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It’s been a yo-yo season for the Bruins’ Jakub Lauko. Is his time in roster-bubble purgatory coming to an end?

Jakub Lauko has jumped between Providence and the varsity club all season.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

On March 2, Jakub Lauko made the most of his first game at TD Garden in nearly a month.

Inserted as a fourth-line spark plug, the 22-year-old winger rewarded Jim Montgomery’s lineup reshuffle by lighting the lamp twice in the Bruins’ 7-1 victory over the Sabres.

“I don’t think I’ve scored two goals in a game in Providence, so sure, it’s a special game,” Lauko said. “I just want to come in and show the coaching staff and the management that guys can rely on me if I get a chance to play in the remainder of the season.”

The affable forward did not touch the ice in the NHL for another two weeks.


That extended lull is not an indictment of Lauko, who has carried out his duties as a pesky checking forward whenever called upon this season.

Rather, it’s a testament to the depth across Boston’s lineup — presenting an uphill climb to any youngster looking to earn steady minutes.

But after Lauko might be sticking around on the fourth line for the time being.

Beginning with Thursday’s win at Winnipeg, when he replaced A.J. Greer on an ornery forward trio alongside Garnet Hathaway and Tomas Nosek and logged a team-low 6:29 of ice time at Canada Life Centre, Lauko has played in three straight.

The Czech forward has opted for quality over quantity whenever Montgomery ordered him over the boards, resulting in 12:50 of ice time in Sunday’s 7-0 win in Buffalo.

Against Winnipeg, Lauko didn’t factor into any goals against Connor Hellebuyck, but the speedy winger was a fly in the netminder’s ointment on multiple shifts.

Even with just 5:27 of five-on-five reps (also a team low), Lauko led all Bruins skaters in individual scoring chances with five, while tying David Pastrnak for the most individual shot attempts (six).


He also drew two penalties, even though Boston’s power play fired off blanks (0 for 3).

“They were a really determined group,” Montgomery said of the fourth line. “Unfortunately we took a lot of penalties, or else I would have liked them to play 12-14 minutes tonight. They had an impact and tilted the ice every time they were on it.”

Lauko is cut from the same cloth as many fourth-line grinders, with his propensity to muck things up down low. But his 0-to-60 acceleration allows him to make something out of nothing when a skittering puck is in his sights.

Lauko laid siege to Winnipeg’s net on a standout shift in the second period. In a span of just 20 seconds, Lauko landed three shots on goal, won two puck battles across the boards, and provided an effective screen on a Hampus Lindholm point blast.

Not only has the 2018 third-round pick been on the outside looking in at regular playing time, he also has been on an emergency-recall carousel.

On a near-daily basis, Lauko has been recalled from Providence and promptly sent back down to the AHL shortly after the Bruins have played a game.

Now, Lauko wasn’t getting put on a plane every day.

Rather, utilizing the emergency-recall measure was a way to keep Lauko available on the five-game road trip without utilizing one of the four regular call-ups the Bruins can use before the end of the regular season.


It’s more of a paper transaction, although even Lauko has poked fun at the hypothetical scenario where he’s racking up an absurd number of frequent-flyer miles.

But given what Lauko has showcased through his brief stints with the Bruins, his time as a fringe call-up should be a thing of the past.

At the very least, Lauko should be in direct competition with Greer for that regular spot next to Nosek and Hathaway.

Come the postseason, there’s no guarantee that Lauko or Greer will continue to earn regular minutes. Even lineup regulars like Hathaway or Trent Frederic might have to look over their shoulder, at least if both Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno are cleared to return from injury.

But over the final 13 regular-season games, Lauko can play a major role.

Lauko still has plenty of fuel to burn in his legs and could help spell bottom-six foot soldiers. And after navigating the winding road of transaction-wire limbo, Lauko seems ready to plant himself in one spot.

“He’s been very good for us in every game he’s been called up,” Montgomery said earlier this month. “I think it speaks to the season and the development by the coaches and everybody down below in Providence. They’re having a great year. It speaks to the depth throughout the organization.”