Charlie Coyle whipped in the game-tying goal and then won Game 1 for the Boston Bruins in overtime of their second-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday at Boston's TD Garden.
Coyle was in the perfect place at the right time as Marcus Johansson's pass connected with Coyle's stick and settled into the back of the net for an alley-oop on ice. The 27-year-old Boston area native was traded to the Bruins from the Minnesota Wild in February, and he now leads his hometown team in postseason goals (5).
The Blue Jackets gave Boston a scare when they scored two goals in a 13-second window with 12 minutes left to play in the third period, but Boston was able to bookend Columbus' surge.
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The @BlueJacketsNHL scored twice in a span of 13 seconds to erase a 1-0 deficit and establish a franchise record for fastest two goals in a playoff game, eclipsing the previous mark set in Game 4 of the 2019 First Round (0:19 vs. TBL). #NHLStats #StanleyCup https://t.co/kT45EKPNaZ
Boston began the game by bombarding the Blue Jackets with 14 shots on goal opposed to Columbus' four in the first period. The Blue Jackets were lucky to make it to the first intermission only having given up one short-handed goal to center Noel Acciari.
It appeared that the Blue Jackets' nine-day break after completing the sweep of the NHL-best 62-win Tampa Bay Lightning on April 16 had caused them to get rusty and that the Bruins being 48 hours removed from ousting the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 on Tuesday was completely irrelevant.
That narrative held up for the first period, but the Blue Jackets came to life in the second period. Columbus had plenty of opportunities to come away with its eighth win in a row—none bigger than having a 2-1 lead—but ultimately Columbus was unable to capitalize on any of its four power-play opportunities and eventually gave away its lead.
While Coyle was a hero in Game 1, the Bruins will have to keep a keen eye on the Blue Jackets' fourth line for the remainder of the series. Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky and Riley Nash—a former Bruin—were involved in both of the Jackets' goals Thursday night and will undoubtedly test the Bruins' fourth line.
Outside of Coyle, the Bruins' fourth line maintained their momentum from a stellar Game 7—emphasized by Acciari's opening score.
The Bruins will also have to keep in mind the health of center David Krejci, who was held out of overtime after taking a hit from Nash. After the game, per NHL.com's Jeff Svoboda, head coach Bruce Cassidy labeled Krejci as day-to-day.
Boston and Columbus will be right back at TD Garden for Game 2 on Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. EST.