CHICAGO – With all the momentum on the Blackhawks side through the first period and a half of Game 2 Saturday night at the United Center, Bruins coach Claude Julien had to shake up his bottom two lines. One of those units, Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin, provided the lift that the Black and Gold desperately needed.
It didn’t take long for the trio to click either. With the Blackhawks in complete control, Kelly finally got his team, and himself, off the schneid, for his first of the playoffs at 14:58 of the second period – on the Bruins’ seventh shot of the game.
Nearly 40 minutes later, Paille finished the job with his game-winner at 13:58 of overtime (his third of the playoffs) to give the Black and Gold a 2-1 win and even the series at one game a piece.
After a sloppy first period where they were outshot 19-4, the trio’s success certainly paid dividends for Julien and company.
“We didn’t have much going. At one point I thought that line would give us something,” Julien said about Kelly, Paille and Seguin. “They responded well and got both goals tonight.”
Kelly, Seguin and Paille gave Julien and Bruins fans something to be proud about. But it hasn’t been smooth sailing during the postseason for two of the three forwards.
Both Seguin and Kelly have struggled to find the scoresheet. On the other hand, the two have had their chances, but whether it’s hitting the post or missing the net, the two just couldn’t light the lamp.
Paille, however, has been the most versatile player on the Black and Gold. So pairing him with Kelly and a fellow speedster in Seguin was a natural fit.
“They both skate extremely well,” Kelly said about Paille and Seguin. “They’re at kind of the same speed level, which makes it nice that one guy is not ahead of the other.
“I think Claude is just trying to find different chemistry with different guys on who’s going on any given night. Claude has a pretty good feel for his players. I think our line got thrown together at the end of the first, beginning of the second and I thought our line played well.”
Seguin was the only one of the three who didn’t find the back of the net. But his assist on Paille’s winner certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
“You just want to stay as consistent with that as you can,” said the 21-year-old forward. “Everyday makes you work harder and harder and makes you focus even more and more.”
For a team that struggled in the first 30-plus minutes, Paille, Kelly and Seguin provided the Bruins with a needed jolt and evened the series.
Not bad for a line that was thrown together mid-game.
“I think we just stopped thinking and started playing and realized that we needed to help the team a little bit,” Paille said. “I think that goes well into the game when you stop thinking and start playing with your natural abilities. I think Seggy [Seguin] started skating a lot more and I think Kels [Kelly] and myself started to protect the puck. So that helped us out in the game.”