No matter how deep Brian Boyle has gone into the post-season previously, he has never been able to score more than three goals in a single playoff run.
When he played 11 games with the New York Rangers in 2012-13, he scored three goals. The following year he suited up for 25 games with the Blueshirts, and still he was capped at three goals. Even in the AHL, when he played 16 Calder Cup playoff games for the Manchester Monarchs, Boyle found the net three goals and not a single time more. But if he’s going to be stuck at three goals once this post-season run with the Tampa Bay Lightning ends, at least he can say he scored goal No. 3 in style.
Boyle scored his third goal of the playoffs, and second in three games, in Game 5 of the second-round series against the New York Islanders. Boyle’s goal came late in the second period with the Lightning already ahead 1-0. After the puck moved below the goal line, Boyle passed the puck to himself behind his own back, grabbed his pass, spun and placed a shot perfectly over the shoulder of Islanders netminder Thomas Greiss. Check it out:
Boyle has 93 career goals between the regular season and playoffs, and he’s definitely scored some nice ones throughout his time in the NHL, but his Game 5 marker has to be among the best. At 6-foot-7 and nearly 250 pounds, slick hands like that aren’t necessarily expected from Boyle, but he did well to maneuver the puck out front in one quick motion before burying it. Boyle’s goal would stand as the insurance marker in the Lightning’s 4-0 victory, a win which sent Tampa Bay to the Eastern Conference final for the second-consecutive season.
Boyle will have a shot at turning this recent hot streak into the ever-elusive fourth post-season goal as soon as the third round starts, but he may have to wait a while to get back to game action. The Lightning will be waiting for the winner of the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, and Game 6 won’t be played until Tuesday. And if the Capitals can push it to seventh game, that series might not wrap up until Thursday.