Newly signed Bruin Donato to debut vs. CBJ

  • Newly signed Bruin Donato to debut vs. CBJ

Newly signed Bruin Donato to debut vs. CBJ

Left wing Ryan Donato, who starred for Team USA at last month's Pyeongchang Winter Games, has signed with the Boston Bruins and will play Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Scituate native, whose father coached him at Harvard through the Crimson's season finale on Friday night, scored the first of three Bruins' goals in the second period, and fed David Krejci for the goal that ultimately forced overtime with 8:10 left in regulation.

Somehow, the Bruins are staying within striking distance of the East-leading Lightning without their top center (Bergeron), top defensive pair (Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy), and their trio of versatile forwards (Nash, Backes and Jake DeBrusk).

"I mean it was fun", Donato said.

"No I don't think it tipped the scales either way".

"Yeah obviously you're never really going to expect to play in your first National Hockey League game and have chances", Donato said about the number of scoring chances he compiled in his debut. The Bruins now trail teh Tampa Bay Lightning by two points for first place in the Atlantic Division, and have played one fewer game than the Lightning. There must be some jitters there and it might be easier to do that on the road. There's a lot of people to sort of impress, and it's a tough game. "It's a tough game and good for him to be able to do it right here in his own backyard".

Donato had been set to skate on the third line for the Bruins, but an upper body injury to veteran Rick Nash meant that the debutant was bumped to the second line alongside David Krejci and Danton Heinen. It was the second time Donato represented his country on the worldwide stage, after posting three goals and one assists in seven games as Team USA earned a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships in 2015-16. (The pass was off the mark.) He was minus-1, though, after a puck deflected off Boone Jenner and past Tuukka Rask (20 saves) just 4:15 into the game. He signed a two-year entry-level contract on Sunday.

After tallying 26 goals over just 29 games this season with Harvard, Donato was at it again at 5:41 in the second period - taking a feed from Torey Krug and firing in a laser past Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo to knot the game up at 1-1.

Donato's first day ended with a three-point night (a goal and two assists) to go along with six shots on goal during his 19:40 of ice time. Hopefully, the next time we're in overtime, a call goes our way.