BOSTON (CBS) — Charlie McAvoy said farewell to his teenage years Thursday night by lifting the Bruins to a shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets.
McAvoy celebrated his 20th birthday by sending Bruins fans home happy, netting the game-winner in Boston’s 2-1 shootout win. He entered the evening with just one career shootout attempt, a sweet dangler that gave Boston a victory over the New Jersey Devils back on November 22.
But that shootout tally came in the 11th round, and B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy said that he had just tossed McAvoy out there on a hunch. Thursday night’s shootout appearance came much earlier for McAvoy, with similar results.
With Thursday night’s shootout tied 1-1 as it entered the sudden-death portion, Cassidy confidently turned to his 20-year-old blue liner to end it. McAvoy rewarded his head coach by firing a rocket by Jets’ netminder Connor Hellebuyck to blow the candles out on Boston’s third straight victory.
“Good for Charlie,” said Cassidy. “He seems to rise up to these moments, and we battled hard for that extra point.”
Part of McAvoy’s shootout promotion came because of an illness that has made its way through the Boston locker room. But he continues to show poise in big situations, whether as a teenager or a freshly minted 20-year-old.
“Cherry on top of a great effort by our team,” McAvoy said after the win. “You know, no matter who’s in the lineup we look at our chart and we say that’s the winning lineup. Regardless of who’s hurt or, you know, who’s sick or what’s happening in our room, we always feel like we can win if we play the right way, and tonight we did for 65 minutes. We were trying to stick to our identity there and it goes all the way there, the distance, and you know, we were able to come out on top. We feel really good about ourselves in here.
“Very glad we got the two points and we feel real good in here,” he added.