Bruins Weekly: Nosek, Orlov, Lauko Foligno & More

Minus their top two centers last week in Games 3 and 4 in Sunrise, Florida, the Boston Bruins were able to get the job done, win two games, and take a 3-1 lead in their first-round best-of-seven-series against the Florida Panthers. After two less-than-stellar performances at the TD Garden in Games 1 and 2, the Bruins got back to their style of play on the road in an arena where they lost both regular season games.

Boston Bruins Weekly Patrice Bergeron Brad Marchand

In this edition of Bruins Weekly, the Bruins’ center depth gets the job done on the road, the Bruins went back to their style on the road and were rewarded, and more.

Tomas Nosek Has a Strong Weekend in Florida

When the Bruins charted to Florida following their 6-3 loss in Game 2 on April 19, aside from Patrice Bergeron not traveling being available, there were questions surrounding whether or not their fourth-line center, Tomas Nosek was going to be available. At the end of Game 2, he delivered a high hit on Eric Staal in the corner of the Bruins’ defensive zone, which upset the Panthers. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety did not get involved and Nosek was good to play and Boston needed him.

Tomas Nosek Boston Bruins
Tomas Nosek, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

David Krejci took warmups ahead of Game 3 but was a late scratch in favor of Nick Foligno because of an upper-body injury. That put more pressure on the centers and Charlie Coyle responded by filling in on the top line and Foligno scored a third-period goal in the 4-2 victory, but Nosek continued his strong regular season at the faceoff dot. Along with key penalty-killing shifts, he went 14-for-18 on faceoffs in Game 4 and was out in several key situations in both games as an extra center on defensive zone faceoffs. 

Pavel Zacha centered the second line behind Coyle and Foligno centered the third line in both games on the road. Without Bergeron and Krejci, the Black and Gold got the job done up the middle and it feels like Florida missed on an opportunity to take control of the series without Boston’s top two centers in the lineup in both games at home.

Dmitry Orlov & Defense Activated Into the Offense in Games 3 & 4

In Games 1 and 2, the Bruins’ defense was not as active in the offense and did not join the rush and make plays out of their end. That all changed in Games 3 and 4.

Related: Bruins’ 3 Up, 3 Down: Hall, DeBrusk, Coyle, Krejci & More

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Dmitry Orlov had two stretch passes in Game 3 that led to goals for Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak, then in Game 4, he made a stick-to-stick cross-ice pass to Jake DeBrusk early in the second period for a power play goal. Brandon Carlo, Hampus Lindholm, Matt Grzelcyk, and Charlie McAvoy were much more active in the offensive zone pinching to keep the puck in. Carlo collected a loose puck along the wall in Game 4 in the third period and flipped a shot toward the net that Tyler Bertuzzi tipped for a goal.

Orlov’s addition on defense has not gone unnoticed since joining the Bruins in the February trade with the Washington Capitals by some of his teammates and the plays he makes on a nightly basis.

“The guy is special,” said Foligno. “The things he does, the way he plays, we’re very fortunate to have a guy like him – it’s like 1A, 1B, 1C. He’s been an exceptional player and teammates too…what a great guy.”

Jakub Lauko Makes Presence Felt in Games 3 & 4

There were some lineup changes by coach Jim Montgomery following Game 2 with Grzelcyk entering the lineup in favor of Connor Clifton, but also, Jakub Lauko was inserted in the place of A.J. Greer. He was impressive in the regular season when the Bruins’ first-year coach gave him a shot and he played well in the time he was given in Sunrise.

Jakub Lauko Boston Bruins
Jakub Lauko, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In Game 3, he played just 6:22, but he certainly made his presence felt. He finished with five hits in that short amount of time. In Game 4, he logged just 17 extra seconds of ice time than he did in the previous game with a hit, but it was his work on the forecheck and in the neutral zone that frustrated the Panthers. He sealed the win by setting up Hall for an empty-net goal in the final seconds of the 6-2 Boston victory

Bruins Week Ahead

  • Wednesday: vs. Florida Panthers, 7 p.m. (Game 5)
  • *Friday: at Florida Panthers, TBA (Game 6)
  • *Sunday: vs. Florida Panthers, TBA (Game 7)

* If necessary

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