Bruins, Panthers Secure Victories in NHL 20 Player Gaming Challenge

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 11: Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his goal at 8:33 of the second period against the New York Islanders along with Charlie McAvoy #73 at the Barclays Center on January 11, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL 20 Player Gaming Challenge continued Thursday with the Boston Bruins defeating the Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers beating the Washington Capitals.

Clayton Keller and Conor Garland represented Arizona while Jake DeBrusk and Charlie McAvoy competed for Boston. The second set of games was between Jonathan Huberdeau of Florida and Evgeny Kuznetsov of Washington.

The matchup featured the six players utilizing their own teams in the NHL 20 video game as part of a leaguewide fundraiser for the CDC Foundation's COVID-19 relief efforts.

The Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators all earned wins in the first week of the event.

DeBrusk and McAvoy showcased their skill in Game 1, turning a game that was close early into an easy 6-2 win.

Boston Bruins @NHLBruins

Let’s go Chuckie and JD!!! 🎮 #HockeyAtHome https://t.co/Hg4KARECIK

Game 2 was even more one-sided, as the Bruins scored the first five goals before closing out a 6-1 victory.

Arizona played better defense in Game 3, but the team failed to score on a five-on-three situation in the first period. After a lengthy scoreless battle, the Coyotes finally grabbed a lead at the end of the second period.

Garland and Keller kept it going in the third period, pulling out a 3-2 win to salvage one victory in the three-game series.

While the Coyotes and Bruins compete in different divisions in the NHL, there were still rivalry stakes during this virtual competition.

Keller and McAvoy played together at Boston University as well as the 2017 World Junior Championship for Team USA. Garland also has local ties as a native of Scituate, Massachusetts, even competing for the Boston Jr. Bruins. He acknowledged during Thursday's game that he was a huge Bruins fan up until the moment he was drafted.

DeBrusk has played his entire NHL career with the Bruins.

The connections created some camaraderie as well as trash talk over the course of the night.

The second matchup featured a battle between the Capitals and Panthers.

Huberdeau flexed his offensive muscle in the first game with a 7-3 win, including a successful penalty shot in the second period.

Florida Panthers @FlaPanthers

Game on! Let's go Huby Duby Doo! Watch >> https://t.co/mDYtZOgFrL https://t.co/lkdfaFTenm

Game 2 was closer, but Florida was up 5-2 before a lost connection ended the game.

There was a change of pace in the third meeting as the two competed in a battle of NHL Threes, an arcade-style battle with no lines. 

Kuznetsov finally got on the board for Washington, winning 5-4 in the first-to-five matchup.

It was another way to keep the players and fans entertained while the NHL season remains on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This event is also providing help to those who need it, with the NHL and Electronic Arts donating a combined $100,000 toward relief efforts.