BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien changed up the lines on Thursday night, sending a message that things needed to change after a 2-4 start.
The Bruins got that message, responding with a 6-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“It’s a message that’s sent that we need to be better and find ways to create some offense. We got the message and we have to keep going now,” said Patrice Bergeron.
“For me, it’s not about satisfaction. It’s about doing the right thing for the team,” said Julien after the game. “When it works, great. Had it not worked, I would have been back at the board tonight and trying to figure something else out.”
Chris Kelly was bumped up to the first line next to Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin. Lucic and Seguin finished with a goal and two assists each. Kelly added a goal and an assist.
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With Kelly moving up, Nathan Horton was moved down to the second line with Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Horton responded with his second goal in three games, opening the flood gates for the Bruins offense.
After Horton’s power play goal tied the game 1-1 at the 10-minute mark in the first, the Bruins went on score six straight.
It looks like, at least for one night, the line changes did the trick.
“It’s nice that it did work; it makes my job a lot easier,” Julien said of the change. “It was nice to see the guys, a lot of the guys that have been battling through it, manage to do well tonight: Horton gets that first goal, Lucic I thought really looked more like the Looch we know. Among others, David Krejci comes back in and has a pretty solid game. So we got a lot of good things out of a lot of players, and I think it was nice to see. It was refreshing, and sometimes that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to mix things up a little bit and give them a little bit of a sting, and usually that sting is a positive sting.”
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“I don’t think we had any passengers,” said forward Shawn Thornton, whose fight with Colton Orr just two minutes in also helped spark the team. “I think everybody did their job and was pretty relevant in the way things ended up.”
“I thought the whole team was being smart, keeping things simple; chipping the puck when it was time to, making a play when it was time to. Obviously we’re going to have the results if we play like that,” said Bergeron.
“I mean I don’t think we have any lines here,” said Horton. “It doesn’t matter who you play with. I mean to play with anyone on the team you’re lucky enough to be able to do that and everyone’s a great player here. And we all work for each other and that’s why we win games.”
Horton was very hard on himself after Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Hurricanes. His third period penalty killed any chance at a Bruins rally, so he wanted to make sure he did not hurt his team Thursday night.
Getting used to his new line mates will require an adjustment, but the former 30-goal scorer is up for the task.
“I mean I just try to keep up with them,” said Horton. “They’re so fast. They play well together, and just give them the puck and I just try to keep my feet moving. And it makes me play better too”
Now the Bruins have to make sure all their good play carries over to Saturday night’s matchup with the San Jose Sharks.
“I just thought we looked more like our team,” said Julien after the win. “We did that in Chicago, and I said the same thing. We’ve kind of been hit and miss so far this year as we come up with a good effort. I think right now the biggest challenge is to be able to follow that up Saturday with the same kind of effort.”
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