OTTAWA, ON - It wasn’t the way the Bruins wanted to start, but they certainly came up with the finish.
Powered by the Merlot Line, the boys in the spoked-B found a way to come back and win once again, this time in 3-2 in the shootout, to give them their 10th straight win in Ottawa and best road start in team history with 20 points.
“Well, I’ll tell you what. Kind of a little lucky to come out of here with a win the way we started the game,” said Coach Julien postgame, to a group of gathered reporters. “We talked about them competing hard, they played pretty well, and that’s what they did at the beginning and it put us on our heels.”
Down 1-0 just 55 seconds into the game was the not the way the B’s wanted to begin on the road, but the next Ottawa goal that made it 2-0 could have been a backbreaker for a team that came out fairly flat.
Leave it to the grind line of Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell to create their own luck.
After Zdeno Chara managed to keep the puck in the zone, Shawn Thornton tried to bank a shot off Paille and in - when that attempt didn’t capitalize, he threw another shot on goal and saw the puck trickle through Robin Lehner, with 44 seconds left in the first.
“Zee did his job keeping the puck in, I just tried to get open for him,” said Thornton after the game. “Actually think the play before I thought Piesy had one. That was more of an unfluky play, I was throwing it to his stick and I thought he had it, it hit the other guy’s stick…. I’ll take it.”
Then, in the second, it was Paille with a beauty on the breakaway for his second goal in as many games, having scored in the 3-0 win over the Flyers on Saturday.
Thornton was happy to see his linemate put another past, and talked collectively about his line’s production that looks more like the season’s start.
“I think for the last five or six games, I try not to put too much stock into how many points are line gets. I think as a group, we’ve been better the last five or six games,” said Thornton. “Maybe we’ve been rewarded the last couple games, but I think our pressure, our forecheck, our D-zone I think has been back to where it once was. I think that’s a positive.”
“I wouldn’t say we’re confident or anything, but we’re definitely heading back into the right direction.”
“It would have been nice, eh?” joked the winger when asked about Gregory Campbell nearly converting in overtime. “Merlot for everyone…”
Indeed. Campbell may not have scored but David Krejci made sure he put one past Lehner for the shootout winner.
“They’ve been good lately, and they do things the simple way,” coach said of the Merlot Line. ” They throw pucks at the net, they crash the net there on the spot and that gave us that first goal and then the second one, Dan comes off a change and happens to be in the right place at the right time”
“He made sure he buried that shot. They’ve been pretty good for us, we’re certainly happy with their performance lately.”
“Yeah, even like the last few games, you could see that the third and fourth lines, if you want to call it secondary scoring, was big for us,” said Zdeno Chara.
“We can’t always rely on the first and second lines. The third and fourth line is big for you and the last few games they were obviously the difference makers for us.”
-Caryn Switaj ^CS