Who would have ever thought that Benoit Pouliot would be showing the way for the rest of the Bruins in the playoffs?
After setting up the game-winning overtime goal in Game 1 against the Washington Capitals, Pouliot did the scoring this time around on his own. The third line right winger cashed in on a backhander off a puck that ricocheted off a skate in front of the net, and tied up a game at 1-1 that was sent into double-overtime.
There it was ultimately decided by Nicklas Backstroms game-winner that evened the series at one apiece, but that was through no fault of Pouliot. Earlier in the game he had toe-dragged a puck right around Mike Green that resulted in a holding penalty, but his first career playoff goal in the third period turned out to be his only shot of the night.
I think the first game went pretty well for our line and today was the same thing, but weve just got to score a little more, said Pouliot. Braden Holtby tried to poke check the loose puck at the same time. I took a whack at it and it ended up in the net. So sometimes just put the puck or whack at it you never know whats going to happen and it ended up pretty good.
Despite all of that Pouliot was one of the most active Bs forwards, and set the example the rest of his fellow forwards should have been following by crashing the net and pouncing on a loose puck. Too often rookie goaltender Braden Holtby was leaving loose rebounds around the net, but the Bruins simply couldnt get to them.
Ben has been playing probably his best hockey since hes been here. They like his grittiness, and hopefully that can be contagious with some of our other guys right now. Thats what we need from everybody, said Claude Julien. Hes working hard and hes going to the net. Great pass last game for the winning goal, and great effort to jump on that loose puck to tie the game and force it into overtime. We need more of that from a lot of other players.
The Bs third line now has combined for two goals in Bostons first two playoff games this year, and Pouliot is taking a driving force role in their first round of the postseason after a year of regular season ups and downs.