High and low: Reilly, Brendan Smith experience Game 2

High and low: Reilly, Brendan Smith experience Game 2
April 20, 2014, 9:30 pm
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BOSTON - The Smith's may want to consider cancelling any family dinner plans for the time being after the way Game 2 went in Boston.

On one end of the table you've got Reilly Smith, who netted his first career postseason goal in his teams' 4-1 win over the Red Wings. On the other end sits brother Brendan Smith, whose claim to fame in Game 2 is being on the wrong end of Zdeno Chara's hockey glove and "LOL" in his face.

Hey, in the heat of the moment, people do crazy things like try to start fights with monsters. The fact is, Smith is lucky one of the referees intervened and broke up the whatever-it-was because it was a bit disheartening to watch Chara literally bully Smith in front of a sell-out crowd that couldn't help but point and laugh.

"He wouldn’t be the first guy I’d choose in the NHL to go against," Reilly Smith said about his brother's tangle with Chara. "He should probably think twice next time."

By that point in the game, the Bruins had a 2-0 lead thanks in part to Reilly Smith's power play goal at 10:35. The goal was Smith's first of his postseason career, and just his third goal since January 28.

The Bruins had set up Zdeno Chara multiple times for a slapshot, but after a couple solid opportunities and a blocked shot, they looked elsewhere. That's when Patrice Bergeron took a shot from top of blue line. Loui Eriksson was screening Jimmy Howard in front, and after Howard saved the initial shot, Eriksson poked at the loose puck, getting it through his pads just barely. Smith was there behind Howard to put it home.

"When you get shut out the game before," Smith said, "it’s obviously going to be one of the biggest things you’re focusing on is getting to the crease and making it difficult on them. So it paid off for us and it paid off early, and I think that changed the outcome of the game."

Claude Julien was glad to see Smith and the B's make their presences felt and mix it up in front of (and in this case, behind) Howard.

"It’s just a little bit more determination, I would say, from our group because that was the game plan we had from day 1," Julien said, "and I don’t think there’s a team in the playoffs right now that doesn’t tell the players to go to the net. That’s just — every team needs that. To score goals, the goaltenders are too good — if you don’t have that net-front presence, you’re not going to score that many goals."

The goal was one of two power play goals on the day for Boston. The B's were only given one power play opportunity in Game 1, but the referees must have been on the lookout in Game 2, because Boston was awarded four power play chances on Sunday.

With Smith hitting on the third power play chance, Boston took a two-goal lead in the game and got to play more of their style, forcing the Wings to join in.

"You know I think we’re probably one of the best teams in the league at playing that heavy style," Smith said. "So we got them off their game a little bit, and I think they got us off our game in Game 1. So it was good to see a little change of pace, and I think it benefited us in the long run."

Speaking of Game 1, it was Pavel Datsyuk's lone goal that proved to be the difference - and what a goal it was. Smith's line was out on the ice for that goal, but Datsyuk would have no such opportunity in Game 2. In fact, he only had one one on the day. Credit Smith's line for much of that.

"It’s tough, you know he’s a really talented player and he’s known as the magic man for a reason," Smith said. So when he gets the puck – he still made a lot of good passes and a lot of good plays, and we still have to focus on limiting."

So it was Brendan smiling after Game 1, Reilly smiling after Game 2, and Mama and Papa Smith most likely feeling all kinds of emotions in what surely is an exciting and, well, interesting time for the family.