It looks like the “first line” has shown up after all.
After struggling for the past couple of weeks, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic are doing what Bruins fans have been accustomed to seeing in the past; throwing their weight around and creating chances. Lucic dished out two nice assists to Horton (his eighth) – who scored his first goal in nine games – and David Krejci (his seventh) 3:03 apart to give the Black and Gold a 2-0 lead after 20. Here are three observations from the first period.
1. I guess it’s a good thing that we shadowed the top line in today’s preview, and it seems that all three were paying attention. The Bruins relied upon the top line heavily to start the season, and even though the trio has had their struggles recently, they seem to be coming around. Despite not getting on the scoresheet against Florida, Lucic, Krejci and Horton played well enough to create chances. But so far today, unlike Thursday’s game, they are capitalizing on their opportunities.
2. An interesting decision by head coach Claude Julien to start the game putting Daniel Paille, Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell on the ice to start the game against the Caps trio of Jason Chimera, Mike Ribeiro and Joel Ward. If there’s anything positive about the Caps season to date, its been that trio, but you wonder if Julien will be doing this a little more often going forward to start things out.
3. Some stats to share before the middle stanza. The Bruins are 12-1-1 when scoring first and 8-1-1 when leading after 20. Those two loses came against, you guessed it, the Capitals and Penguins. Washington, meanwhile, is 4-7-1 when allowing the first goal and 3-7-1 when trailing after the first.
And when Horton hears a woo, the Bruins are 15-1-0 all-time (including playoffs). Ric Flair would probably be impressed, too.