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Julien: Seguin-Kelly-Paille line ‘huge’ for Bruins

Jun 16, 2013, 12:07 AM EDT

paillekelly

Claude Julien found a bit of magic on Saturday night, courtesy a new-look line.

The Bruins head coach put struggling winger Tyler Seguin on a line with Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille, and the trio combined for four points and both goals in a 2-1 OT victory over Chicago at the United Center.

“I put those three guys together, and they answered,” Julien said. “That line came up huge for us tonight.”

The unit was something of a reclamation project.

Kelly came into the night pointless through 17 games this postseason with an ugly minus-9 rating, but scored Boston’s first goal and was on the ice for Paille’s game-winner.

“I think he’s been snakebit for quite a while,” Julien said of Kelly. “When you don’t score, eventually you get scored on and the minuses keep creeping up. That was certainly something that bothered him.”

“Tonight’s a good night for him.”

Paille was something of a turnaround story as well. The 29-year-old winger hadn’t scored in seven straight games heading into Saturday’s affair, but came up huge in overtime.

“Dan skated well tonight,” said Julien. “His forecheck created turnovers, and he was also a lot stronger on the puck. That was a great shot by him [in OT].”

Paille set the tone in the second period with an outstanding move to elude Nick Leddy and set up Kelly for the equalizer.

Seguin, the Bruins’ leading scorer from a year ago, has struggled to find his groove this postseason (just one goal, five points) and has moved all over the lineup.

He replaced Nathan Horton on the “HuLK” line in overtime of Game 1 after Horton was hurt, and started Game 2 with Rich Peverley and Kaspars Daugavins.

Nothing worked — until he was put with Kelly and Paille.

It’s a big development for Boston and one that could be a momentum-changer in this series. If the Bruins are able to roll three lines confidently as this series goes on, it’ll compensate for the loss of the “Merlot Line” that was so effective in the Eastern Conference semis against the Rangers.

  1. patriotslove12 - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    Seguin’s play has been improving, as well, in each game of the playoffs, in BOTH the offensive and defensive zone. I.E. last game (game 1) he handed k. Daugavins the puck on his forehand, right in front of an open net in OT, and he ignorantly decided to stick-handle to his backhand (which resulted in ANOTHER open net to shoot at with his backhand), and proceeded to lose the puck like an inept bear on skates. Seguin also has 2 assists in 2 final games so far, which would be higher if he hasn’t been snake-bitten on shots and playing with Kelly (who hadn’t had a goal since APRIL before tonight. Time to lay off Seguin a little bit.

  2. sabatimus - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Seguin was an absolute beast, both offensively and defensively. His best playoff game.

  3. 19to77 - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Something tells me that if Julien put Seguin back on his natural line right now, they’d look spectacular. Seguin’s clearly taken the point that he needs to play with more intensity. He’s been working his ass off in the last two games. But for the lesser talent of his linemates, he’d be impacting the board in a bigger way. Run him with Marchand and Bergeron next game. Something tells me the results will look good.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 16, 2013 at 3:02 AM

      You’re winning games and you want to switch what works? Where will Jagr play because he is definitely not a 3rd line player?

      • theskinsman - Jun 16, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        Jagr is definitely not a 3rd line player?? Please, be reasonable. It’s 2013, he’s 41 and CAN’T SCORE ANY MORE. Can’t last more than 30 seconds a shift. Can’t even get the obligatory ‘star’ penalties called anymore. Did you miss him actually towing the ‘hawk down the ice who was holding his stick right in front of the official last nite?
        Jagr is lucky to not be a healthy scratch at this point.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        Thanks for not knowing what the 3rd line is for

    • spitfisher - Jun 16, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      don’t mess with Bergeron, Marchand and Yags, they are doing just fine thank you!

  4. spitfisher - Jun 16, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    I felt since the rangers game he was more suited down with Paille, Kelly and even Thorton.

    Why Paille didn’t get the 7th player award is beyond me in the regular season, I found confusing.

  5. dboldave - Jun 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Easily Seguin’s best playoff game this year. I even saw him finish checks and not shy away from contact. Perfect timing because Chicago’s 3rd and 4th lines have been great.

  6. pastabelly - Jun 16, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    7th Player Award is now a joke. The only choices should have been Paille or Campbell. Hamilton was a nice story and will be great down the line. It’s just not his time.

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