Matthew Poitras finally lit the lamp.
Not only did the 19-year-old Bruins rookie center score his first career NHL goal during Sunday’s 3-1 win over the Ducks — he also recorded the first multi-goal game of his promising young career by potting another puck past Anaheim’s John Gibson just 3:49 after his first goal.
Poitras’ breakthrough performance came at a perfect time for the Bruins, who were trailing 1-0 midway through the third period at Honda Center in what was a sluggish showing from Jim Montgomery’s club.
Just 1:24 after Anaheim opened the scoring with a goal from Mason McTavish, Poitras found twine off of a rush sequence with his linemate, Morgan Geekie.
After breaking into the offensive zone, Geekie dished a backhand feed to the trailing Poitras, who tapped it home from the low slot for the equalizer.
“Geeks made that play twice,” Poitras said postgame during his interview with NESN’s Adam Pellerin. “The first time, I just missed it far right and I thought if he gave me another one, I’m gonna put it in the back of the net. So kind of put my stick in there and I got a lucky bounce off the goalie’s arm, I think, and it went in.”
The young pivot was far from finished.
On just his second shift after tying things up, Poitras gave his team the lead — knocking home a rebound off an initial shot from Jake DeBrusk.
Poitras finished with 15:06 of ice time in the win, with the poised playmaker nearly adding another point off of a slick feed to Kevin Shattenkirk in the second period.
“I think for me, it’s just building confidence and knowing I’m the type of player who wants to hold on to pucks and make plays,” Poitras said. “I think part of my game is just being able to protect the puck well and when the team’s kind of playing man-on-man, I like to do some cut backs and try to make some plays. I’m a playmaker. Just building confidence every game.”
Once viewed as a longshot to make the NHL roster given both his age and lack of experience, Poitras beat the odds and carved out a spot in the NHL ranks after posting five points in five preseason outings.
Even though Poitras broke camp with the Bruins, Boston still had nine games to decide whether or not to keep him up with the NHL ranks (and burn the first year of his entry-level contract) or send him back to the OHL’s Guelph Storm.
With Poitras now up to three points (two goals, one assists) and showcasing some impressive chemistry with Geekie, it doesn’t look like the 2022 second-round pick has to fret about packing his bags for another trek up north any time soon.
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