BOSTON (CBS) — Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk was slumping heading into Tuesday night’s clash with the Tampa Bay Lightning. It had been nearly a month since he had scored a goal, and 10 games since he had tallied a point.
DeBrusk picked a great time to bust out of his slump, netting the eventual game-winner in Boston’s 2-1 victory at Amelia Arena in Tampa. After a few good scoring chances went unrewarded earlier in the contest, the 23-year-old found himself on a breakaway midway through the second period, and was not going to squander that golden opportunity.READ MORE: Massachusetts Reports 472 New COVID Cases, Zero New Deaths
DeBrusk raced for a loose puck in the neutral zone, courtesy of a nice deflection by linemate Charlie Coyle, but was tripped by Tampa defenseman Zach Bogosian in the process. Undeterred by the delayed penalty, DeBrusk got up and raced toward Andrei Vasilevskiy, going top shelf on the Tampa netminder for his 19th goal of the season. The tally put Boston up 2-0 with 9:54 left in the second frame.
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Needless to say, DeBrusk was happy to have his three-week goal-less streak come to an end, especially since it came against the team closest to Boston in the standings.
“Anytime it goes in the net, it’s a good feeling,” said DeBrusk. “I haven’t seen that in a while. It’s always nice, kind of just the play overall. That’s kind of what I want to be, use my speed and effort. Was just nice to contribute.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
“I haven’t had too many Grade As, so knew I had to make a good move on it,” he said of the stop-shelf snipe. “I thought I had time. Definitely surprised it went in the net.”
DeBrusk now has 19 goals and 16 helpers on the season. Tuesday night’s goal was the 62nd of his career, coming in his 200th career NHL game.
The forward, who skated with Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner for most of the evening, knows that he’s got a streaky reputation. He’s hoping that Tuesday night’s tally will lead to a different kind of streak down the stretch.
“Hopefully I get hot at the right time,” he said. “That’s one of the main things. Usually in the past, I have gotten better around this time… just overall mentally. It’s a matter of sticking with it and grinding it out and understanding that these things do happen. Just a matter of trying to limit those. But hopefully I have a hot streak.”
With Tuesday night’s win, Boston now leads the NHL with 96 points — nine points up on the Lightning for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
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