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Bruins Left Marveling Over Breakout Game For Lohrei



Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Mason Lohrei has been building toward a breakout game in his first foray into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and it came in the fifth-ever playoff game on Monday night.

Lohrei sniped his first career playoff goal and got his second assist in a 5-1 Bruins win over the Florida Panthers in Game 1 on Monday night in Sunrise, Florida.

“[Parker Wotherspoon] made a great play at the blue line and got the puck down to me,” the humble Lohrei said of his first playoff goal. “I had some space, got my head up, [David] Pastrnak was at the back door. I think that kinda made the goalie go down a little, so I took that space up top.”

In a one-on-one interview with Boston Hockey Now just prior to being sent down to Providence (AHL) near the end of the regular season, Mason Lohrei expressed his excitement about the potential of playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“It’s an exciting time of year and something that you dream about growing up watching every game, so it’s pretty cool to be around this time of year and just be with the boys and looking forward to it,” Lohrei told BHN.

In his second and final season (2022-23) playing for Ohio State, Lohrei and the Buckeyes lost 4-1 to eventual Frozen Four champion Quinnipiac in the Regional Final and just missed out on a trip to the Frozen Four. Lohrei savored the experience, though, and planned to use it if he drew into the Boston Bruins lineup in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“I loved it,” Lohrei said of playing in a do-or-die game. “That’s when you bring your best. It makes it more fun when everything’s on the line. So, I have a blast in games like that.”

The 23-year-old rookie looked like he was having a blast in Game 1 against the Panthers, enabling him to maintain his poise and stay relaxed. That hasn’t gone unnoticed by his teammate and Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy.

“The sky’s the limit for him, and he’s got an extremely high ceiling,” McAvoy said of his new top-pairing defensive partner on Tuesday. “His potential is off the charts. He’s worked really hard. And he deserves to be here. And kind of like how I said, he looks like he’s flourishing now.”

In addition to his goal and an assist, Lohrei had two shots on goal, four shot attempts, two blocks, and four hits over his 16:05 of ice time in Game 1. He also became the fourth rookie defenseman in Bruins history to score a game-winning playoff goal, joining Mike Milbury (1977), Bruce Shoebottom (1988), and Connor Clifton (2019).

“I just think the way he’s handled the Stanley Cup playoffs, the emotion of it, the intensity of it. I think it has propelled him,” Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said on Tuesday. “He’s an extremely competitive player. That may not show in the physicality or the way he plays. But it shows in his poise with the puck. There’s different ways to be intense. He wants the puck, and that’s an intensity that you have to have — players that want the puck in big moments.”

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