Two big gritty goals for Lucic in win over Panthers

Two big gritty goals for Lucic in win over Panthers
January 29, 2014, 2:00 am
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BOSTON – Perhaps it was watching Boston’s No. 2 PBR line amass nine points against the Islanders on Monday night, or maybe it was a little extra excitement suiting up against Tim Thomas in his first Boston appearance wearing a different NHL uniform.

It could have even been simply that Milan Lucic was due for an offensive explosion after snapping a stretch of 14 games where he’d just scored a single goal, and the Florida Panthers were simply overmatched against the Bruins.

Lucic potted two goals in Boston’s 6-2 win over the New York Islanders, and was a constant powerful presence carving position in front of the Bruins net while playing a hand in each of Boston’s first three goals. The Bruins left wing did a lot of the dirty work battling Florida defensemen in front of the net, and those skirmishes left him around the net with golden scoring chances.

Meanwhile, the KIL line (David Krejci, Jarome Iginla and Milan Lucic) finished with seven points and a plus-13 overall in the Tuesday night win after the PBR (Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith) had put up nine points on Monday night in Long Island. It’s that kind of good-natured competition and old-fashioned depth that’s helping things work for the Black and Gold.

[Krejci, Iginla and Lucic] were good tonight. The [Patrice] Bergeron line was good another night. Soderberg’s line scored, so our scoring is spread out pretty well,” said Claude Julien. “I don’t think you can really focus on that one line, although it is a good line, we’ve been fortunate to get some goals.

“The highlight goal tonight came from a fourth-liner, so we’ve got to listen to this for the next week [laughs].”

Lucic notched the first goal on a Jarome Iginla rebound that bounced right onto his stick, and drove Thomas to distraction when the Florida netminder simply fanned at attempting to glove a Zdeno Chara point shot from the right. The puck instead bounced off Thomas’ glove and his helmet before resting in the back of the net, and was all set up by Lucic’s willingness to occupy Dmitry Kulikov in front.

The two goals give Lucic 15 goals on the season, and place him among a growing group of players willing, ready and able to play with the kind of roster equality that’s marked Boston’s success all along.

“It’s huge because it doesn’t put so much emphasis on one guy scoring all the goals," Lucic said. "We’ve never been a team with a 50-point goal scorer, or anything like that. We’ve always had success by having different guys stepping up at different times. Our team play is what has given us the most success. It seems like the lines are clicking and the line combos that are together right now I think that’s why like you said eight guys have been able to hit that double-digits in goals.

“But in saying that, we want to keep pushing for more. I think it’s great that it almost seems like we’re pushing each other to want more, and I think that’s a good thing to have in this room.”