his luck wouldn’t last the entire match, giving up two goals in 13 seconds around the 12-minute mark in the third period.
“You always try to stay focused, doesn’t matter if it’s your fault or not or cheap goal or whatever,” he said. “At so many times this year I feel like anytime we got scored on, not back-to-back shots, but very quickly I think we know how to respond to that, and we don’t get rattled. We responded well after that and didn’t let it affect us. We came back and felt like we were going to get it back and we did.”
The Bruins netminder ended the night with a .909 save percentage.
— Boston has found plenty of success on the penalty kill as of late, and that only continued in Game 1.
The Bruins scored the first goal of the series halfway through the first period thanks to a shorthanded goal scored by Noel Acciari, the team’s first shorthanded tally of the playoffs. It also was the first shorty allowed by Columbus this postseason.
— It took a little while for Columbus to find its rhythm in Game 1, and it certainly showed in their numbers early on.
The Blue Jackets had six giveaways through the first two periods (eight in total) in addition to the first-period goal scored by Noel Acciari. Columbus did clean things up in the third, but it wasn’t enough for the win.
Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella said the team got about their business “slowly,” and said they have to be ready to start Game 2.
— This was the first time the Bruins saw overtime in the 2019 postseason, and they definitely didn’t disappoint. Coyle’s overtime goal was his fifth of the playoffs.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images