Boston Bruins

Marcus Johansson of the Boston Bruins scores a goal during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 09, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Marcus Johansson of the Boston Bruins scores a goal during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 09, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

If Marcus Johansson continues to make plays like he did in Game 1 against the Hurricanes, then the Bruins will need a big-game nickname for him. JoJo The Clutch Ice Hockey Man doesn’t have much of a ring. Workshopping here.

But in all seriousness, Johansson continues to raise Don Sweeney’s estimated IQ with his elevated play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, reaching new heights in a clutch Game 1 performance. He bookended his night with a pair of dynamic, tenacious plays that showcased the combination of skill and aggression he brings when he’s dialed in.

Think he was dialed in on his first shift of the night? Johansson singlehandedly made Steven Kampfer’s first period goal happen, starting with some deft stick work. First Johansson pickpocketed Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk right after the faceoff went to the point, winning the footrace and leading the rush back toward the Carolina goal. Then he showed impressive patience and body control to protect the puck as his teammates flooded the zone. And for the coup de grace, Johansson backhanded a laser into the high slot to a streaking Kampfer, who finished the play to reward Johansson’s incredible individual effort.

“It kind of happened pretty quickly,” Johansson said of the play on Faulk that sparked the goal. “And I don’t think he thought I was going to come out that quick and kind of caught him off guard a little bit.”

The first goal showed considerable skill. The second, which Johansson potted himself to tie the game early in the third period, was more of a lunchpail effort. But you need to stock up on lunchpails to make it through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. So credit is beyond due to Johansson for parking his frame in front of the net and banging home a rebound on the power play. He did it with one leg in the air and his stick blade parallel to his right skate. Just an absurd goal-scoring posture.

“Those greasy ones feel pretty good sometimes,” Johansson said on his game-tying goal.

Johansson is now up to seven points in his last eight playoff games for the Bruins. He’s not-so-quietly delivering the secondary scoring the Bruins severely lacked last season, which prevented them from getting to this stage. As long as their third-line left wing is making championship plays like he did on Thursday night, they’ll put themselves in a good position to make it to the next round. Johansson may be just one guy, but he’s an example of how many different guys have come through for this team on this run.

“Yeah, I felt good. I think this time of year, as long as the team is winning, I think anyone would feel good,” Johansson said. “Couldn’t care less about who scores and who does what, as long as we get it done together, that’s the main thing and I think that’s one of the strengths of this team – that we have 20 guys that can do it and I think we’ve showed that more than once.”

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.