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Coyle's Banner Night Lifts B's in OT

Hometown hero notches tying goal, winner in Boston's 3-2 Game 1 win over Columbus

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

BOSTON - Charlie Coyle wanted nothing more than to redeem himself.

With the Bruins up by one midway through the third period, Coyle coughed up a puck high in Boston's end, allowing Columbus to strike for the tying goal. The Blue Jackets seized on that momentum, potting yet another tally just 13 seconds later to grab the lead.

Suddenly, the Bruins were in trouble.

But Coyle was determined to help Boston bounce back. And that's what he did.

The 27-year-old tied the game with 4:35 remaining in regulation, before capping things off with the overtime winner to propel the Bruins to a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Second Round on Thursday night at TD Garden.

"I had a costly turnover in the third period, you can't have that during the game," said Coyle. "I'm glad our line kept playing and kept going out there to redeem ourselves…I was just relieved we got the win. I didn't care who scored, to be honest."

Video: CBJ@BOS, Gm1: Coyle ties game in 3rd, wins it in OT

Coyle became just the second player in Bruins postseason history to score both the tying goal in the last five minutes of regulation and the overtime winner, joining teammate Patrice Bergeron, who accomplished the feat during Game 7 of the Bruins' memorable first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2013.

"Clearly, he wanted to atone, and he did," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "Secondary scoring, something we need. We lacked it at times this year. We seemed to have found it now, and it's really helped us. The timing of it has been terrific, and he was a big part of that tonight. So, very happy for him. He's a hard-working guy…glad he got rewarded."

The Weymouth native, acquired from the Minnesota Wild just ahead of February's trade deadline, has been a force thus far in the postseason with a team-leading five goals through eight games, after notching just two in 21 regular-season contests following the deal.

"He's a really important forward for us. Such a great pickup at the deadline," said Torey Krug, who assisted on the tying marker. "And if we're going to go far, he's going to be a key guy for us. Obviously, exciting for him being a hometown guy to lift the Bruins to an overtime playoff victory. Exciting stuff. We're glad to have him."

Coyle, of course, was not the only key forward piece acquired at the deadline. Marcus Johansson, who came over from the Devils, has teamed up with Coyle on Boston's third line during the postseason and formed what is some ever-growing chemistry.

On both of Coyle's goals, it was Johansson who delivered the - absolutely silky - primary assists.

"I feel like we've played well together pretty much the whole time," said Johansson, who now has three points (goal, two assists) over his last two games. "I think we both like to play with a lot of speed. We like to move the puck and I think so far what's been part of the success is that we haven't really made it too hard on ourselves.

"We're not forcing things. That's how we got goals tonight…keeping it simple and moving our feet, taking advantage of the chances when we get them."

Video: Johansson notches two primary assists in big win

The tying goal came with just under five minutes to play and began with Krug finding Johansson in the neutral zone. Johansson cruised down the right wing boards, before delivering a gorgeous backhand feed through four Columbus defenders to Coyle at the left circle.

Coyle immediately let it rip, firing the puck by Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky so fiercely that it appeared initially to bank off the post.

"That's his vision, right? His hockey IQ," said Cassidy. "It's what's made him a good player over the years, right? He's got pace to his game. He can separate, real good first stride…that's just a God-given ability to see the ice and have the timing to know where the guy's going to…like a quarterback throwing to a receiver in motion, right?"

Johansson came up with another pinpoint delivery on the winner at 5:15 of the extra session, initially flipping the puck out toward the neutral zone where Danton Heinen corralled it with his glove, while just barely keeping himself onside.

Heinen then dished a backhander over to Johansson just inside the Columbus blue line. With Coyle busting to the right post, Johansson threaded a pass through traffic to Coyle, who tapped it home for the winner.

"I just saw Heinen take off and flip one up and knew it would get to him and I think it was a great play by him staying onside," said Johansson. "Once that happened, I felt like everything opened up. And before I got the puck, I already saw Charlie going back door so it was just kind of a quick play. One of those you don't really think, you just do it, and that was fun to see it go in."

For Coyle, it was a moment and scenario that he has dreamed of since his days playing ball hockey on the streets of Weymouth: the hometown boy scoring an overtime winner in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the roar of the Garden crowd raining down.

"I think we've all done that at one point or another when we were younger," said Coyle. "We use to live on a cul-de-sac, so with my friends, or even just by myself…you always think about that stuff and play scenarios in your head, what it would be like when you're older…pretty cool to be living it."

Video: Coyle scores tying and winning goal in Game 1

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