Bruins' energy line plays key role in Game 1 win

Bruins' energy line plays key role in Game 1 win
May 2, 2013, 12:30 pm
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BOSTON -- The Bruins fourth line finished with exactly one shot on net and slightly under 10 minutes on the ice together during 5-on-5 play, but still played a huge role in Boston’s 4-1 victory over the Maple Leafs in Game 1 of their playoff series at TD Garden.

They continually held serve while getting thrown out on the ice with Nazem Kadri’s line with a mission to thrown their bodies around and keep the puck out of their own net. They did that, and took it one step further in the second period when they hemmed the Maple Leafs into their own zone with 1:15 of possession time while cycling and pounding the puck down line.

“I think we were pretty good. At times I guess that’s our job a lot of the time: to create energy, to change momentum, and just be hard to play against,” said Gregory Campbell. “It’s important to be hard on the puck and win battles and do little things well in the playoffs. That’s kind of the M.O. of our line.”

Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton didn’t score on the possession, but they did completely wear down Toronto defensemen Mark Fraser and Michael Kostka, who couldn’t get off the ice for a change. Instead David Krejci’s line hopped over the boards and immediately went on the attack.

Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic both worked the puck to the middle of the ice in front of the net while Kostka and Fraser were too gassed to cover the net front. Krejci jumped into the fray in the slot, and slide a shot through James Reimer’s pads that made it a 3-1 game giving the Bruins their needed insurance score.

That, plus providing 10 of the team’s 30 registered hits in a physical opening match between the two heavy hockey clubs, left Claude Julien fully satisfied by his energy line’s efforts in Game 1.

“The one thing about that line, I said that right after the game, they seem to relish that role. They really get excited and pumped about playoff hockey. They really enjoy the role that’s given to them,” said Claude Julien. “When we played a couple years ago in Vancouver, they were playing against the Sedin brothers [Daniel and Henrik]. That’s how much confidence I had in them. When they’re at the top of their game and they play a smart game, most of the time they keep the other lines bottled into their D-zone."

“They certainly helped us, but at the same time I thought our others lines did a great job. It was a real good job on our part to have all the lines contributing in a way, I didn’t feel like our team sagged at any time in the game; we kept the tempo and control where we wanted it to be.”

It’s pretty clear good things are happening when the Bruins head coach is hearkening back to the fourth line’s contributions during the Cup Finals two years ago. Now each of Boston’s four forward lines need to keep it going for the rest a first round playoff series against Toronto that’s bound to get nastier.