Leading the way were Daniel Paille
, Gregory Campbell
and Shawn Thornton
B's Head Coach Claude Julien announced the trio as the team’s starting forwards and the "merlot" line gave the Bruins energy as soon as Campbell took the opening face-off.
“We got a good first shift from that line. They set the tempo of the games a lot of times,” said Julien
The first period held a few scoring chances for each team, but the Senators would have the help of a lucky bounce on one of theirs.
Ottawa’s Nick Foligno capitalized on a strange opportunity to get the evening’s first tally. With several B’s and Sens jerseys crashing the cage, Foligno’s back-hand shot had an odd deflection and found its way into the back of the net.
Thornton didn’t want the Sens to build momentum off of the goal, so he dropped the gloves with Ottawa’s Zenon Konokpa just four seconds after Ottawa scored.
“I just want to get the boys going," said Thornton. "We were down 1-0.”
Thorton's tussle paid off as the Bruins got things rolling and evened up the score on a Milan Lucic
power play goal.
The period would end with another Senator goal and the B’s left for the locker-room down 2-1.
“Those first two goals were some bad bounces again I think,” said Thornton.
The B’s have seen some bad luck over the last few games, but this time decided they would rise above it.
“I like the way that we didn’t just hang our heads just like we’ve been lately,” explained Thorton. "We just kind of tried to work through it and work through it and it paid off."
The Bruins came out flying in the second and took all the momentum. With consecutive shifts, the whole team was contributing and built off one another to find a consistent flow.
“We just talked amongst ourselves and realized everyone needs to play for each other,” said Daniel Paille
Each line was moving up and down the ice as a unit, working hard in the corners, getting pucks to the net and staying composed in the defensive zone. The Bruins would find more of a groove in the second and took the lead with goals from Patrice Bergeron
and Chris Kelly
With a 3-2 lead in Boston’s favor, forty minutes of hockey was finished. The B’s would go on to prove they had the last twenty in the tank.
The Senators tied the game up when Jared Cowen’s shot took an awkward bounce in front of Tim Thomas
, however, once again the B’s were not discouraged and responded just two minutes later.
“We didn’t get down on ourselves. We obviously kept our heads up,” explained Paille.
The team moved the puck into the Senators zone and after battling hard in the corner, they were able to move it up to the blueline to Johnny Boychuk
who scored his first goal of the season on a hard slapshot from the point.
The Bruins went up 4-3, but knew they couldn’t hold back at all against a potent Ottawa offense. Coach Julien sent the Thornton-Campbell-Paille line back out onto the ice in hopes of a good follow-up shift, however, the trio had something more in stock.
Just as the team opened the door for the Bruins, they would shut the door on the Senators.
Less than a minute following Boychuk’s go-ahead goal, Paille cut through the neutral zone, picked up Thornton’s pass on the Ottawa blue-line, and used his speed and agility to split the Senator’s defense. The left wing came in all alone on Anderson and his quick shot snuck under the arm of the Sens goaltender.
“I, just like any breakaway, just go in there and try to score and it’s a fifty-fifty chance there so I’m glad it finished and went in there,” explained the forward.
Paille’s hard work gave the B’s the insurance they needed and was a dagger to Ottawa’s morale.
“It was nice that (Paille) got rewarded tonight,” said Thornton, who with Campbell assisted the goal.
Thornton, Paille and Campbell played together for much of last season and showed tonight that they plan to continue to be major contributors to the B’s offensive and defensive effort this year.
“I think their line was more of what we know them to be tonight. I thought they did a great job of starting the game for us in Montreal the other night – got the puck in, and hemmed them in, and gave us some energy – and tonight was the same thing,” Julien commented.
The Bruins improved over the course of the game and by the end were firing on all cylinders. The Black & Gold showed everyone how dangerous they are when everyone is working hard and playing well.
“When everybody goes out there and contributes in the fashion that they did tonight, it’s a lot better for the confidence of the whole team,” explained Coach Julien.
The Bruins snapped both Ottawa’s winning streak and their own losing streak. To earn the huge win, the Black & Golf did not rely on luck to come to them, but rather created through their hard work.
“We worked through it and we made our own luck. We got a win against a team that has been really good as of late,” added Thornton.
The Bruins hope Thursday’s collective effort will carry over to Saturday night as they travel to Canada to take on the Maple Leafs, who led the Northeast Division with a 7-3-1 record.
“We don’t want to change a thing. With Toronto playing well it’s going to be tough and we have to realize that,” said Paille.
“We go up there, they are another hot team, and we have to try to get a win,” added Thornton. ---John Griffin