He only logged 10:12 of ice time in the Bruins’ Game 4 victory over the Blue Jackets, but David Backes made the most of his return to playoff action after watching the previous five postseason matchups from press level.
His minutes limited due in large part to Boston’s preference of leaving him off its second power-play unit and penalty kill, Backes still left his mark on the B’s 4-1 victory over Columbus at Nationwide Arena.
Along with drawing a pair of penalties — one off of a troubling elbow to the face from Dean Kukan — Backes set a physical tone by delivering five hits, while fighting for positioning down low in front of Sergei Bobrovsky.
While the veteran power forward was unable to alter any shots sailing towards Columbus’ net or pot any rebounds at the crease, Backes’ netfront presence did pay dividends in the third period, as he was able to recover a puck along the end boards and extend some O-zone time for Boston, leading to a goal for Sean Kuraly just seconds later.
Just as he did in Game 2 against the Maple Leafs, in which he was tasked with slowing down a speedy Toronto roster by way of brute force, Backes provided the spark the Bruins were looking for in what has been another grind-it-out slog of a series against the Jackets.
However, the question still remains with Backes: Can the 35-year-old skater keep it going?