If anybody was looking for a victory against a quality opponent to get them excited about the upcoming playoff run for the Boston Bruins, Friday night’s gutsy win over the Tampa Bay Lightning was exactly that kind of victory.
The Bruins went into Friday without their game-breaking scorer in David Pastrnak and their new top pair defenseman Hampus Lindholm due to injuries, and they were coming off a stinging, mistake-filled loss to the Detroit Red Wings. But that didn’t stop the Black and Gold from playing a tight, strong playoff-style game against the Lightning to take a 2-1 overtime time at Amalie Arena that gave them sole possession of the third postseason in the Atlantic Division playoff structure.
“Playoffs is a different animal,” said Coyle. “We’ve built [up] our game this year, especially vs. those guys when you play well and you know what you’re capable of against a certain team, that can help. But you’ve got to bring it every night. A series is definitely different [than the regular season]. But we want to play well against those teams during the year. That can definitely help us going forward.
“It’s nice to size up against those top teams and see how you fare against them. When you get a good result against a good team and you’re trying to solidify a good spot, that’s a big game.”