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Senyshyn Scores in Debut As B's Beat Wild

Halak picks up shutout to pace Boston to 3-0 victory in road finale

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Decades from now when he tells the story of his first NHL goal, Zach Senyshyn might alter some of the details.

"Oh, top shelf," he kidded. "Dangled a couple guys."

But for the time being, he's perfectly fine with the real version of events.

Senyshyn put a bow on the Bruins' 3-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night by potting an empty netter with just over two minutes to play, capping a solid NHL debut for the 2015 first-round pick.

"It's a dream come true any way you put it [in]," said Senyshyn, who was the seventh Bruin to make his NHL debut this season. "You put the puck in the net in the National Hockey League, you're not gonna forget it…it feels incredible. I know it's not the way you envision it, but I take it any way I can get it."

Video: BOS@MIN: Senyshyn scores in first NHL game

The 22-year-old, recalled from Providence on an emergency basis on Wednesday afternoon, landed four shots on goal in 12:41 of ice time, while playing alongside Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson.

"That was a dream come true for sure. I felt really good. It's really easy to play with Coyle and Johansson," said Senyshyn. "To be honest, since I landed in Minnesota my hands have been sweating non-stop. But once the puck dropped it's just hockey, right? The nerves kind of fade away.

"I was lucky to have a great locker room, guys in here that were really supportive, guys that I've kind of grown up with and gone through the program with. It was a lot of fun once it got started."

Senyshyn's patented speed was on full display on his empty-netter, as he surged through the neutral zone after taking a feed from Johansson and pulled away from the Wild defenders to fire it into the open goal and make it 3-0 with 2:09 remaining.

"That's what separates him," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "Look at the last goal, he pulled right away…his first couple chances he beat guys to pucks. I thought he was as advertised."

Video: Halak makes 26 saves as Bruins shut out Wild, 3-0

Overall, Cassidy was pleased with the winger's debut, pointing to his willingness to attack with the puck and get in on the forecheck.

"When he won pucks he was willing to go to the net, make good plays with it, got his shut off in a hurry," said Cassidy. "I know he got an empty-net goal, but he had three or four good chances before that. As your first, you'd always like to tell the whole world you went through the whole team and went bar down, but this still works for him.

"First game, first NHL goal. We're happy for him, good kid…I'm happy for him, played hard, played well. He'll go back in Saturday and hopefully build on it."

Taking A Breather

The Bruins played without several members of their core, as Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, and Chris Wagner (lower-body) all sat out for rest. Nevertheless, Boston locked things down defensively and got 26 stops from Jaroslav Halak for the netminder's fifth shutout of the season.

"I think the whole game we played the right way," said Halak. "That's how we want to finish the season, playing the right way. Both teams were missing some key players from the lineup…it could go either way, but I'm just happy the guys that played, played great. They were making the right plays at the right time."

Video: BOS@MIN: Halak denies Foligno's point-blank try

All They Needed

Joakim Nordstrom got things started with his seventh goal of the season at 8:21 of the first for what proved to be the eventual winner. After Matt Grzelcyk's point shot ricocheted off the end boards, Noel Acciari poked the loose puck across the slot to Nordstrom.

"It's nice to see that one go in," said Nordstrom. "I think I had a whole net to shoot on, so it's a great play by Noely…I didn't really have to do anything on that one. A really heads-up play."

Video: BOS@MIN: Nordstrom buries feed from Acciari

David Pastrnak added some insurance late in the third when he notched his 38th of the season off a feed from Jake DeBrusk with 2:45 remaining.

"He's a really fast skater, it's easy for him to make plays," Pastrnak said of DeBrusk, who dangled around Wild forward Joel Eriksson Ek and threaded a backhand feed across the slot. "He can fly by the D, any D in the league. Try to give him the puck and keep feeding him."

Video: BOS@MIN: DeBrusk, Pastrnak combine for tally

Miller Banged Up

Kevan Miller left the game with a lower-body injury, but appears to have escaped any major damage, per Cassidy. Miller went down awkwardly and slammed into the boards after a battle with Wild forward Jordan Greenway early in the second period and limped off the ice without putting much pressure on his right leg.

The blue liner returned briefly later in the frame, but did not play in the third as a precaution. Cassidy said he is hopeful that Miller, who has played just 39 games this season due to various injuries, is back in the lineup for the regular-season finale on Saturday.

"He wanted to come back and try it, but if he's not 100 percent, now you're really susceptible to injury and he's missed too much time, not that important a game," said Cassidy. "I think we all came to the right choice, let's just let it calm down and get back in Saturday.

"That's the plan, which is great because it's not long term. You never know when you go into the boards like that, especially the luck he's had this year. He should be back in Saturday, assuming tomorrow he wakes up and there's not too much stiffness."

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