Typically patient with his lines combinations, Bruins coach Claude Julien
seemingly has seen enough of his offense through four games to decide it's time for a major revamp.
During a 30-minute practice at TD Garden on Friday to prepare for Saturday's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Washington, Julien shook up all four of his lines, led by Brian Rolston
moving to right wing next to Milan Lucic
and David Krejci
. The other lines featured Patrice Bergeron
centering Daniel Paille
and Rich Peverley
, Chris Kelly
centering Benoit Pouliot
and Tyler Seguin
, and Gregory Campbell
skating between Brad Marchand
and Shawn Thornton
. Spare forward Jordan Caron
rotated in on the Kelly line.
"Making line changes, that's a part of trying to find solutions and it's as simple as that," said Julien, whose team has scored just seven goals and is tied in the series at 2-2. "You've got to mix up guys who are not getting the results that we'd like to. So, you're trying to make changes that will maybe spark that part of our game."
Defensively, the Bruins have been as sound as the Capitals, who also have scored just seven goals. Only San Jose and Vancouver, two teams in unenviable 1-3 deficits in their series, have scored that few goals.
Last year, only injuries caused Julien to shuffle his lines even when the Bruins were struggling and fell into 0-2 series holes against Montreal and Vancouver. Nonetheless, most of the players said they weren't surprised at the changes, which may not even carry over into Game 5.
"I think maybe you try to jump start a little bit more offensive opportunities with certain guys. I think that's all that was," Kelly said. "I think the defensive part of the game has been good from everyone. By no means is this a scare tactic or a panic tactic ... I think it's just Claude weighing his options. He has lots of options in this locker room."
Peverley said: "It never hurts to have a little change, especially if we're not scoring goals. And we're not scoring enough, so we've done it earlier in the year and it worked. We won a couple games, so why not change?"