Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy tweaked the third line to have Charlie Coyle centering Jake DeBrusk and Nick Ritchie, and it paid dividends for the Black and Gold in a 4-3 overtime win over the Washington Capitals.
And while it was Brad Marchand who capped the scoring with a game-winner 39 seconds into overtime, it was DeBrusk who lit the lamp first Monday night. DeBrusk’s goal at 5:05 of the first period was his second in as many games, and followed both the change of Coyle and pregame conversation with Cassidy.
“I thought Charlie Coyle looked dominant out there with Jake, so now you got three lines out there,” Cassidy said Monday night on his postgame video conference.
“… I just think Jake responded very well to it,” Cassidy said, again referencing Coyle in the pivot role. “And Jake was good the other night. So we just talked to him, as well, like ‘Listen, you keep pushing in second-effort, working on your reloads, just second-effort hockey, your minutes are going to increase.’ And they did tonight.”
DeBrusk recorded five shots in 13:18 on Monday. His first-period tally was beautifully assisted by Coyle on a wrap around.
“(He) really had the game on his stick again,” Cassidy said. “I thought he played hard. (He) played like Jake had in the past, and obviously we’re going to be a better team when Jake does that.”
The Bruins will hope DeBrusk can keep his momentum rolling as they return to the ice for Game 3 on Wednesday at TD Garden. You can watch the game on NESN.