Bruce Cassidy had no issue calling out needing more from the second and third lines over the course of the Boston Bruins’ five-game losing streak. And they must have listened judging from their play Saturday night.
The B’s shook up their lines about an hour before puck drop, scratching Brett Ritchie for David Backes, moving Charlie Coyle from the second to third line and having Sean Kuraly center line No. 3. And it worked, as Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci potted two of Boston’s four goals in the B’s 4-2 win over the Panthers.
“Charlie, the puck was finding him. I thought Jake was excellent, he was really pursuing pucks, second effort on pucks,” Cassidy told NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley on NESN’s postgame coverage. “That’s what we preach to Jake. We’ll teach him the ins and outs, the details and structure like everyone else on our team. … We ask for that second effort every night. That’s what he can bring, that’s how best he can effect the play. And I thought he was really good at that tonight. Krejc, obviously, very good in the middle. And I thought Kuraly (Anders) Bjork and (Danton) Heinen were solid.”
The top line, as has been the case since last season, dominated as well. David Pastrnak scored twice to extend his league lead to 28 goals, while Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron combined for three assists. Boston had four shots on goal in the first 1:30 alone.
“It gives the rest of the group some energy,” Cassidy said of the top line’s play. “… Every line played well.”
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Bruins-Panthers game:
— David Krejci always has played well against the Panthers and continued that with a goal and an assist Saturday night.
In 48 career games against Florida, the second-line center has potted 12 goals with 28 assists with nine multi-point games.
— DeBrusk’s goal marked the 100th point of his NHL career.
— The Bruins put forth a full 60-minute effort, something the team struggled to do at points this season. But Cassidy had a good feeling about Saturday’s game.
“I did,” he said when asked if he thought the B’s would win. “If you play like that every night, you’re in the game first of all. A bounce here or there or one play separated us from losing those (five) games. I thought we weren’t outplayed by any means. That play may have been that (Pastrnak) power play goal. … That one gives us a little bit of a cushion.”
— Pastrnak now has 28 goals on the season, five in front of Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel.
“We got the win so that’s what’s important,” he said on NESN’s postgame coverage.
— The Bruins have a chance to start a new winning streak Tuesday when they welcome the Los Angeles Kings to TD Garden.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images