MONTREAL — Colby Cave enjoyed his best game as a Bruin in Monday’s win against the Canadiens. He scored his first NHL goal – the pivotal one in Boston’s 4-0 victory – and put up his first multipoint game in the big leagues.

Was the performance good enough to prevent it from being Cave’s swan song? You have to wonder. Patrice Bergeron is expected to return soon, maybe even as early as Thursday night against Anaheim, and a center will have to come out of the lineup. It would be hard to take Cave out after the night he had in Montreal, but it might make the most sense.

Whatever happens, Coach Bruce Cassidy was happy to see Cave finally break through.

“I’ve coached Colby in the minors before and seen him come up. He’s a terrific kid, team player all the way, will do whatever is asked of him,” Cassidy said. “He’s done a little more offensively in Providence this year and it’s translated here. He’s had a lot of good looks, not a ton but it’s usually once a game he gets a good look and this one gets in the back of the net.”

Cave has a goal and three assists in the 13 games he’s played in Boston, but he has seemed more comfortable in his current recall than he did in a couple of cameos last year or in training camp. He’s been centering an effective, if a tad nondescript line with David Backes and Joakim Nordstrom.

“I’ve been trying,” Cave said. “I’ve had my moments and learning curves you might say, but we’ve got a great coaching staff who’ll sit you down, watch video and you can learn from your mistakes. They also do a good job of showing you what you do well. You need to keep your confidence up and I thank them a lot for that.”

Before he scored Monday on a beautiful setup from Charlie McAvoy in a 4-on-4 situation, Cave had several glittering chances, including one in Pittsburgh last Friday, but couldn’t cash in.

“Oh it was definitely frustrating, but it’s one of those things. I’ve gone through it no matter where I’ve played – the scoring slumps, hitting posts. But if you’re getting chances, it means you must be doing something right, so I’m just trying to do the same thing,” Cave said.

It will be interesting to see what Cassidy does when Bergeron is ready to come back. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson is starting to develop chemistry with Ryan Donato and Danton Heinen. The trio did get hemmed in their zone in the second period when the game still was in question, but otherwise was solid. Especially JFK, who came up with three blocked shots. Chances are, Cassidy would want to continue to grow that line. Is there a spot on the fourth line, where Noel Acciari currently is centering Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner? That grouping also played a very good game.

Cave is trying not to worry about what he can’t control.

“I’m just trying to be consistent every night as much as I can, whether that’s winning faceoffs, being hard on the penalty kill and like (Monday night) if I can chip in offensively that’s what I want to do,” Cave said. “I’m just going to keep doing that and keep putting my best foot forward.”


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