2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Sean Kuraly’s speed a key against Lightning’s top line

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(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

TAMPA – Danton Heinen knows better than trying to keep up with Sean Kuraly. Skating sprints with him? Forget it.

“He’s a horse,” Heinen said. “He’s just an animal.”

Kuraly skates with an intensity that’s tough for anyone to match. He has one of the most gifted strides on the Bruins bench. Combine that with his ability to close in quickly around the net, and Kuraly has emerged as one of the team’s top options when it comes to an ability to stymie an opposing team’s best line.

That’s part of the reason Bruce Cassidy chose to bump Kuraly from the fourth to third line during Game 1 against the Lightning, and it’s likely he’ll be used again to help counter Tampa Bay’s trio of J.T. Miller, Steven Stamkos, and Nikita Kucherov down the road in this series.