Bruins ‘ride the emotion' of Game 7 win right into another playoff ‘W'

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BOSTON – The Bruins clearly had an advantage over the Columbus Blue Jackets headed into Game 1 based on when the two teams had ended their last playoff series.

And the B’s were wise enough not to waste that in earning a 3-2 overtime win over the Blue Jackets at TD Garden on Thursday night to take an early lead in the best-of-seven series. Suiting up just 48 hours after a Game 7 win over the Maple Leafs was a quick turnaround, but it left them razor-sharp against a Columbus team that hadn’t played a shift of playoff hockey in nine days. That led to the Bruins outshooting the Blue Jackets by a 14-4 margin and earning an early 1-0 lead that could have easily been 4-0 if it weren’t for the acrobatic goaltending of Sergei Bobrovsky.

“I thought we played well enough to win. I thought we were clearly the better team in the first period. [It was] the residual effect of the emotional win in Game 7. They had time off. That can go either way,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Usually, it’s hard to find your game when you have that much time off, the intensity level. I believe it’ll help them in the long run, obviously, with the rest. You get to heal, so we tried to take advantage of that early.”

Eventually the Blue Jackets found their skating legs and should now be considered on equal footing for the rest of the series. Things even looked dark for the Black and Gold when Columbus scored two goals in a 13-second span in the third period, but the Bruins used a pair of clutch Charlie Coyle goals along with their game readiness to get the advantage in the series.

“I think when you play an emotional series like we did against Toronto it could go either way. You want to ride that same emotion going into that next series, but then again you realize that you need to bring the same intensity,” said Tuukka Rask, who stopped 20-of-22 shots he faced in the Game 1 win. “So that’s what we wanted to do, we wanted to play hard right off the bat.

“I thought we did accomplish that, you know, realizing that Columbus had the extra day, layover, or whatever they had. We definitely didn’t want them to get the better of us in the first period. So we pushed and we brought the same emotion from Game 7 and I think we never stopped. [There was] a little push in the second period, but overall I thought that we had a really solid game. We were the better team today.”

So now the rest vs. rust conversation will be put away for the rest of the series, and the B’s can no longer rely on the same kind of gate-storming that was going on in the first 20 minutes of Game 1 against Columbus. 

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