Paille picks up Bruins with well-timed score

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Paille picks up Bruins with well-timed score

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.

Eriksson named Lady Byng finalist for second time

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Eriksson named Lady Byng finalist for second time

Patrice Bergeron will have some Bruins company at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas at the end of the month of June.

Loui Eriksson was named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy on Saturday afternoon along with Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar and Florida Panthers pivot Aleksander Barkov. It’s the second time in his career that Eriksson will be named a finalist for the award given annually "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."

The Swedish winger finished his best season in a Bruins uniform with 30 goals (third on team) and 33 assists for the second most points (63) on the team along with 12 total penalty minutes through 82 games played. Eriksson was excited to once again be a finalist for the award, and to be lumped in with a couple of the NHL’s best players in Kopitar and Barkov.

“It is a great honor to be considered for the Lady Byng Trophy, an award that has been won by some of the best players of all time,” said Eriksson, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 after three seasons in Boston. “There are many deserving candidates so to be named one of the finalists with Anze Kopitar and Aleksander Barkov is very exciting for me. Thank you to my teammates and the coaching staff and I appreciate all those who voted.”

The last Bruin to win the Lady Byng Trophy was Rick Middleton back in 1981-82, and Eriksson is the first B’s finalist for Lady Byng in more than 10 years.

Bruins will select 14th overall in first round

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Bruins will select 14th overall in first round

The Boston Bruins basically had a three percent of moving up into the top three of the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night, but they didn’t strike it draft rich when it was all said and done up in Toronto.

With Bruins general manager Don Sweeney in attendance representing the Original Six franchise, the Black and Gold were the first team logo selected in the draft lottery meaning they will own the 14th overall pick in the first round for the second straight summer.

Instead the Toronto Maple Leafs will select first overall after putting together the worst record in the NHL last season, and the Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets won the lottery to move up into the second and third slots in the draft.

This marks the sixth time in franchise history that the club has owned the 14th overall selection in the NHL Draft. The Bruins drafted Jake DeBrusk 14th overall last summer in Florida at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Stephane Quintal 14th overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, Normand Leveille 14th overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Douglas Halward 14th overall in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft and Terry O’Reilly 14th overall in the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft.

Based on finishing with the highest point total of all non-playoff teams for the second straight season, the Bruins owned a 1.0% chance of winning the 2016 Draft Lottery overall and a 3.4% chance of securing a top-three pick.

The 2016 NHL Draft will take place on June 24-25 at the First Niagara Center home of the Sabres in Buffalo just a couple of months from now, and the Bruins also own the first round pick of the San Jose Sharks that will end up somewhere in the 20’s based on the fact they’re still currently alive in the playoffs.

Saturday, April 30: Preparing for the lottery

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Saturday, April 30: Preparing for the lottery

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating Greek Easter this weekend by way of my in-laws. Christos Anesti.  

*Pro Hockey Talk writer James O’Brien has everything you need to know about tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery.

*Brent Burns is recognized as a Norris Trophy finalist after his best season as a member of the San Jose Sharks. For the record, the top three of Drew Doughty, Burns and Erik Karlsson were also the top three votes on my awards ballot, and exactly in that order.

*Puck Daddy eulogizes the Anaheim Ducks, who lost in the first round and promptly got their head coach fired.

*Speaking of the Ducks and a great man and good coach in Bruce Boudreau, who is now out of work, Anaheim GM Bob Murray is now getting ready to round up the candidates for a new coach.

*Spector has a number of hockey rumors, including what’s expected for offseason changes for the Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks now that they’re on the golf course.

*If the Edmonton Oilers win the draft lottery again, two things will happen: a lot of people will be angry, and Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli will have a lot of options at his disposal.

*Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk bring the Stanley Cup pedigree to an Islanders team that’s voyaging deep into the playoffs.

*For something completely different: Kevin Faulk gets mad props for wearing the Tom Brady jersey to the NFL podium to help announce New England’s draft picks.