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Talking Points: Coyle, Ullmark Lead Way For Gritty Boston Bruins Win

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Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 2-1 gutsy, overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena with no David Pastrnak or Hampus Lindholm on Friday night.

GOLD STAR: Linus Ullmark was stellar for the Boston Bruins in the win and really kept them in the game at a few points where they were experiencing difficulties clearing the puck out of the defensive zone. Ullmark worked with the B’s penalty kill to keep the Lightning’s red-hot PP off the board despite five-man advantage chances and was the backbone for an undermanned Boston Bruins group missing David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm. Ullmark finished with 28 saves and has a 7-1-0 mark over his last eight games and has a .941 save percentage during the month of April so far. His best stop might have been kicking away a Brayden Point breakaway chance midway through the third period when it was still a 1-1 game. Either way, Ullmark’s play as of late is turning it into a true competition with Jeremy Swayman about which goalie is going to be the No. 1 guy for the Boston Bruins going into the playoffs.

BLACK EYE: The Boston Bruins did a really nice job defensively of holding most of Tampa Bay’s best players at bay on Friday night, including Patrice Bergeron dominating Brayden Point when the two players went head-to-head for most of the night. But it was Nikita Kucherov that really had a disappearing act with just a single shot on net and one hit in 22:14 of ice time and wasn’t even a factor as Point definitely was at moments throughout the game. There weren’t many disappointments on either side, though, as it was an extremely well-played game with both sides able to come away thinking they put their best foot forward.

TURNING POINT: Charlie Coyle deserves credit for scoring the overtime game-winner for the Boston Bruins in the big OT win over Tampa. But it was Jake DeBrusk that really drove the engine for the victory as he hustled at one end of the ice to break up a Brayden Point point blank chance at the net, and then beat Point in a puck battle at the end of the ice before working the puck over Coyle at the side of the net. DeBrusk didn’t get an assist on the overtime winner for Coyle, but he deserved it and continues a jaw-dropping development where he’s completely turned things around for himself after a couple of really disappointing seasons.

HONORABLE MENTION: Just as we said, Jake DeBrusk deserves all kinds of credit for the playoff-style win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was DeBrusk that scored Boston’s only goal during regulation when he took a drop-down pass from Brad Marchand and beat Andrei Vasilevskiy for the game. Tampa Bay ended up tying the game and pushing things to overtime, but it was DeBrusk again with heady two-way play at both ends of the ice that led to the game-winning goal for Coyle.

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DeBrusk finished with six shot attempts in 16:48 of ice time to go along with the plus-2 rating and the game-changing plays. DeBrusk now has seven goals and nine points in his last seven games and continues to light it up in a hot streak for the Boston Bruins.

BY THE NUMBERS: 20-4-2 – the Boston Bruins record after losses this season after bouncing back from Tuesday night’s loss in Detroit to beat the Lightning in overtime.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “He’s been awesome. Yeah, he’s been a scoring machine, but he’s been all over the puck, he’s been forechecking and he’s been working hard.” –Charlie Coyle to NESN postgame about Jake DeBrusk, who set him up for the OT game-winner by winning a puck battle against Brayden Point behind the Tampa net.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Art

Nice to see Jake playing to his potential. He’s a difference maker when he’s on the top of his game. He’s 24 now and he has had his up’s and downs, but the experience that he’s had over the past 2 years will serve him well. Hopefully his current play will continue into the playoffs and he will want to stick with the B’s going forward.

Bill

Keep Cassidy away from him and the good times will continue. Cassidy is Claude Julian 2.0 for young players. Find a better coach in the off-season and keep DeBrusk.

Jimmy Murphy

Yes, Julien was so bad for Bergeron and Marchand when they were young and that Stanley Cup? Damn him.

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