In a playoff atmosphere that featured a heavy, physical brand of hockey, rookie defenseman Kevan Miller didn’t feel at all out of place in his NHL debut. The 26-year-old former University of Vermont standout finished with 17:42 of ice time and was a plus-1 for the Bruins in a 3-2 shootout loss to the solid St. Louis Blues at TD Garden.

Miller clearly had the confidence of the Boston coaching staff.

Sure, it was a little bit of a bummer because it was a losing effort, but Miller was satisfied with the way his first NHL experience went. It got off to a strange start given a weird pause at the beginning of the game so the Zamboni could fix the ice in the corner, but after that it was all good.

He threw his body around in the defensive zone, discouraged attackers with his size and strength and showed a little more skating ability and ease with the puck than perhaps was expected out of him.

“Right away there was a pause in the beginning there, and it took me a little bit to get going,” said Miller, who had his parents, brother, uncle and girlfriend all in attendance to watch his debut. “But I felt pretty comfortable through all three periods.