Peverley, third line one of few bright spots for Bruins


Peverley, third line one of few bright spots for Bruins

It was only a matter of time for Rich Peverley and the Bruins third line.

Things finally broke through offensively against the Buffalo Sabres after a struggle through the first six games of the season. Of course the offense came at a cost as the Bs lost the game by a 7-4 score at TD Garden on Thursday night, but Peverleys offense became a high point in an otherwise forgettable evening of hockey for the hometown team.

The goal was a thing of beauty for the entire third line with new left wing Daniel Paille helping to create a dogged mindset where they were hunting pucks and attacking the net.

It all started with a strong shift culminating in a Chris Kelly fore-check in the corner that doubled as complete harassment of Buffalo defenseman Alexander Sulzer.

Kellys tireless work ended with the center popping a bouncing shot at the side of the Buffalo net that had trouble written all over it. The puck landed near the left post, and Paille immediately went into attack mode while whacking the loose biscuit with defenders swarming all around the net.

The puck finally deflected out to Peverley in the slot, and the crafty right winger waited, waited and waited patiently until Ryan Miller dropped in anticipation of the shot. Thats when Peverley cranked it into the upper portion of the open cage for Bostons first goal that got things chugging for a Black and Gold attack that fell short in the end.

We had a lot of chances Thursday night, and I thought our energy level was good, said Peverley. Weve been getting some chances, our line, in the past couple games and its good to get a goal, but we have to defend better.

The Peverley score represented the first goal for Bostons third line for an entire season thats now seven games old, and the first goal of the season for the third line right winger.

There was no jubilation or relief, however.

There was only an air of disappointment in Peverley at the opportunities the Bruins skaters couldnt capitalize on when it was still a one goal game in the third period. But the third line right wing also led the Bruins with six shots on net, and has 15 shots on net in the last three games for Boston.

So Peverley was due.

It was a matter of time, they were getting some chances and its nice to see Rich Peverley score, Said Claude Julien. I think he had a great opportunity shortly after he could have had two quick goals there.

Those are encouraging signs. If we can rectify the defensive part that cost us tonight and keep working on the offensive game that our guys are producing, then well be okay.

What remains to be seen is how the third line will be comprised when they again take the ice Saturday night in Toronto against the Maple Leafs. Paille went off after absorbing a high-stick to the face at the end of the third period, and that could prompt Chris Bourques return to the mix with Peverley and Kelly as it had been in the previous six games. Or it could be Jamie Tardif just called up from Providence on Friday morning as an emergency recall.

If they can keep up the intensity and dogged, energetic style of play that characterized their shifts Thursday night, theyll do just fine with anybody lucky enough to be riding shotgun with them on the left wing.

Bergeron 'feeling good' in return, plays role of third period hero

Bergeron 'feeling good' in return, plays role of third period hero

BOSTON – It certainly feels appropriate that Patrice Bergeron would author a clutch game-winning goal late in the third period of his first game back after missing a week of games with a lower body injury. That Bergeron’s game-winner also arrived in the home opener at TD Garden was an added bonus once No. 37 hammered a shot from the high slot with 1:15 to go in the third period to give the Bruins their first lead of the game in a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden.

The goal arrived courtesy of a nifty setup from linemate Brad Marchand working behind the New Jersey net, and also thanks to David Pastrnak winning a battle in the corner thanks to newfound grit in his game. But the hero of the day again turned out to be No. 37, who went from missing an entire week of action to reclaiming his center role on the top line, playing 16:49 of ice time and winning 13-of-24 face-offs while generating five shot attempts.

“I think it’s pretty obvious with what he did [against the Devils]. After being off for over a week and to come back and have one practice with us then back into the game, he scores a clutch goal for us. That’s what he has always been, a clutch player for us,” said Claude Julien. “I think the third period we gave it a really good push there and I like seeing that from our team that you come out and you don’t play on your heels and you push hard and we went down by a goal but we got our game going like I said and we got a couple goals to win this for us.”

Bergeron modestly said postgame that he was just trying to get into the flow of the game after missing a healthy chunk of time with injury. But he certainly looked like he was vintage form once it crunch time. The timing was perfect as he stepped into the one-timer shot off Marchand’s pass, and beat Cory Schneider amid a strong 34-save performance by the kid from Marblehead.

“I mean I was just trying to, I guess, get my feet wet right away and use the first few shifts to kind of just get, feel good about my positioning and my skating,” said Bergeron. “As the game went on I just felt better. Of course you want to start on a good note, especially at home, and we talked about our home record in the last few years. We wanted to do the job early, especially in the first game, and it’s one step but we’re happy with it.”

It was like Bergeron didn’t miss a single beat after missing the first three games of the season with a lower body injury, and those kinds of instincts and natural ability are things worth marveling about when it comes to the Bruins.

“I was feeling good [on the ice],” said Bergeron. “It would have been nice to ride the wave of the World Cup, but that being said I thought in the first I was trying to be good position ally and kind of get myself going with the first few shifts, and just kind of go from there. Overall I thought that happened.”

While the comeback win was certainly good news for the Bruins, the best news of all is that Bergeron has returned to the lineup with no signs of an injury that surprised everybody right before the start of the regular season.