OTTAWA â€” People of Boston may not have been too familiar with the name Sean Kuraly before. He’s now the toast of Beantown.
The 20-year old from Dublin, Ohio not only tied the game in the second period Friday but he won it in double overtime, giving the Bruins extended life in its playoff series with the Ottawa Senators with a 3-2 win.
The goals were the first and second of Kuraly’s young career. He was playing in his 10th NHL game and just his third in the playoffs.
“It feels good to keep the series going and do what we came here to do. It’s a good night,” said Kuraly, after he helped the Bruins stay alive in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final they now trail 3-2.
He scored from behind the net at 17:05 of the second to tie the game 2-2, banking a shot off Craig Anderson in the Ottawa goal.
Kuraly then got his stick on a rebound and pushed the puck past Anderson into the back of the net for the 3-2 win at 10:19 of the second overtime.
“You don’t really know how you’re going to feel until you get your first goal and it felt great. You work a long time for it and it felt great. It bounced on my stick tonight and I’m happy that it did,” said Kuraly.
David Pastrnak had started the comeback with a goal nine minute into the second period. The Senators got breakaway goals from Mark Stone in the first period and Jean-Gabriel Pageau 30 seconds into the second period to build their 2-0 lead.
Kuraly finished the game with 30 shifts and a touch more than 18 minutes of ice time. He also had six shots on goal but none bigger than the last one.
“He had some extra energy. You could tell as the game went on he was moving better and better, he was skating well and he was playing with confidence. He earned his big first goal and then the winner so good for him,” Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said of Kuraly’s night.
“It’s kind of the typical goal that most of the time you see in overtime. It’s a simple shot and rebound and we end up with the winner.”
The Bruins looked like they had won twice in the first overtime. Once the puck did go in the net but was ruled no goal because of goaltender interference. The call was upheld after a lengthy review.
Moments later the puck looked to be heading over the line but Pageau knocked the puck away while sitting in the net.
“We knew it wasn’t going to come easy and it hasn’t come easy for us. We knew we were going to have to stay with it,” Bruins forward David Backes said.
“This is a tight series and we expect the next game on Sunday. That’s our focus and we need to take care of that and get to Game 7.”
Game 6 of the series is at Boston’s TD Garden Sunday afternoon and should a Game 7 be required it’s back to Ottawa Wednesday night.
Darren Desaulniers, The Canadian Press