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Taylor Hall Finding His Stride At Just The Right Time



Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall is finding his stride just at the right time.

After scoring a goal with 1:10 left in regulation of the Bruins’ 6-3 loss to the Florida Panthers in Game 2 on Wednesday, Hall was playing like he was shot out of a cannon to start Game 3 on Friday night in Sunrise, Florida. Along with a thunderous hit by Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy on his first shift of the game, Hall’s second goal in two games at 2:26 of the opening frame, set the tone for the game as the Bruins went on to win 4-2 and go up 2-1 in this best of seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series.

“It’s huge to get off to a good start,” Hall acknowledged after the game as he and teammate Charlie Coyle addressed the media postgame. “This was a pivotal game for us. We know how good they play at home and how tough of a time they gave us in the first two games. So, to get off to a good start whether you score or not.

I thought what set the tone was Charlie McAvoy laying a big hit in the first shift and that was kind of a tell-tale sign of the night and how hard we were going to play. The first period whether you score or not, you want to dictate play and play Bruins hockey, and I thought we did that. I know that’s cliche but on a road game, missing two big pieces, no one has to do anything they’re not capable of but we have to play hard and get off to a good start, and it’s nice to see that goal go in.”

The 31-year-old, six-foot-1, 210-pound winger was able to play in the final three games of the regular season after being out of the lineup since Feb.25. He self-admittedly was not himself in those three games but it was part of the process that got him to this point, where he now has two goals and an assist in his lat two games. While the goal Hall scored at the end of Game 2 had no real effect on that game, it was a huge momentum builder for Hall, who hadn’t scored a goal since Valentine’s Day.

“I know it’s a meaningless goal, but it’s not a meaningless goal for him,” Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery told the media after Game 3. “When you’re an offensive player and one goes in – I mean you saw it right? He takes that shot and he takes it with authority, and he’s starting to feel good. He’s an offensive juggernaut in this league.”

Taylor Hall concurred with the importance of the Game 2 goal and the three games he was able to play before the Stanley Cup Playoffs began.

“Yeah. Those three games I played in the regular season were huge,” Hall replied. “I said it before but they weren’t great games by me but I knew where I needed to improve and where I needed to help our team the most I can and coming into the playoffs that was my goal, is just like Charlie [Coyle], wherever you’re slotted in on the depth chart, there’s a goal in mind at the end of the road here and everyone’s bought in.

To see a goal go in at the end of last game, it was a nothing goal but it came from a pretty good O-zone shift and good positioning by all of us so to get rewarded in a small way was good, and maybe that leads into tonight, I’m not really sure, but it was good to get off to a nice start and as an individual and as a team, I thought we were dialed in right from the start of the game.”

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