Weeks after his career appeared to be at a crossroads, David Backes relishes the ‘elation’ that came with a return to TD Garden ice

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

David Backes would probably be the first to tell you that he’s scored bigger goals in his 14-year NHL career.

Through 937 games played, the 35-year-old forward has lit the lamp 245 times, chipping in with another 17 tallies over the span of 82 matchups in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A two-time Olympian, he's scored four times over 12 bouts in the international competition, ranking second on the 2014 U.S. team in goals scored (three) during the Sochi Games.

Sunday’s power-play tally against the Montreal Canadiens involved far fewer stakes — although, granted it still proved to be the game-winner in an eventual 3-1 victory, marking Boston's seventh win in a row. 

But given the timing in what has been an awfully eventful month for the Bruins winger, Backes' quick shot past Carey Price brought a calming release for a skater in desperate need of a break. 

"You could see it on my face," Backes said of his emotions following the goal. "That was elation."

Sunday stood as the first time that Backes has taken to the ice at TD Garden after missing the previous 13 contests with his club. An extended layoff, no doubt. But one that could have been much longer, if not permanent, had certain factors gone in opposition directions.