Things starting to click for Loui Eriksson
Loui Eriksson is pretty good at this overtime thing.
For the second time in three games, Eriksson sent the Bruins home happy thanks to an overtime goal. This time Eriksson’s goal completed a come from behind win over the Buffalo Sabres Sunday night at TD Garden.
“I don’t know. It’s always fun to score those important goals,” Eriksson said of his overtime winner. “I don’t know why it’s been that way but hopefully it continues like that.”
The goal was his eighth overtime tally since the 2008-09 season. Only Alex Ovechkin has scored more overtime goals during that stretch.
Eriksson started the game on the right wing playing next to Milan Lucic and David Krejci, but finished the game in his familiar spot next to Chris Kelly and Carl Sodeberg. Towards the end of the second period Chris Kelly tipped home a Zdeno Chara point shot, tying the game at two. The goal came on Eriksson’s first shift back on the Soderberg line.
Eriksson says the “demotion” mid-game had no effect on him.
“Not really. I just want to focus on the next shift. Playing with Kells and Carl, they’ve been playing good together,” Eriksson added. “Our first shift we scored a goal right away. It was nice to get that right away there.”
It looked like the Bruins were heading for a very frustrating loss, but Dougie Hamilton’s late third period goal sent the Bruins and Sabres to overtime. A nice play by Lucic led to Eriksson’s winner, a win the Bruins really needed.
“I just came in there, [Craig] Cunningham changed and I thought I heard they were changing too and Zee just put it up to Looch at the blueline there and he made a great pass,” Eriksson said about his heroics. “It was nice to get that chance and definitely score that one too.”
Eriksson’s tenure as a Bruin hasn’t been a smooth one. But things are starting to click for the former Dallas Star and because of that pucks are starting to find the back of the net.
“I’m feeling good, starting to score goals now again. I’m finding those pucks. The last couple games we’ve been creating a lot of chances too. When me, Kells and Carl play together we always seem to get some chances,” Eriksson added.
The trio of Lucic, Krejci and Eriksson didn’t have a bad game, but they certainly didn’t do anything special. Because of that, Eriksson was moved back down to the third line.
The move down in the lineup was in no way a form of punishment for Eriksson.
“Well, we needed some scoring I guess. I felt like I should put him back where he was really comfortable. It’s hard because David [Krejci] is just starting again and he’s starting to find his stride. I’m gonna tell you, Loui was a real good player tonight. That’s all I’m gonna say,” head coach Claude Julien said of Eriksson.
“Wherever he was, he was good. So it’s something we’re trying, we’re trying to find, you know, some solutions to our lines and, as I mentioned this morning, you put him there the other lines, it was OK, worked hard, but didn’t have the same chemistry. That’s what I’ve got to do as a coach, I’ve got to be able to move them around when I have to.”
They say in hockey scoring is contagious. The Bruins sure hope that rings true.