Jake DeBrusk surprised his teammates and his opponent as he unexpectedly played Monday night, scored two goals and added an assist in a 5-3 Boston Bruins win over the Florida Panthers at TD Garden.
DeBrusk also assisted on the go-ahead goal, splitting a pair of defenders in a race for the puck and feeding Patrice Bergeron with a behind-the-back pass to put Boston up 2-1 with 7:25 left in the second period.
“I was worried. Yeah,” DeBrusk said after the Bruins’ 5-3 win. “You don’t know at that point. It’s one of those things where lots of ice, milk and some other little things really helped I guess. I give the medical staff a lot of credit in working me hard. They’ve been a key element in getting me back to literally where I am right now.”
Jake DeBrusk missed the game Saturday after suffering an upper-body injury 3:30 into the second period of the Bruins’ season-opening 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals last Wednesday in Washington D.C. Capitals defenseman Erik Gustafsson pushed DeBrusk from behind and the Boston Bruins winger fell awkwardly into the boards.
There was no indication that he would play Monday night but there he was in warmups and then lighting the lamp 21 ticks in.
GOLD STAR: Jake DeBrusk wasn’t even supposed to play Monday night but there he was skating in from the right wing and sniping one past Bobrovsky to put the Boston Bruins up 1-0 21 seconds into the game. DeBrusk missed the Bruins’ 6-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes thanks to an upper-body injury suffered early in the third period of the Bruins’ season-opening 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals last Wednesday. Not a bad 26th birthday for the Bruins winger!
He is literally older now too. DeBrusk turned 26 on Monday. He is of an age where his maturity may be in better alignment with his employer’s expectations. DeBrusk is doing everything Cassidy forcefully reminded him to fulfill, from skating furiously to competing on pucks. When he executes those tasks consistently, few opponents can handle his foot speed, skill and hockey sense.
“I was shocked at how smart a player he is and his ability to make plays,” Montgomery said of learning DeBrusk’s game. “I knew he could score goals. I knew he could skate. I didn’t know he could make as many plays as he does. I think his all-around game is continuing to develop. He was hard on pucks. He was hard on coming back to our end. His penalty kill, he’s one of our best penalty killers.”
QUOTE TO NOTE: “The miracle cream worked and thank God! He was really good tonight.” – Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery on Debrusk’s surprise return to the lineup Monday.
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