By Joe Haggerty
NEWARK Rich Peverley had two goals in his first 20 games with the Bruins. But he matched that total with two goals in his last two games of the regular season, a good sign headed into a playoff run where his scoring services will be desperately needed.
Peverley arrived in Boston via a deal with Atlanta that sent Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to the Thrashers. Hes admitted it's been an adjustment period for him, but he bagged himself a pretty goal in the third period against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday and added a rebound score in front of the net during Sundays first period.
Hes got good speed, hes got decent hands, and weve seen him score some of those highlight goals by taking it to the net. Hes usually pretty good at that, said coach Claude Julien. I think, moving forward, you want to be able to have that kind of depth . . . If your first or second line doesnt score, then youve got the third and even the fourth to score for you.
Right now, I think it feels comforting to know that other lines are contributing. So hopefully that gives us more depth.
It appears Peverley has found his goal-scoring confidence at the right time. Hes the veteran of exactly one other NHL playoff series, with the Nashville Predators a couple of years ago, so he knows what awaits him when he laces them up against the Canadiens on Thursday night.
I think that were all trying to drive the net a little more, and shoot the puck and take the puck to the net, said Peverley. I think in the playoffs its not going to be the nice goals all the time. Its when you can read the rebounds and take the puck to the net. With Peverley's natural skatingspeed and nose for the net finally kicking into play in Boston, it appears the B's might just be tapping into another offensive source at just the right time -- in a series against fellow skilled, undersized forwards suiting upall over the ice for the Montreal Canadiens. What appeared to be several thousand members of Quebec Nordiques fans made the road trip from Quebec City to New Jersey to take in Sundays regular-season finale between the Devils and Bruins at the Prudential Center.
Nordiques Nation cheered and started chants intermittently throughout the game, blew air horns and created a constant flow of noise in a hockey building thats usually pretty sedate, and even presented Tim Thomas with the Quebec Nordiques Draft Day sweater that he never received following Sundays loss. As a ninth-round pick during the 1994 draft, Thomas never attended the draft or received a jersey with his name on the back following his late-round selection and the loyal Nordiques group managed to get their way into the dressing room to present the sweater to the Vezina Trophy favorite following the game. The Bruins left captain Zdeno Chara and veteran Mark Recchi in Boston so they could get an extra day off before the series with Montreal. It was the first game missed by either of those veteran players this season, and means that no Bs player suited up for all 82 games this season. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk took an awkward-looking tumble into the boards behind the New Jersey net in the second period that also took down Milan Lucic, and limped toward the Boston bench. But Boychuk returned to the ice later in the period and appeared no worse for the wear.Reports out of Providence said that young B's defensemanSteve Kampfer was spotted after Saturday night's Providence Bruins' game limping around on crutches after suffering an injury against the Springfield Falcons.
Kampfer didn't play in Sunday's season finale for the P-Bruins.
The injury would certainly jeopardize Kampfer's standing on the Boston roster for the playoffs, and his availability as one of the "Black Aces" potentially called upon for duty should injuries hit Boston's blueline. Kampfer was sent down to the AHL last week, and had just returned to action with the P-Bruins before the injury hit. Steve got tangled up in the neutral zone there earlier in the game with a Springfield player, said P-Bruins coach Rob Murray to radio man Adam Kaufman on Saturday night. Its still being determined what the extent of his injury is, but he came back, he played one shift after that, and he didnt feel he could go, so we shut him down for the game. Hopefully its not too serious.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs