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Charlie McAvoy channels Bobby Orr on game-winning overtime goal in Edmonton

BOSTON -- Any time a Bruins defenseman scores an overtime goal while getting tripped up in front of the net, our minds will of course immediately jump to the iconic Bobby Orr. It's not something that happens often, but it happened on Wednesday night in Edmonton.

No, they won't be molding any statues outside TD Garden for the goal scored by Charlie McAvoy to defeat the Oilers and end a wild back-and-forth game in Alberta. But the goal scored by the 26-year-old sure was special.

Three minutes into the 3-on-3 overtime, the trio of McAvoy, Pavel Zacha and Jake DeBrusk cycled the puck in the offensive zone. A pass from Zacha to DeBrusk bounced over the winger's stick blade, but the puck ended up on McAvoy's stick in the left circle instead. Seeing a lane to the net, McAvoy quickly curled back to the slot, toe-dragged around Evander Kane (who had dropped to the ice to block a potential high-danger shot), maintained possession through goaltender Stuart Skinner's poke-check attempt, and scored on the backhand while getting sent into the air on that same poke check by the goalie.

It was pretty nuts. And considering McAvoy was tripped before scoring his goal, the degree of difficulty on finishing the job was quite high.

 As for McAvoy's thought process during that rapid sequence? Well, your guess is as good as his.

"I don't even know," McAvoy said, per The Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont. "I just ended up in the slot, wanted to shoot, and it happened really fast. I still don't know what happened."

Charlie McAvoy
Charlie McAvoy Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images
Charlie McAvoy
Charlie McAvoy Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

The goal marked the seventh time McAvoy has scored in overtime during his career. He already set the franchise record for most OT goals by a defenseman earlier this year, when he passed Ray Bourque (5). A major factor in McAvoy owning that record is the fact that the 3-on-3 format has been in play for the entirety of his young career. But the skills on display in Wednesday night's winner shows that McAvoy has quite a bit to do with the record himself.

Bringing it back to Orr, the all-time great never got much opportunity to score in overtime, as the NHL didn't have overtime in the regular season during his career. Overtime was reserved for the playoffs, and it was in overtime of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final that Orr was sent flying after securing the Cup for Boston. (Orr is one of seven Bruins defensemen to score an OT goal in the playoffs; McAvoy has yet to score one himself.)

Wednesday's goal came in a slightly lower-stakes affair. But as far as game-winning goals to cap a crazy 6-5 regular-season game in late February? They don't get much better than that one.

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