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In Surprise Return, Birthday Boy DeBrusk Puts Bruins Up 1-0 Early



Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk made a surprise return to the lineup Monday night against the Florida Panthers and made an instant impact scoring 21 seconds into the game to give the Bruins an early 1-0 lead.

Before the Panthers could even adjust to the last-minute lineup change and get the matchup they may have wanted, DeBrusk picked up a loose puck heading into the offensive zone. He skated in towards the net from the wing and sniped one past Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky for his first goal of the season.

DeBrusk, who turned 26 on Monday, was on the ice for warmups, and then in the starting lineup playing right wing on a line with captain and center Patrice Bergeron and Taylor Hall on the left wing. As a result, Boston Bruins rookie Jakub Lauko, who almost had his first NHL goal in the Bruins’ 6-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday and took warmups, was a healthy scratch. Boston Bruins forward Craig Smith, who skated with Bergeron and Hall for parts of the game on Saturday, was bumped down to the fourth line with Nick Foligno and Tomas Nosek.

Jake DeBrusk missed the game Saturday after suffering an upper-body injury 3:30 into the second period of the Bruins’ season-opening 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals last Wednesday in Washington D.C. Capitals defenseman Erik Gustafsson pushed DeBrusk from behind and the Boston Bruins winger fell awkwardly into the boards.

DeBrusk got up gingerly and favoring his right arm as he made his way to the Boston Bruins bench. After DeBrusk was attended to by a Bruins trainer, he would try to tough it out and played three more shifts before spending the rest of the period on the bench. He did not come out for the third period and finished the game with no points but had three shots, two hits and one blocked shot in 11:06 TOI and 15 shifts.

There was no indication that he would play Monday night but there he was in warmups and then lighting the lamp 21 ticks in.


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