BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; From the day general manager Peter Chiarelli came to Boston,he wanted the Bruins to be a team that was tough to play against.
Fortunately for Chiarelli, the Bruins have a player that fits that mold perfectly: Milan Lucic.And when the Bruins needed to be at their toughest, Lucic showed up with hisbest game of the series.
The big power forward finished Wednesday nights 4-0 winover the Vancouver Canucks with an assist on the fourth and final goal, and he wasa plus-two while recording four hits and a team-high five shots on goal.
His Game 4 performance doesnt stick out on the final scoresheet, but his explosiveness all over the ice was an indication that the real Lucic, who everyone in Boston knows and loves, showed up on Wednesday night.
Physicality is part of the game especially in theplayoffs, play physical and theres a lot of battles, said Bruins captainZdeno Chara after the win. So you got to make sure that you do whatever youcan to win more than lose some.
Lucic won many battles in Game 4, and not just the physicalones. The top-line winger showed off his one-on-one skill set in the openingminutes of the third period, which led to Bostons fourth goal of the night.
David Krejci chipped a pass out of Bostons zone to Lucic,who skated hard down the right wing. As Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksastepped up at the Canucks blue line and tried to put a hip check on Lucic, theBruins forward faked going wide and put the puck around Bieksa with one handon his stick, while jumping around him on the inside.
Lucic had enough speed to make Bieksa look like a turnstyle,and he came in towards the net down the right side with Peverley being chasedgoing hard to the left post. Lucic put a pass across the slot to Peverley, butRoberto Luongo poke-checked it up and off Ryan Keslers shoulder. The puck thencame down and hit Peverleys skate and went in.
I just tried to get to the net as fast as I could, saidPeverley. I didnt even really see the puck. It just hit off me and went inthe net. It was just one of those lucky goals. I was just trying to drive tothe net.
It was Peverleys second goal of the night, as he replacedthe injured Nathan Horton on the Bruins top line with Lucic and Krejci.
Lucic was on the ice for both of Peverley's goals. His presenceon Wednesday night was more than noticeable. Still, it wont be whats talked about on Thursday, mainly because Lucic isn't easy to find on Game4s final score sheet.
Peverley was wearing the player of the game jacket. Ryderhad a goal of his own. And Marchand continues to be a pest that produces, as he did with his eighth goal of the postseason on Wednesday night.
But with Lucic, his postseason hasnt been the same as his30-goal regular season. Hes been in the headlines, but mainly becausesome thought he was playing injured. Injured or not, it was clear Lucic's play hasn't been up to par.
Except for Wednesday night. He was finishing checks, winningbattles, and making skilled plays.
Well, when hes skating, hes a great player, saidPeverley after the win. I think hes a great player no matter what, but whenhes on his game, hes usually skating and hitting, and playing physical. Andhe did a great job of that tonight.
He made the Bruins tough to play against.
Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.