By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON After failing to register more than a blip on the radar screen in his first game with the Bruins this season, rookie Zach Hamill looked a lot more at home creating and playmaking in Bostons 8-6 win over the Canadiens on Wednesday.
Hamill finished with 14 shifts and 10:30 of ice time, but found himself on a shortened bench during the third period as Gregory Campbell starting taking shifts with Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder. Hamill did make some plays, though, and get himself noticed in a positive way. His sweet backhanded pass through two Canadiens defenders to a wide-open Ryder set up his first goal of the night in the second period, and showed exactly what Hamill is capable of as a 22-year-old rookie.
Hamill is being given an audition to see what he can at the NHL level while the Bs sit Tyler Seguin as a healthy scratch, and theres certainly some promise and potential there at the center spot.
He made some good plays. On that goal obviously, I think it was Michael Ryders goal. He made another pass later on, I think it was between Looch Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, said coach Claude Julien. He made some good plays and thats what his game is all about. Hes a smart player and hes a great passer, hes always been known as a great playmaker and he showed some of that tonight.
Hamill wasnt out there at the end of the game not shocking given Juliens system of using players at the end of games that he feels most comfortable with but there was more than enough to warrant a few more looks at what the former 2007 first round draft pick can bring to the Bruins. Ryder can be one of the most misunderstood players on the Bruins when he's going through one of his dry stretches in the goal-scoring department, but Wednesday night's 8-6 win over the Canadiens wasn't one of those nights.Ryder scored a pair of goals and showed some instant chemistry with Hamill while demonstrating exactly what makes him so valuable: the right wing shows up at the most important times and is one of those players who rises to the level during the postseason. Ryder snapped an eight game goal-scoring drought against his former team and looks ready to embark on a hot streak for the B's."I think its been a while since I scored and I was getting some chances," said the ex-Canadien. "But tonight it finally went in. It took me two tries on one power play to get the second goal, but I think I have success when Im skating and working hard just keep doing that and Ill find the back of the net again."The Bruins scored their two first-period goals in a span of 12 seconds (13:16 and 13:28). That matches their fastest two goals in a row this season, first accomplished on Jan. 10 at Pittsburgh in a 4-2 win. It's also the fifth time the Bruins have scored two goals in 15 seconds or less: including games against the Penguins and Hurricanes. The line of Milan LucicDavid KrejciNathan Horton exploded against the Canadiens on Wednesday night, and finished with three goals, 8 assists and a plus-15 between the three forwards in the 8-6 win. The five points for Horton were a career-high, and Lucic extended his career-best mark in goals by potting his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season and Lucics sixth goal in the last nine games after a long cold spell in December.
We knew we could be a threat every time we went on the ice and that is what we have kind of talked about as a line yesterday, said Lucic. We wanted to be that threat and you know get in there and play with that emotion. We wanted to be the guys that coach counts on, and so its definitely great that we had a game the way we did. We have to keep pushing it and keep getting more.
Shawn Thornton had no opinion about the four-game suspension for Matt Cooke after he charged Columbus BlueJacketsdefensemanFedor Tyutin, and looked like he was hoping to avoid the entire conversation about the Pittsburgh rabble-rouser."I don't give an expletive about that," said Thornton. "I haven't seen it and I don't plan on seeing. He hasn't pulled any of that stuff against our team this year."
The win was Juliens 300th game as coach of the Bruins, which puts him at seventh on the Bs all-time franchise list.
Johnny Boychuk was playing in his 100th career NHL game, and ended the night with an absolute beatdown of Jaroslav Spacek with less than a minute to go in the third period.Carey Price allowed a career-high eight goals in the loss to the Boston Bruins.