WINNIPEG Daniel Paille enjoyed one of his most energetic games of the season while slotted in with the third line earlier this season against the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately that was also the same game that the winger was knocked out of action with a high stick to the face.
So he was looking forward to another shot with Chris Kelly, and he celebrated that Sunday chance on the third line with a pivotal goal in Bostons 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre. With his back to the net, Paille redirected a Johnny Boychuk shot past Ondrej Pavelec with 1.5 seconds left in the second period to tie the game at 2-2 in a score that completely shifted the games momentum.
We wanted to score right away and it worked, said Zdeno Chara. Paille had a stick in the right place and it went in. That was a good tying goal for us.
Why was the timing of Pailles second goal of the season so important?
The Bs wingers redirected goal came just 26 seconds after the Jets had taken a one-goal lead when an Evander Kane goal temporarily deflated Bostons spirits. The Winnipeg forward fought through Nathan Horton and Dennis Seidenberg to get a pair of point blank chances at the Boston net, and the second bid finally beat Tuukka Rask.
So the Bruins needed something to change the games energy, and they got it in a big way.
Anytime somebody scores in the last minute of any period its a big momentum shift. For us to respond with another one right back hopefully got us going a little bit, said Paille. It was good to us respond well in the third period after that.
As soon as I saw Johnny Boychuk fake pump the shot a few times I was just waiting in front of the net. My initial thought was to try to tip it and I redirected it perfectly where I wanted to. Im just glad there was a second left.
The timing was impeccable and became the turning point in the game as the Bruins rode right that momentum to a winning power play strike in the third period. Paille finished with a solid 17:09 of ice time, a pair of shots on net and a blocked shot while also contributing to a penalty kill unit that effectively protected the one-goal lead in the third period.
It was the kind of all-around effort the Bruins have come to expect from Paille when he plays up the lineup away from his normal fourth line role.
It was big. You cant deny it. When you give up a goal with less than a minute to go and you think youre going into the dressing room down a goal, this isnt an easy place to play to start with, said Claude Julien. It was disappointing when they took a 2-1 lead, but that Paille goal gave us life knowing we were in a tie game coming down to the last 20 minutes.
While Brad Marchand was credited with the game-winning goal in Sundays game, it was Paille who helped change things from the loss box to the win column with his well-timed score.