A lower-body injury in Saturday’s loss to New York Islanders casted doubt over Pavel Zacha’s status when the Boston Bruins returned to the ice Monday to face the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery even believed he wouldn’t have Zacha at his disposal for the Original Six matchup.

“He was really close (call),” Montgomery told reporters, per team-provided video. “We didn’t think he was going to play to be honest.”

Zacha was a true game-time decision, but Montgomery had to be surprised when the second-line center told his coach prior to the game that he intended to suit up.

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“I talked to him at the morning skate and he goes, ‘I think I’m going to be able to go,'” Montgomery said.

It was a good thing Zacha ended up playing against the Maple Leafs, too. He accounted for half of Boston’s goals in a 4-1 win at Scotiabank Arena.

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Zacha extended the Bruins’ advantage on the power play midway through the second period when he was left all alone in the slot. With plenty of time, Zacha picked a corner to give the Bruins a 2-0 advantage.

The 26-year-old then provided a key insurance goal with the threat of a third-period comeback from Toronto looming over the Bruins. Zacha collected a pass from David Pastrnak and beat Maple Leafs goalie Joseph Woll on the doorstep to push the lead to 4-1 with 9:25 remaining.

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The two goals gave Zacha 14 tallies on the season as he went from a surprise addition to a critical figure in a big bounce-back win for the Bruins.

“It was a big lift and obviously he had a great night,” Montgomery said.

Featured image via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images