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Fourth Line Continues to Contribute

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins

BOSTON – For the second time this postseason, the Boston Bruins fourth line found its way onto the score sheet when Daniel Paille found the back of the Philadelphia net in the second period of last night’s 5-1 win over the Flyers.

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Boucher, left, looks back as the puck hits the netting on a goal by Paille (20) during the second period in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff series in Boston, Wednesday, May 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Paille’s goal helped the Bruins extend their series lead to 3-0.

The line, comprised of wingers Paille and Shawn Thornton, centered by Gregory Campbell was an important part of Boston’s line-up throughout the entire regular season.

Thornton and Campbell were mainstays on the line, but the third of the threesome often rotated Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin and Paille all filling the spot.

With Paille back on the line for the final stretch of the regular season, "The Merlot" (nicknamed because of wine color of their jerseys) became key contributors and were a major factor as the B's took the Northeast Division crown.

“They were a good line for us tonight. And no doubt that that goal against kind of stung them a little bit,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said of the line’s performance last night.

“They came out and they still had a couple of good opportunities to score as well. [Campbell] had a chance in tight and they did a great job, especially in the offensive zone, they kept the puck in and they made some plays. 

“Again, this is a line that we counted on all year. It’s also a line that we think is one of the better fourth lines we’ve seen in the league. And when we need them they are there for us.”

Last night, with Paille’s tally, the line upped their contributions this postseason to four combined points. All of those points have come in the Philadelphia series.

Paille’s tally came at 13:49 in the second and was the first postseason goal of his career. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk broke up Philadelphia’s possession in Boston’s offensive zone, starting the three-on-two rush to the Flyers’ zone.

A centering pass from Campbell set up Paille’s goal.

“[Campbell] had the puck. I was kind of open for a two-on-one but they did a great job backchecking,” Thornton said of the play leading to Paille’s goal.

“Piesy did a great job getting up the ice. He’s got pretty good speed and it was a good shot by him… And it worked out. So it was a great pass by Soupy but even a better shot by Piesy.”

Last night, the fourth line increased their minutes as well. Campbell skated for 14:08, Paille for 10: 26 and Thornton for 8:20. Both Campbell and Paille play key roles in Boston’s special teams, specifically on the penalty kill.

Many teams shorten their bench for the postseason, but the Bruins have shown faith in the abilities of Campbell's line and continue to roll them out.

“It’s very important throughout the playoffs that you use all four lines. And there are guys who you don’t see always on the ice, but you never question their work ethic,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.

“They always give you one hundred percent and they are always creating some energy or something happening on the ice.”

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