WASHINGTON Claude Julien was looking for offense out of the Bruins, and he finally found it in Game 3 against the Washington Capitals.
Sure, the big noticeable move was switching out Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci on the two forward lines and effectively breaking up a BergeronBrad Marchand combo thats been together for two years.
It was good. Krejci is obviously a skilled guy. I havent played with him much, but hes a good guy to skate with, said Marchand. When things arent going your way changes happen. We didnt get a ton of chances in the first couple of games. Sometimes you change things up and see how it goes to see how different things connect.
That didnt spark any of the top six forwards aside from Rich Peverley potting a second period goal that got the Bruins on the board in the game. But what did spur the Bs offense to four goals was exactly what the team has been talking about for the entire series: getting bodies to the front of the net at the proper time and collecting some of the rebounds that Braden Holtby has been allowing near his doorstep.
Daniel Paille did that in the second period when Holtby kicked out a shot to the front of the net, and Brian Rolston did it again in the third period when the Caps goaltender couldnt control a Chris Kelly shot rifled at the net.
In both cases it was Bs forwards being in the right place at the right time and winning battles in the offensive zone at the key point in the game. In most cases it also came down to the defensemen snaking shots through the bodies in front of the Washington net, and helping to create those chances for the Boston forwards in the crease that werent materializing in Games 1 and 2.
After winning the blocked shots battle in the first two games, the Bruins actually blocked more shots than the Capitals by a 21-15 count in Game 3 of the series.
The defensemen did a great job of getting shots through and creating opportunities for the guys in front to get rebounds, said Marchand. As long as we continue to battle in front there and win those loose pucks, hopefully well continue to score goals.
With the pilot light finally getting flickered with the Bs forwards battling around the crease area and Holtby finally staggered with unrelenting pressure within the final 40 minutes of Monday nights contest, the Bruins are realizing it was less about big line switches and more about getting back to whats made them the second-ranked offense in the NHL this season.