Picard: Bruins at their best when 4th line produces

Picard: Bruins at their best when 4th line produces
March 9, 2013, 5:30 pm
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BOSTON -- The Bruins are at their best when they're able to roll with all four lines.

So to say that the Bruins are at their best when the fourth line is productive, would also be true.

Prior to Saturday's 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at the TD Garden, most of the team's recent production had been coming from the line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Tyler Seguin.

As a result, the phrase "secondary scoring" has been used quite a lot lately at the TD Garden and Ristuccia Arena.

The players don't necessarily want that phrase to continue coming up, so they had to do something about it. And on Saturday afternoon, the B's saw two of their three goals come from the third and fourth lines.

Expectations for the third line to score are higher than those of the fourth line.

That's not to say the fourth line doesn't always contribute. But when they start showing up on the score sheet, it shows the Bruins' depth, and makes them a tough team to beat.

"We're not going to play as much as everyone, but we have chances every game," said Paille after the win. "We'd like them to go in all the time, but that's not always going to happen that way. It was good to see us contribute tonight. We haven't played together so often the last few games. So it was good to see tonight."

Paille has seen some time up on the third time in recent weeks. It was part of coach Claude Julien's effort to give Jay Pandolfo some playing time.

But Paille has returned to this usual line with Shawn Thornton and Greg Campbell for the time being, and their hard work paid off on Saturday, as Paille's goal with 5:49 left in the first period put the B's up 3-0 and put the Flyers away early.

"We've talked about it for a long time, getting some secondary scoring," said Julien. "And we got it today."

The goal came 43 seconds after Kelly made it 2-0. Paille stepped in all alone down the left side of the ice, and Campbell found him in stride with a perfect cross-ice backhand pass at the left circle, where Paille made a quick move and slipped it five-hole past Ilya Bryzgalov.

The play developed off a Flyers turnover after Sean Couturier tried stick-handling at his own blue line. Campbell gave him a stick-lift and the puck ended up on Thornton's stick in the neutral zone.

Thornton threw it down into an open space at the right half-wall inside the Flyers' zone as he took a big hit at the blue line fromLuke Schenn. Campbell won the race to the puck and quickly sent it across the slot to Paille.

"We were in the neutral zone trying to trap it pretty good, and Thornton had a good stick there," said Paille. "And [Campbell] had his head up the whole way. So for me, he saw me in the slot, and I saw an opportunity to make a move, and it went in, five-hole."

"I just threw it in an area that I think [Campbell] was going to," said Thornton. "I tried to make a pass, but I knew I was getting hit, so I just tried to get it into an area where he could get it. He made the unbelievable play to Paille, and Paille made the great finish."

The effort was no different from that trio. But the finish isn't always there, as Paille points out. When the finish is there, from lines other than just one, the Bruins are exactly what they want to be: a tough team to play against.

"I think right now we're a lot more confident in our ability and our play, and realizing that we can definitely roll four lines a lot more," said Paille. "And as long as we believe that, we should be alright.

"I think it helps us, for sure," added Paille. "I think that can be one step to being our best. I think it's going to help us contribute in the long run, and it definitely helped us tonight."