Third and fourth lines come up big in Bruins win
|04.09.11 at 5:11 pm ET|
The Bruins know that if they’re going to make a deep playoff run, they’re going to need scoring from the third and fourth lines. In Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 win over the Senators, they got just that.
The fourth line scored the game’s first goal 12:53 into the first when Shawn Thornton threw a shot on net from the right wing that led to a juicy rebound. Gregory Campbell collected the loose puck and backhanded a centering pass right to Daniel Paille‘s stick for an easy tap-in.
‘That first goal that line scored tonight was something that all the coaches love to see,’ coach Claude Julien said. ‘Thorny just throws a puck at the net, but Campbell is driving the net and there’s a loose puck and he gets to it first. And Paille is driving the net as well and they find him and it’s kind of a tic-tac-toe play. ‘¦ Those guys are working hard and they’re earning their goals and I think that’s what I like about that line.’
Paille said he and his linemates are just trying to work as hard as they can down low and hope it pays off with goals like his on Saturday.
‘What works for us is just keeping it simple and getting pucks in deep and winning the battles,’ he said. ‘That’s what we’re doing right now and it’s paying off.’
The goal was Paille’s third in his last four games and fourth in his last eight. He had just two goals in 34 games prior to March 19, but he has come on strong in the last couple weeks and appears to have earned a spot in the lineup — at least to start the playoffs — after not being a regular until the last month or so.
‘It’s just something I’ve been waiting for all year,’ Paille said of the playing time. ‘I’m glad that it’s paying off at this point in the season. It’s something that I’ve thought I can do all season, so I’m just glad that it’s working right now.’While the fourth line opened the scoring, it was the third line of Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder that closed it. Peverley carried the puck into the offensive zone and maneuvered through a couple Senators on his way to the slot before backhanding a shot past Curtis McElhinney to seal the 3-1 win late in the third.
The goal was Peverley’s first in 12 games and just his third in 22 games since the Bruins acquired him from the Thrashers. He said it was nice to finally see one go in.
‘I’ve been trying to go to the net a little more, to shoot and be around the net,’ Peverley said. ‘I haven’t finished many off, not quite as many as I would like, so it’s nice to get one towards the end of the season here and hopefully get on a roll going into the playoffs.’
For Peverley, the key to his goal was doing what he does best — using his speed to get to the net.
‘He’s got good speed, he’s got decent hands,’ Julien said. ‘We’ve seen him score some of those highlight goals by taking it to the net, and he’s usually pretty good at that. I thought his feet were moving well tonight and with his linemates, they were able to create a lot.’
The importance of those bottom two lines producing at this point in the season is something that is not lost on Julien.
‘I think moving forward,’ he said, ‘you want to be able to have that kind of depth and know that if your first or second line doesn’t score, you’ve got a third and even a fourth that’s going for you. So right now, it feels comforting to know that all your lines are contributing.’