Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy has had the privilege of watching Dmitry Orlov up close ever since Don Sweeney acquired the veteran blue liner ahead of the NHL trade deadline.
But Orlov’s picked-up offensive presence, which has paid dividends in Boston’s 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, nevertheless has stood out to McAvoy.
“He’s been outstanding,” McAvoy told reporters when asked about Orlov after Boston’s Game 4 victory at FLA Live Arena on Sunday, per the team. “Since the first moment we got him he’s been big and I think the offensive side is what’s been surprising to me.
“He makes exceptional plays out there not only in transition, breaking pucks out, but in the offensive zone too. We’re all seeing it,” McAvoy continued. “And he’s someone who’s won before so when you bring someone in who’s won it’s, the value is hard to explain. He knows what it takes and he’s raised his game already and we’re all better for it.”
McAvoy’s sentiments followed Orlov’s fourth consecutive playoff game with at least one point. The left-shot defenseman has five points in his four postseason contests wearing a Black and Gold sweater. He became the first defenseman in NHL history, and first player in Bruins history, to record a point in each of his first four playoff games, per NHL public relations.
“I think just the swagger he has, the confidence he has and then the compete,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters, per the team. “He digs in.”
Orlov made a terrific feed to David Pastrnak in Game 3, which propelled Pastrnak to a 1-on-1 with the Panthers goaltender. His slick feed to Jake DeBrusk which led to a Game 4 goal shouldn’t be overshadowed, though.
“I actually didn’t see it coming right away, I had to kind of stop and adjust, but it was right on my tape,” DeBrusk told reporters, per the team. “So it was a really nice play, obviously great entry there and just tried to get to the net and he found me. It was a perfect play.”
The Bruins surely will be hoping Orlov can continue his point streak with Boston set to host the Panthers in Game 5 on Wednesday night. The Black and Gold can close out the first-round series with a victory, and you can watch the game on NESN with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.