NASHVILLE - The Bruins know that over the long haul their horses will come through more often than not. Boston's top line, dynamic goaltending duo, and stingy defense corps can carry the Black & Gold on any given night.
But in order to win on a consistent basis, a trend that the Bruins have struggled with in recent weeks, they must follow the blueprint that led them to the Stanley Cup Final last spring. For Boston, that formula is all about T-E-A-M.
Getting contributions from up and down the lineup each night is crucial to their success. And on Tuesday night, that was certainly clear.
Six different players scored, and 14 players registered at least a point, as the Bruins snapped their three-game losing skid with a 6-2 victory over the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
"I don't think we've ever considered ourselves a one-line team," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "We've always felt like we're a group of 20 guys that have to pull their weight every night and if not, we're not gonna win every night. That was a good example of it tonight."
Video: Coyle, Heinen with two points each in 6-2 victory
After potting just a single goal each - both by David Pastrnak - in their last two games, the Bruins received a far more balanced offensive effort, as they gained some of the secondary scoring that they have so desperately lacked in recent weeks.
While top-line stalwarts Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron both scored, Boston also received tallies from Danton Heinen, Chris Wagner, David Krejci and Charlie Coyle, as well as a two-assist night from Matt Grzelcyk.
"That's the type of team that we are," said Bergeron. "We're a team that needs and relies on everyone to play their game and bring it every night. I thought tonight was a perfect example of how we want to play and compete. If we do that more often than not, we're going to get the result."
Bergeron also pointed to his team's complete 60-minute effort, another area that has been scarce of late. Despite a push from the Predators in the second period that pulled them to within a goal, the Bruins responded with Bergeron's power-play tally late in the second and a gritty net front tally from Wagner in the opening minutes of the third to open up a 4-1 lead.
"It's been a while since we've played as a team like that - assertive, on the puck throughout the game for 60 minutes non-stop," said Bergeron. "There was going to be some breakdowns - we're playing some good teams, it's a great league, obviously…but I thought the way we competed, the way we played, good things will happen if we do that."
Video: BOS@NSH: Pastrnak beats Rinne with heavy slapper
Third Line Chips In
Cassidy was particularly pleased with the efforts of his third line, which chipped in two goals - one each from Heinen and Coyle, who both ended up with two-point nights. Brett Ritchie, back in the lineup after missing the last two games as a healthy scratch, played the right side and brought some added energy, while also delivering a slick assist on Coyle's goal in the closing seconds.
"I thought Ritchie went in there and banged with a purpose. He wanted to be physical, but you want to win pucks, get to good ice, create turnovers. We were able to do that more than once tonight. That was good to see. We need that," said Cassidy. "We saw the playoff run we had last year - even two years ago, we had a third line that contribute every game.
"Any time you get balanced scoring, it just takes so much pressure off the other guys. Turns a lot of those one-goal games into two- or three-goals wins if they can pitch in every night. That's the goal."
After some strong work down low by Coyle and Ritchie, and a nifty move by Grzelcyk to avoid a Nashville defender, Heinen delivered his seventh goal of the season with a rifle of a wrist shot that beat Pekka Rinne over his right shoulder. The tally, Heinen's second in the last 19 games, gave Boston a 2-0 lead at 8:21 of the second.
"Mentally, it kind of reminds you that you can do it. Just trying to build off of it and keep working on the details," said Heinen. "Those are two big bodies winning battles down low and on the walls. That was all them. Try to get open. They're going to the net creating traffic."
Video: BOS@NSH: Heinen snipes the top shelf for sweet goal
For the Moms
Boston certainly had some added motivation on Tuesday night with their mothers watching from a suite. After two days of fun in Nashville for the team's second-ever moms trip, the Bruins were pleased to send them home happy with a strong all-around effort.
"It's definitely great. All the sacrifices they've made and everything they've done for us and our families over the years has been tremendous," said Bergeron. "Sometimes we don't have a chance to thank them for everything they've done, so it's a nice opportunity for us to be here and share a few days with them. They're obviously excited. It's been a great few days. Lots of laughs and lots of fun."
Video: Bergeron talks full team win