Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 30: Hampus Lindholm #27 of the Boston Bruins shields the puck from John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period of Game Five of the First Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

David Pastrnak got the headlines, but Hampus Lindholm was the real hero of Game 7 for the Bruins on Saturday night.

And based on the last few seasons, he may be one of the biggest keys if the Bruins are to advance any further in this postseason.

An oversimplification? Perhaps, but the numbers are what they are since Lindholm joined the Bruins during the 2021-22 season. The Bruins were facing a third consecutive first-round exit (to Carolina, Florida and then Toronto) before rallying for Saturday’s 2-1 in overtime over the Maple Leafs. And as flashy as Pastrnak’s finish was against Toronto netminder Ilya Samsonov, the play was triggered by Lindholm’s brilliant pass off the corner boards once he saw Pastrnak propel himself on the right wing like a human windup toy.

“I’ve played with him for a long enough time to know that I can see when he swings like that, and I know [the Leafs] doing like three across there, so it’s try to get [the puck] behind them,” Lindholm explained to the media. “I got a good bounce there and obviously Pasta did his magic.”

But that hardly means Lindholm should be overlooked.

After all, the Bruins were only in overtime because Lindholm immediately tied the game at 1-1 after the Bruins fell behind 1-0 roughly halfway through the third period.

For Lindholm, the goal was his first career postseason strike for the Bruins in 18 career postseason games, which is only part of the story. Entering this postseason, Lindholm was 0-0-0 in 11 postseason games for the Bruins, a scoreless string that evaporated when he secured an assist in Game 1.

But there is also this: Entering the second-round series (and rematch) with Florida tonight, Lindholm (who is typically paired with Brandon Carlo) has been a team-best plus-6 in postseason play since joining the Bruins during the `21-22 season. No other player on the Boston roster has been better than plus-2.

A look at Lindholm’s game-, series- and potentially narrative-altering plays in Game 7 against the Leafs:

  • The goal

  • The assist

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.