Tyler Seguin may be a rookie, but he sounded like a veteran in his postgame interview after leading the Bruins to a 6-5 victory over the Lightning in Game 2 of their NHL Eastern Conference finals playoff series.
Seguin had two goals and two assists on the night — all in the second period. It ties an NHL record for points in a period. But Seguin heaped praise on the team.
“That was a good one, we had a decent start, still not what we really wanted, but we got out of the period, then second period we played Bruins hockey and got that huge period, and finished the period off here in the third, so it was nice,” Seguin said.
The Bruins tied the series 1-1. It was only Seguin’s second playoff game, but he has scored in both.
“I had to get my feet wet there in the first period of game one. The first couple of shifts, I was a little nervous and excited, but I felt more poised and confident as game went on,” he said. “Tonight I felt great.”
Seguin was the No. 2 pick in last summer’s draft, but didn’t see much ice time toward the end of the regular season and first two rounds of the playoffs. But with a concussion sidelining Patrice Bergeron, Seguin got the call.
“Coming into the game, I still wanted to stay excited, but I felt a lot more focused and we had a great team effort tonight. We made them earn most of their goals. They got a couple lucky bounces, but we bounced back and that’s what we’d done in the other series, against Montreal, now we’ve got to stay consistent and go to Tampa one-all.”
Seguin was asked why hadn’t he played like this earlier in the season and he chalked it up to a steep learning curve.
“It’s been a whole learning curve all year,” Seguin said. “As the year went on, I’ve felt more confident and more poised. In big games, I always want to step up. Tonight, I had some lucky bounces, but I was trying to take advantage of all the opportunities and they were going in tonight.”
Fans will recall Seguin’s first goal vividly. Dashing down the ice, he went one-on-one with Dwayne Roloson faking the goalie out of his dignity for a top-shelf backhander. His second goal was just as nice. He received a pass from Nathan Horton for what looked like a bit of give-and-go but held onto the puck, racing ahead for the forehand. When he followed up with two assists, the fans at TD Garden started chanting his name.
“Obviously it’s a great compliment whenever you have great fan support, so I definitely appreciate that,” Seguin said.
Part of the reason fans were chanting his name because of his backhand blind pass — a thing of beauty — to Chris Kelly that led to Michael Ryder’s second goal.
“I don’t know if I’d call it ‘blind,’ but when I went in the corner, I took a quick look and saw Kells [Chris Kelly] there and I knew there were guys pressuring on me,” he said. “I kind of see [David] Krejci do it all the time and I just tried to put it through the guy’s legs. I don’t know exactly where it went, but I tried to hit in front and Kells got the puck on net and Ryder went to the net, which is something he’s doing really well right now.”
With Seguin’s continued strong play and tonight’s effort, it could make for some discussion on line changes for the Bruins through the rest of the series. But more so, it’s an argument for Seguin to be a full-time player now.
“I’m not thinking too much into that,” Seguin said. “I know if [an] injury came, it’s tough losing one of your best players, Bergy [Patrice Bergeron]. I wanted to take advantage of my ice time, whatever it may be and stay consistent with that.
“Tonight, I thought I had another strong game and if the opportunity comes next game, I’ll try to extend it.”