Boston Bruins: 3 stars of first-round series against the Capitals

May 19, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand (63) celebrates his game tying goal against the Washington Capitals with defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) and center Patrice Bergeron (37) during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
May 19, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand (63) celebrates his game tying goal against the Washington Capitals with defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) and center Patrice Bergeron (37) during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 17, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) and Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20) face off during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) and Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20) face off during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Bruins 3 Stars of First Round
Honorable Mentions: Bergeron, Pastrnak, Hall, and Clifton

Patrice Bergeron – Center

Patrice Bergeron was vital to the success of Boston in this series. He recorded three goals and an assist in the series, including two goals in Game 5 (the first turning to be the game-winning goal). His one assist was very important to the series, as it was the primary assist on Marchand’s game-tying goal in Game 3.

To go along with his strong offensive performance, Bergeron was outstanding defensively. He won over 58% of his face-offs, blocked six shots, and put up a four to one takeaway to giveaway ratio.

David Pastrnak – Right Wing

David Pastrnak has been struggling to bury pucks in the net for the last couple of months or so, but he finally seemed to snap out of his funk towards the end of this series.

While he didn’t score a goal until Game 4, he was still finding ways to contribute as he registered at an assist in each of the first two games of the series — the first being the primary assist on Nick Ritchie’s powerplay goal to tie Game 1.

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Pasta would go pointless in Game 3, but you could tell he was turning a corner. He finally broke out in Game 4 and continued his hot streak, scoring a goal in each of Game 4 and Game 5 and also registering an assist in each game.

His powerplay goal in Game 4 would end up being the game winner and his goal in Game 5 opened the scoring for the game.

Taylor Hall – Left Wing

Might I remind you that Taylor Hall is a Boston Bruin? Because if you didn’t know before, you definitely should know after this series.

Although Hall only recored two goals and an assist during the series, all three points came at very important times. His first goal was the game-tier of Game 2 and helped the B’s get to overtime where they ultimately won, and his second goal tied Game 3 and was just nasty. His assist came on Matt Grzelcyk’s powerplay goal in Game 4 that put Boston back up by three goals.

Connor Clifton – Defenseman

Although Connor Clifton didn’t record a point during the series he was extremely important to Boston in the first round.

Clifton wasn’t in the lineup to start the series, as Jeremy Lauzon started next to Kevan Miller. However, Lauzon was injured in Game 1 and missed the rest of the series. Clifton stepped in for Lauzon and played his weak side — like he has done several times before during the regular season.

Then, when Kevan Miller went down due to a high and late hit from Caps’ defenseman Dmitry Orlov, Clifton switched over to his strong side and played next to Jarred Tinordi.

Overall, whether it was weak side or strong side, or next to Miller or Tinordi, Clifton played extremely well this series. He finished Round 1 as a +3, six blocks, nine hits, three takeaways, and NO giveaways.

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Once again, hockey is a team sport and winning games, and especially series, is a full team effort and cannot be one on individual effort. The Bruins played great as a team, but there were still some individuals that stood out more than others.