BOSTON (CBS) — Tuesday night wasn’t just a much-needed confidence boost for the Boston Bruins, but a special night for one of their young players.
It took him 42 games, but Rhode Island native Noel Acciari got off the scoring schneid, potting the first goal of his young career in Boston’s 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators. The 25-year-old forward, known more for his physical play and creating energy on Boston’s fourth line, ended any chance of a Predators comeback by directing a Riley Nash feed past Pekka Rinne to put the B’s up 3-1 late in the third period.
Acciari said it felt pretty good to see the puck go into the back of the net, but added that scoring was the easy part of the equation after Nash made such a nice pass.
“Your first NHL goal is a special feeling,” said Acciari, who has four points in 24 games with the Bruins this season. “I couldn’t have done it without a good defensive zone and Riley Nash with an unbelievable pass, so he left me with the easy part there.”
The fact he had to wait 42 games into his career to light the lamp just added to the milestone.
“It just shows you how special it is,” he said. “It’s not going to come the first game you play. It could come 10, 20 or for me, probably over 40 games in, but it still feels the same.
“I didn’t know when it would happen, but I’ve been dreaming of it,” he added. “For it to finally happen, it’s a special moment.”
He was treated to a shaving cream pie to the face during his postgame interview, courtesy of forward David Pastrnak.
Though he doesn’t show up on the score sheet often, Acciari plays an important role on Boston’s bottom line. He dished out eight hits on Tuesday night, and Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy has been pleased with Acciari’s play since he was recalled from Providence back on March 19.
“He’s come up here and really given us an opportunity to look at that fourth line, maybe a little heavier in terms of physicality, because he can get there to finish checks,” said Cassidy, adding that Acciari’s offense is starting to surface as well. “He’s making tight-area plays, and that was a great finish, obviously great play by Riley Nash. He’s really added to that line and kind of slid in there seamlessly.”