BOSTON — Before the Bruins and Stars dropped the puck at TD Garden on Monday afternoon, Boston head coach Jim Montgomery referred to Justin Brazeau as a “great story” and said he was “grateful” to be a part of his elevation.

But it’s fair to assume even Montgomery could not have predicted the impact Brazeau would have in his first-ever NHL game.

“The coaching staff gave us feedback, it’s a great job done by our scouting department signing him, having belief in him. But you got to give a lot of credit to the young man,” Montgomery said of Brazeau after Boston’s 4-3 shootout victory against Dallas.

Brazeau signed to a two-year, two-way contract with the Bruins on Sunday. He didn’t practice with the Black and Gold before being thrust into the lineup against the Central Division-leading Stars. None of it mattered, though.

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The 26-year-old Brazeau scored his first NHL goal in his first career game. He also tied Bruins captain Brad Marchand with a team-best four shots on goal. He was a key factor on Boston’s fourth line, which was the team’s best Monday.

“I just think it’s a great story for anyone that tells you you can’t do something or you’re not good enough, you’re not tall enough or not smart enough,” Montgomery said, reflecting on how Brazeau’s career started with the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies in 2019.

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“Whatever the case is, no one can tell you what you believe inside you,” Montgomery continued. “And give the credit to the young man because I think he has a lot of intestinal fortitude.”

Brazeau skated in 49 games with Providence this season. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound forward recorded 37 points on 18 goals and 19 assists. He compiled 118 points in 189 career games in the AHL.

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Montgomery wasn’t the only one thrilled to see Brazeau have success. Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman said he has grown close with Brazeau, who was in his second season in Providence.

“I just think it’s no surprise that he’s had success everywhere he’s gone,” Swayman said. “And we’re thrilled for him to come in and score a huge goal like that. Incredibly human off the ice and obviously works hard and gets results on the ice. … Really happy for him and well-deserved.”

Jesper Boqvist, who centered the fourth line with Brazeau on his wing, echoed those sentiments.

“Couldn’t happen to a better guy,” Boqvist said. “We’re all so happy for him. He’s been working very hard so it’s great to see.”

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Brazeau’s role with the Black and Gold is not set in stone, of course. He’ll have to continue to produce in Boston’s bottom six in order to keep his spot. But with Marchand and Montgomery among those who made note of the fourth line’s contributions, Brazeau got off to the best possible start.

Featured image via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images