One minute, Colby Cave was practicing with his Providence Bruins teammates. The next minute, he was preparing for the moment he’d been dreaming about his entire life.

Thanks to a bug that that felled Riley Nash and Ryan Spooner, the Boston Bruins needed another center Thursday night – and the 22-year-old Cave got the call.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t (nervous), but not having nerves means you don’t care. So obviously getting the win puts the cherry on top of things. It’s a dream come true getting the first one out of the way, and hopefully I can keep sticking around here,” Cave said after making his NHL debut in the Bruins’ 2-1 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets.

His exuberance showed early when he was called for interference in the first period.

“I got a little anxious there and took a penalty on my first or second shift, but I’ve got a good group of guys and they killed it off for me. But it felt good with a couple touches of the puck, and whoever you play with on this team, you’re going to have success,” said Cave.

While Cave was sitting in the box, Winnipeg sniper Patrik Laine hit the post. What was going through Cave’s mind in a moment like that?

“My heart sinks in my gut,” Cave said with a smile. “It’s your first game, and you don’t want to let anyone down. You know it when you hear that post ring, but you’re also thankful when you see it roll into the corner. Tuukka (Rask) bailed me out a couple times, making a couple of big saves, and the guys on the penalty kill were huge tonight.”

Cave played 11 minutes and 15 seconds, blocked a shot and went 3 for 5 in the faceoff circle.

“I thought his game was fine,” said Coach Bruce Cassidy. “I know him from Providence. He’s a good 200-foot player. Where he hasn’t been up before, you wonder, would his pace be good enough, would he be strong enough on the puck? And I thought he did well for himself in those areas.

“He did what we asked him to do, and I was happy for him. For me, I thought he did his job and helped us get the two points.”

THE BRUINS have scored a power-play goal in six of their last nine games, but everything is still not A-OK.

The first unit – David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Torey Krug and Spooner – has not only struggled to find the rhythm it had last year, but is now consistently allowing short-handed scoring chances, including goals by Detroit and Washington.

Against the Jets, they had no bad giveaways on the power play, but they went 0 for 3.

“Give credit to the other team, and some of it is on us,” said Cassidy. “We have to accept what’s there and not force plays. And part of that is we’d like to run more plays on the power play. In the past, they’ve been successful. The onus is on the players and the staff, which is myself, to do the necessary adjustments.”