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The Sheriff to the Rescue

04.18.09 at 11:38 pm ET
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The moment that the Boston Bruins found out that Matt Hunwick had his spleen removed on Saturday afternoon, Shane Hnidy knew his time had come to provide the best kind of boost.

And that’s what he did when he fired a shot from the high slot past an unsuspecting Carey Price. The second period goal was arguably the biggest of the game since it came five minutes after Alex Kovalev brought the Canadiens within one goal, 2-1.

“I went in for a screen and was just trying to get the puck off and it went in the net,” Hnidy said following Boston’s 5-1 win at the Garden that but the B’s up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

“Shane Hnidy has been a good player for us all year,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “Coming into our lineup and doing the job he did is to his credit because he’s worked hard in practice and kept himself sharp. And the minute he’s had the opportunity, he’s come in and played well.

“The fact he was rewarded with a goal,  I was really happy for him, and that’s the kind of team we have right now,” Julien said._

Marc Savard scored twice and appreciated Hnidy’s effort in filling in for Hunwick.

“Sheriff has been unbelievable all year,” Savard said. “He never really does anything wrong and then guys come in, obviously Hunwick was playing great for us and Hnides has to come out but a guy like that keeps a positive attitude and he jumps in tonight, stays focused and works hard and gets rewarded and plays a great game for us.”

No doubt, Hunwick was in the thoughts of all Bruins on Saturday night, especially Hnidy.

“Obviously, he’s in our minds,” Hnidy said. “We wanted a good effort tonight, we wanted to really come out hard. Everybody had been in touch with him. Our thoughts are with him. It’s a tough situataion. He is a great player. He’s going to get through this. Maybe he gave us that little extra tonight.”

After getting scratched before Game 1, Hnidy showed that he was ready to answer the bell when his team needed him the most on Saturday night.

“You’re ready to go,” Hnidy explained. “It’s that time of year. I basically only missed one game. I played the last bit of the season and missed one game, so you’ve got to stay ready. You have to do what it takes to keep your mind in it and then take care of the other aspects on the bike and just doing that little extra to make sure you’re ready.”

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