MacDermid 'handled himself well' in first NHL game

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MacDermid 'handled himself well' in first NHL game

NEW YORK Lane MacDermid was drafted by the Bruins as an overage player because he was fearless when challenging other players physically, and seemingly unfazed by the big moments in junior hockey.

MacDermid showed flashes of those some attributes during Bruins training camp over the last two years, and did it again in his NHL debut Sunday afternoon when he scrapped with noted tough guy Mike Rupp on his first shift of the day.

The MacDermid scrap was one of three hockey fights on the day for a Bruins team looking to fight their big, bad team identity against the first place New York Rangers, but it ended up falling just short in a 4-3 loss to the Blueshirts at Madison Square Garden.

MacDermid has been averaging 20 fights per season at the AHL level over the past three years and knew it was go time when Rupp started jostling with him at the face-off circle.

I said that I would fight if the opportunity was there and I got challenged, said MacDermid. Sometimes its in the back of my head whether I should or I shouldnt fight. I kind of got it out of the way and then just thought about playing after that.

Coach Claude Julien was impressed with the subtleties of MacDermids game: he had a good feel for getting on and off the ice for line changes, played good two-way shifts when he was out there and acquired himself with a lot of left-handed jabs when fellow Windsor Spitfires alum Rupp came looking for a fight.

I was hoping he was going to just play. I didnt think Rupp would go after a young guy, but he started whacking him and slashing him, said Julien. The kid stood up for himself. He did a great job and he handled himself well. For his first game he did some good things out there.

He wasnt hesitant. He was making some good decisions and good line changes: things that are very important in this league. He handled himself well for his very first game.

MacDermid finished with 5:26 of ice time on eight shifts in his NHL debut and didnt crack the scoresheet with anything else. But for a player the Bruins hope could someday become a Shawn Thornton-type player when hes fully developed, that was as good a start as any that he could have hoped for filling in for the injured Daniel Paille on the Bs Merlot Line.

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

BOSTON – It took until his 43rd game in the NHL to finally score his first goal with the Bruins, but Rhode Island native Noel Acciari said it made him appreciate it all the more when that moment finally did arrived on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old Acciari finished off a Riley Nash feed on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush that gave the Bruins an insurance goal they badly needed in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators at TD Garden.

Then David Pastrnak hit Acciari with a shaving cream pie to the face during the NESN broadcast as a way to commemorate his teammate’s big scoring moment, and Torey Krug immediately fished the puck out of the net to make certain that Acciari would get it.

So it was the best of both worlds with the team-oriented Acciari, who watched his Bruins win to go right along with his hallmark scoring moment that he’ll remember forever.

“Your first NHL goal is a special feeling and to finally have it, you know, like I said before I couldn’t have done it without the other guys, the other four, five guys on the ice. But it feels good,” said Acciari, who has a goal and four points in 24 games this season in Boston. “It just shows you how special it is. It’s not going to come the first game you play; it could come 10, 20, for me probably over 40, but it still feels the same.”

Clearly it’s more about providing a physical, heavy and aggressive opponent when Acciari suits up for the Black and Gold, and it’s less about providing offensive production that’s really a bonus from the fourth line. The focus on throwing hits, aggravating opponents and playing with extra energy have been a big part of Acciari’s game since his return from Providence, and that is absolutely been by design.

“I think I kind of strayed [from my strengths] when I got back from my injury – I kind of strayed away from the hitting game,” said Acciari. “Just getting in on the fore-check and, you know, just kind of getting back to that down in Providence was huge and kind of get my confidence up down there helped out a lot. So when I got the call up I was ready for anything.”

He’s certainly played like he was ready for anything while posting a goal and two points along with a plus-4 in his first four games back for the Bruins organization. Acciari did all of that while leading everybody in Tuesday night’s game with eight registered hits in the win over Nashville. So the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Acciari gave a pretty good example against the Predators of just what he can do with steady ice time and the trust of his teammates as all of the hockey clubs in the East gear up to finish strong for the playoffs.

Now all Acciari has to do is continue to play consistently, punish opposing players and chip in a little offense from time and time as he carves out a permanent role on Boston’s fourth line, and helps his team win a few along the way. 

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