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NHL - US Sports: Bruins sizing up well for playoffs

After scoring the overtime winner in a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, forward Charlie Coyle said the Boston Bruins are sizing up well against their Stanley Cup Playoff rivals.

The Bruins, 15/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, finished the season series 3-0-1 against the two-time defending champions, Tampa Bay.

Confidence building

It's a record Coyle believes the Bruins should take confidence from against a team who have eliminated Boston from the playoffs in two of the past four seasons.

Centreman Coyle has scored 41 points(16 goals, 25 assists) in 71 regular season games this season, helping the Bruin to third place in the Atlantic Division (45-21-5), one point ahead of the Lightning in fourth.

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The 30-year-old is in a fourth season with Boston and 11th in the NHL. In 692 regular season games he has 342 points (131 goals, 211 assists) with the Bruins and Minnesota Wild previously.

In the playoffs, Coyle has collected 39 points (21 goals, 18 assists) in 92 appearances. In 2018/19, he had 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 24 games, helping Boston to the Stanley Cup Final where they were beaten in seven games by the St. Louis Blues.

Post-season looming

Coyle said to the media: "Playoffs is a different animal. When you play well and you know what you're capable of against a certain team, that can help.

"It's nice to size up against those top teams and see how you fare against them. When you get a good result against a good team and you're trying to solidify a good spot, that's a big game."

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