By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Taylor Hall’s skating speed and offensive talent was well-known long before he donned a spoked-B. Yet since his arrival in Boston, his 200-foot game has taken many folks by surprise.
That ability and effort was once again on display on Thursday night in Game 3 of the Bruins’ second round playoff series vs. the New York Islanders, as he stole the puck at his own blue line just moments before picking up the primary assist on the first goal of the game.
As Mathew Barzal tried to carry the puck into the Boston zone, he was hounded by a back-checking Hall, who eventually muscled Barzal off the puck completely before moving it along to Matt Grzelcyk.
From there, Grzelcyk carried the puck to the New York end of the ice before finding … Taylor Hall streaking down the right wing.
On his off wing, Hall abruptly pulled up, scanned the offensive zone, and delivered a pass directly through Grzelcyk that made its way to the tape of Craig Smith’s stick.
From there, Smith fired on net, and his fluttering shot beat Semyon Varlamov to give Boston a 1-0 lead.
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Hall has been a thorn in the side of the Islanders ever since joining the Bruins. In three games vs. the Isles after the Bruins acquired him via trade, he scored four goals — including an overtime game-winner. He scored an empty-net goal in Game 1 vs. the Islanders, after driving to the net to help David Pastrnak score his third goal of the evening.
The assist in Game 3 was Hall’s fifth point (3-2-5) of the postseason.
The goal proved to be significant, too, as it was Boston’s lone goal of regulation. The Bruins eventually won, 2-1, in overtime, to take a 2-1 series lead.