BOSTON — Benoit Pouliot's tenure with the Bruins hasn't been the smoothest of rides so far, but the forward at least started to turn things in the right direction on Monday night.
Pouliot scored his first goal of the season — his first as a member of the Bruins — just 1:32 into Monday's game with the Islanders to set the tone for what turned out to be a 6-2 Bruins win.
The goal also helped bring a personal scoring drought to an end for Pouliot. By beating Evgeni Nabokov, Pouliot picked up his first goal since Feb. 15 — a span of 32 games.
"It was nice to see, and he was in the right place," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "He was right there, put on the breaks and banged it in. Second period, almost had another identical one with [Jordan] Caron throwing it across the crease.
"Like I said, he's a guy that's working hard, he's trying to find his way on this hockey club, trying to adapt. His work ethic and compete level is there, so, so again, we've just got to keep working with him and see how far we can go."
Pouliot was in the lineup for the first time since an Oct. 27 return to Montreal. He then missed some time with illness, during which Caron at least temporarily won a spot in the lineup. With Rich Peverley's undisclosed injury, however, it gave Pouliot a chance to return to the ice, skating with Caron and Chris Kelly.
With a vague diagnosis for Peverley, it's uncertain what the future holds for Pouliot in terms of ice time. If Pouliot can start to find the net with some sort of regularity, though, it could present Julien with some interesting lineup decisions.