Coyle rescues Bruins in OT to strike 1st against Blue Jackets
Scores tying goal late in 3rd before notching winner in extra time
Charlie Coyle wasn't thinking about his first goal, which tied things up at the end of regulation.
What was weighing on him was the time he coughed up the puck and handed Columbus a goal, even though he redeemed himself by leading Boston to a 3-2 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday night.
Asked about his two late goals, Coyle said: "I had a costly turnover in the third period. You can't have that during the game.
"I'm just relieved we got the win," he added somberly. "I didn't really care who scored."
WATCH | Coyle scores twice in Bruins' OT win over Columbus:
Coyle tied the game in the final five minutes of regulation and scored again with 5:15 gone in overtime to help the Bruins take the opener of the best-of-seven series and send Columbus to its first loss of the playoffs.
Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots for Boston, which took a 1-0 lead on Noel Acciari's short-handed goal in the first period, then fell behind in the third after Brandon Dubinsky and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored in a span of 13 seconds.
"I think we know how to respond to that. We didn't get rattled," Rask said. "We felt like we were going to get it back, and we did."
A native of nearby East Weymouth. Mass., who was acquired at the trading deadline from the Minnesota Wild, Coyle said that when he would play street hockey on the cul-de-sac where he lived he used to imagined himself coming through for his hometown team.
"You always think about that stuff," he said. "I'm sure we've all done that. It's pretty cool to be living it."
Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves for the Blue Jackets, who swept the Presidents Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round.
Game 2 is Saturday night in Boston before the best-of-seven series moves to Columbus for Games 3 and 4.
Lengthy layoff hurts Columbus
The Blue Jackets were the last team to qualify for the NHL playoffs, then they knocked out the Lightning in four games for their first-ever playoff series victory. While Columbus waited more than a week for an opponent, Boston tangled with Toronto for seven games before finally advancing on Tuesday night.
"You can't simulate a playoff game, especially a second-round playoff game against a really good team like that," Dubinsky said. "I figured we'd come out with a little rust. Obviously, we need to be sharper."
And the Bruins didn't seem tired, outshooting Columbus 12-1 early in the game and scoring short-handed midway through the first after Coyle was sent off for hooking. Acciari brought the puck into the zone with Joakim Nordstrom waiting for the pass, but Acciari snapped off a wrist shot that beat Bobrovsky on the stick side.
"That was the biggest plus in the first period: We're coming out of it 1-0," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "You saw our struggles in the first. We just couldn't handle the tempo of the game or their speed."