Paille returns to ice, plays on B's third line

Paille returns to ice, plays on B's third line
May 2, 2014, 1:45 am
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BOSTON - Daniel Paille had reason to smile prior to Game 1 of the Bruins-Habs series.

After all, he was playing in it.

Paille missed the entire first playoff series against the Detroit Red Wings, recovering from an upper-body injury (head, it's assumed) sustained on April 12 against the Buffalo Sabres that had kept him out of all games since.

But Thursday night, Paille logged 16:27 of ice time in his return. He blocked two shots and gave out four hits, while ending the game with a minus-1.

But there wasn't much smiling after the game, as the B's dropped the first game of the series to the Habs.

"I think obviously we’re all disappointed about the loss, but we definitely want to take a lot of positives out of that game," Paille said. "We know we need to work on a few things, special teams being one of them. Overall, we felt— I guess I wouldn’t say happy— but we put in a good effort and it was just a few scoring chances we just couldn’t finish it. But those were the breaks tonight and unfortunately we couldn’t come out on top."

Paille is a regular on the Merlot line, Boston's fourth line, but in this game he was moved up to the third line in place of Justin Florek and skated alongside Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson, which added a little speed to the line.

"My stamina felt pretty good," Paille said about his first game back. "Other than that, I felt a little rusty, but things I’m going to work on in practice to improve that. But into changing lines, I thought generally overall we generated some good chances. Tried to play as defensive as we could as well, but I think we created some chances that we could’ve buried there."

He also went to the box near the end of the first overtime for tripping Brendan Gallagher. It could have been worse, as Paille and Gallagher locked legs, but both players were OK. Luckily, it didn't cost the B's.

"He’s a speedy, shifty player," Paille said of Gallagher, "and I went to finish my check. He saw that and made a quick move. By then, I was already committed. The ref made the call and I can’t dispute that. I think I was just thankful that we were able to kill that off. Unfortunately, we weren’t so lucky the second time, but we’ll look at that and try to fix that."

Paille won't dwell on the loss for too long, and he doesn't have too much time to shake off the rust. It's back to business on Friday.

"We got a 12:30 game Saturday," Paille said, "so we have to be prepared and ready to go."