BOSTON — There’s no telling how many times he’s done it in the past, but Bruins winger Daniel Paille called his shot in the morning skate.
“He told me this morning he was a shooter,” said Shawn Thornton of his linemate Paille, who scored Boston’s third goal in a 5-1 win at the TD Garden. “I guess I have to tend to believe him from now on.”
Paille cashed in on a feed from Gregory Campbell on a 3-on-1 break.
While Thornton drove to the net ahead of backchecking Philadelphia center Mike Richards, Paille ripped a shot inside the far post past goaltender Brian Boucher. The goal gave Boston a 3-0 lead en route to a 5-1 victory that put the Bruins ahead 3-0 in their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Flyers.
It was just the second goal by the Bruins’ fourth line in this series, which has featured all three players receiving scant minutes at even strength.
“I was feeling pretty good in the morning skate. I had the opportunity to shoot and I just shot it,” said Paille.
The fourth line, or “Energy Line” as they prefer to be known, was a force throughout the last several weeks of the regular season once Paille joined the fray as the left winger. In the playoffs, they’ve formed something of a forgotten trio. All three players have admitted to having a tough time adjusting to playing fewer minutes.
Nonetheless, they showed little rust tonight. In addition to their goal, they also generated other chances with a fearsome forecheck. And Paille threw at hit at Phiadelphia’s Kris Versteeg at the Flyers’ blue line that looked like it sent the winger back to Broad Street.
“It’s been a while [since I lined someone up like that]. So it was nice,” said Paille. “I felt that I knew [Versteeg] was cutting so I was just trying to square off and not to stick a leg out so I was glad to be centered on him.”
That’s the type of hit that can give a team momentum as much as a big odd-man-rush goal. Boston’s fourth line more than made up for being on the ice for a goal against late in the second period. There’s nothing much more head coach Claude Julien could ask out of that trio.
“Well obviously they were a good line for us tonight,” said the coach. “And no doubt that that goal against kind of stung them a little bit. But we had a chat with them after the second period and they had done everything right, there was one little mistake made on the play. They came out and they still had a couple of good opportunities to score as well.
“Soupy [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.”