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Matt Bartkowski on M&M: ‘It’s a great opportunity’

05.17.13 at 1:59 pm ET
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Mat Bartkowski

Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski, during an appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Friday, talked about jumping into the Bruins lineup and contributing to the team’s postseason success.

Bartkowski, 24, was called up from AHL Providence last week following injuries on the Boston blue line and has appeared in three playoff games since.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Bartkowski said. “It’s what you dream of as a player, being able to step in in the playoffs and hopefully perform and then help the team win. It’s what you want to show everybody in the hockey world and the organization that you can do. It’s just a great opportunity for me.”

Bartkowski played almost 27 minutes in Thursday night’s Game 1 win over the Rangers, as he and fellow call-up Torey Krug were forced into a regular role due to injuries to Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden.

“Before the game the coaches talked to us and said we’re going to be playing a lot of minutes,” he said. “I knew I’d be playing with Johnny [Boychuk] against the [Ryan] Callahan line. So I figured I’d be playing quite a bit.”

In Game 7 against the Maple Leafs on Monday night, Bartkowski opened the scoring with a first-period goal. He said that helped him mentally, although he never felt out of place.

“I felt pretty in control. The more I played, the more comfortable I got,” he said. “Being able to score that goal pretty early kind of settled me down. It just gave me an opportunity to play my game.”

Bartkowski grew up outside Pittsburgh as a fan of the Penguins when Jaromir Jagr was in his prime in the 1990s. Now the two are teammates in Boston.

“I remember growing up watching him play,” Bartkowski said. “Then, I don’t know what year it was [2001], but him going away from the Pens and it was like this heartbreak for the city. I just every year remember watching him do something different every game. It was pretty amazing. And now being able to play with him, it’s pretty cool.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

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