That unit responded by scoring six goals in their first two games together. The problem was those were the only six goals the Bruins scored in those two games, which followed being shut out five times in 13 games in February.
The Bruins desperately needed to find some secondary scoring with key offensive contributors Nathan Horton and Rich Peverley sidelined with injuries.
Second-year forward Jordan Caron seemed like an unlikely candidate to fill that void. He had never had a multiple-point game in the NHL and had managed just three goals and five points in his first 30 games this season. But over the last two games, he's doubled those totals, with his first career two-goal game leading the Bruins to a much-needed 5-4 win in Toronto on Tuesday.
"It goes in once I think it gives you that confidence boost," Caron said. "It pushes you to keep going. You feel like you have more time always when you've got the puck and that's really important."
Caron gained some confidence Sunday with a goal and an assist in a 4-3 loss to the Rangers, ending a slump that had seen him manage just one point in his first 13 games since being recalled from Providence on Feb. 4.
That performance was arguably Caron's best in the NHL — until he topped it in Toronto. Caron pulled Boston even late in the opening period when he banged in a goal from the top of the crease. He helped give the Bruins their first lead in the second when he drove hard to the net and linemate Chris Kelly followed up to make it 3-2. Then Caron put Boston ahead again at 4-3 with a goal at the right post off a perfect crossing feed from Zdeno Chara.
"It's always been a part of my game to go to the net hard," Caron said. "I think I've been doing it for a while, but now it's going in. It's always fun to get the results."
It's enjoyable for the rest of the Bruins to see Caron starting to blossom as well, as the 21-year old is starting to show some of the offensive potential that made him a first-round pick in 2009.
"I thought we had a great game," Bruins forward Tyler Seguin said. "We had a lot of guys step up, Jordan Caron my roommate, had a couple goals. I'm very happy for him, thought he had a great game.
"It's amazing to see his confidence level rise," added Seguin, who had two goals himself. "I really think in the last couple games he's really stepped up as a player. I can only imagine what the future's going to bring for him."
Bruins coach Claude Julien is more concerned about the present, but the emergence of Caron to help make that third line a scoring threat definitely has things looking up.
"Caron keeps showing us that's he's turning the corner, so that's encouraging news for us," Julien said. "I thought that was probably his best game in New York so far this year, and he brought that same game to Toronto tonight. That's what I liked about it. We're really relying on secondary scoring as I've mentioned the last few days, and he's providing us with that. And Kelly again, that line got three goals and it's just nice to see those guys helping us out."
There was some bad news. The third member of that line, Benoit Pouliot, left early in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. His status for the Bruins' next game back in Boston against Buffalo on Thursday is uncertain. The Bruins can't afford to lose another forward for any length of time, especially not after finally finding a new source of offense with that third-line combination.
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