WASHINGTON Dan Paille was wearing The Chain after the Bruins' 4-3 win over the Capitals Monday night, and it was long overdue for the fourth line winger whos busted his tail for weeks.
Paille scored the game-tying goal in the second period when Shawn Thornton pushed Washington into making an unforced error, and the puck landed on the stick of Gregory Campbell. Campbell fed Greg Zanon on the other side of the ice and the Bs defenseman blasted away at a shot from the left point that caused a rebound in front.
A miscommunication between Dennis Wideman and Jeff Schultz left Paille wide open in front of the net, and the fourth line winger shoveled a backhanded shot past Braden Holtby.
It was Paille setting the example for the rest of the Bruins about the proper way to create a net-front presence, and the correct method for crashing the net with courage and a plan for offensive attack.
Were finding our way in the last two games and were trying to keep moving forward," he said. "Most of the time theres a man on you in a man-on-man system, but I was able to get free for a good five seconds. I had all the time in the world to get that rebound, and I was fortunate to get that bounce.
Paille nearly had another goal in the first period when a long Thornton clear bounced off Holtbys pads, and created a rebound that was floating back toward the Bs fourth line. Instead of letting an onrushing Paille get a crack at the loose puck, Holtby went after it with his stick and the stick came loose, knocking the puck away from Paille. It appeared accidental, but the Bruins could have made a case for a penalty shot, which is awarded if a goalie throws his stick at the puck.
In any case, the play was part of an effort by Paille that is regularly appreciated by his fellow Merlot Line members, and something his teammates value.
We pride ourselves on being a good line, and if we can help then were going to, said Thornton.
And this time, with Paille's goal, they did help.
I was extremely happy for him," said Thornton. "Effort is never a problem for us, but being able to capitalize is always a good thing for the fourth line.
After never holding a lead over the Capitals through the first 10 periods, the Bruins now havent trailed in the playoffs since Paille stepped in front of the net for a big-time goal.