Game 4 goal step in right direction for Peverley

Game 4 goal step in right direction for Peverley
June 20, 2013, 1:30 am
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BOSTON -- Rich Peverley was such an important piece to the Bruins' championship puzzle in 2011.

But in the 2013 playoffs, his minutes have been diminished, and his role isn't nearly as great as it was two years ago.

Peverley was acquired at the trade deadline in 2011. He finished that postseason hoisting the Stanley Cup as a feisty forward who had four goals and eight assists and was a plus-6 in that Cup run.

Entering Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks at the TD Garden on Wednesday night, Peverley had only one point -- a goal in the first round against Toronto -- and was a minus-7, which was the worst plus/minus on the team.

In Game 4, Peverley showed the Bruins something that hadn't been there for most of this year's playoff run.

"I haven't played well or created chances since the Toronto series," said Peverley after the Bruins' 6-5 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. "So I think it's been better. Last game I was good. And tonight was better, personally."

In Greg Campbell's absence, Peverley had recently been demoted to the Bruins' fourth line. But in Game 4 on Wednesday night, Claude Julien had to find a way to get an energetic Peverley more ice time than his linemates, Shawn Thornton and Kaspars Daugavins.

Peverley was one of the few Bruins players to show up to play early in Game 4. He scored Boston's first goal, tying it up at 1 with 5:17 left in the first period.

It came with 3 seconds left on a Boston power play, and was the result of a Blackhawks turnover that should have probably resulted in a Bruins turnover.

Andrew Ference kept a puck in the offensive zone at the left point, and he attempted a quick cross-ice pass down to the right corner, but Brandon Saad stepped up and intercepted the pass. Problem was, after he intercepted it, Saad stumbled, and Peverley picked up the loose puck in the high slot.

From there, Peverley stepped up and snapped one low-left past Corey Crawford's glove to tie it.

"I feel like last game was a good step in the right direction," said Peverley. "And getting a goal tonight, it was good, but it’s just frustrating you can’t get one when you want to win."

Sure, Peverley would have liked to score the winner. Or, he would have liked anyone on his team to score the winner, for that matter.

Still, with the Stanley Cup Finals now even at 2, Peverley's solid 13:38 of ice time in Game 4 was a step in the right direction for a guy who has pretty much been non-existent throughout these playoffs.

"I’m just trying to play my game," said Peverley, "and hopefully I can bring something to the table and continue to contribute and just do what I do best."

What Peverley does best is provide energy, provide a spark. The result wasn't there in Game 4, but he provided that energy on Wednesday night.

If the Bruins get back to their dominant defensive ways in Game 5 and Peverley can continue to contribute like he did in Game 4, he'll once again prove to be that important piece to the championship puzzle that he was two years ago.