Marquette’s Justin Florek makes NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs debut with Boston Bruins

MARQUETTE – Justin Florek became the first Marquette native to ever appear in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday night, suiting up for the Boston Bruins against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference first-round best-of-seven series at TD Garden in Boston. The Red Wings won 1-0.

Florek, who played for Northern Michigan University and in the Marquette Junior Hockey Corp., logged 13 minutes and eight seconds of ice time, and was credited with a shot on goal in the first period.

Florek nearly gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead late in the third period with a turnaround shot that just missed the Red Wings’ net.

Florek has now appeared in five NHL games with the Bruins this season after scoring 19 goals and 19 assists in Providence of the AHL.

The former Wildcats captain became the first Marquette native to play an NHL game on Jan. 4 against Winnipeg, he registered his first NHL assist on Jan. 7 at Anaheim and scored his first NHL goal on Jan. 9 at Los Angeles. His most recent call up prior to this week came for the Bruins’ regular-season finale on Sunday at New Jersey.

Florek practiced with the Bruins all week and got to play Friday because third- and fourth-line forwards Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly are injured. Florek skated on the Bruins’ third line Friday night.

Game 2 of the series is at 3 p.m. on Sunday in Boston.