BOSTON — The Bruins didn't know they might need another forward when they called Zach Hamill up from Providence on Thursday afternoon.

The youngster had earned the promotion o the big club with his strong play of late. But after Daniel Paille was ejected from Thursday's 6-3 win over Dallas for a hit to the head of Stars forward Raymond Sawada that could earn Paille a suspension, Hamill might just be needed when the Bruins take on San Jose on Saturday.

"I think people are thinking that's why we called him up, but I knew this afternoon he was coming up," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It really has no relation to Dan Paille and what's going to happen there.

"I think the one thing is that he's been playing really well. In the last month he's been outstanding and you certainly want to give him a shot and I think coming in is going to give him that opportunity."

Hamill, 22, leads Providence in assists with 25, and is second on the team with 28 points in 44 games. After a slow start, Hamill has come on strong, with 14 points in his last 16 games. He also had an assist in his lone game with the big club last season, when the 2007 first-round pick was called up for the regular-season finale at Washington.

"He played that one game for us in Washington at the end of last year and I liked his game," Julien said. "I thought he had played well in that game. I'm looking forward to seeing him play with us and hopefully he plays as well as he has been in Providence."