Hamilton gets taste of playoff intensity

BOSTON -- Bruins rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton hadn’t played a game since April 23, when he was a minus-2 in a 5-2 loss to the Flyers. Hamilton spent the last three games pf the regular season and Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series against Toronto in the press box as a healthy scratch.

But with Andrew Ference serving a one-game suspension, Hamilton found himself back in the lineup and playing in his first career Stanley Cup playoff game. Unfortunately for him and the Bruins, they fell 4-2 to the Leafs and head to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 with the series tied at one.

Following the game, Hamilton acknowledged some rust and nervousness but was more concerned with the fact that his team lost.

“I think it was tough. The first period I was a little bit nervous,” said Hamilton, who finished the season with 16 points in 42 games. “Just haven’t played a game in a while, so I felt better after that. I thought I played well and it’s just unfortunate that we didn’t get the win.”

Hamilton now realizes just how different a brand of hockey the playoffs can be. As he pointed out, the intensity and physicality are on a whole new level.

“I think just with all the extra hitting and physical play, just with how much each game means,” Hamilton said. “Definitely more intense.”

With Ference back for Game 3, Hamilton likely will be returning to the press box, but coach Claude Julien sounded happy with Hamilton’s performance in Game 2.

“Dougie played a solid game and he did what he had to do,” Julien said.