When a tweaking puck foils your plans and keeps you from shooting, and then a few seconds later you’re sending 17,565 people into a euphoric state, you know things are going your way.
Things certainly are going the way of Marcus Johansson and the Bruins, who tamed the Carolina Hurricanes, 6-2, at the Garden to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Connor Clifton’s second-period goal, assisted by Danton Heinen and Johansson, put the Bruins up 3-0 and illustrated how even when things break down, they end well for a hockey club playing like the Stanley Cup favorites they have become.
“(Clifton) did a great job getting the puck off the wall, and (it) kind of (took) a funny bounce to when I got the puck,” said Johansson, who was just behind the dot of the right cricle. “I think it hit (Heinen’s) stick and bounced. I was going to shoot it but couldn’t get the puck to settle down, and then I saw (Clifton) back door. I think we got a lucky break, but those are the ones you need sometimes.”
Lucky that the jumpy puck wouldn’t let Johansson fire a shot maybe, but nothing lucky about his latest perfect pass. Johansson also made a beautiful feed on Matt Grzelcyk’s first of two goals, the one that put the Bruins up 1-0. In the clincher against the Blue Jackets and the first two contests of this series, Johansson has two goals and three assists.
After being acquired from the New Jersey Devils, he was limited to 10 games because of an illness and injury. He had one goal and two assists over that time and was shaping up as a forgettable acquisition. Now look at him. In 13 playoff games, he has three goals and six assists.