Bruins Notes: Bruce Cassidy Pleased With New Lines After Win Vs. Capitals

The Bruins bested the Capitals, 7-3


Things looked dicey for the Bruins early in the first period on Monday against the Washington Capitals, but once the scoring started for Boston, it hardly stopped. Once down 2-0, the Bruins scored six unanswered goals and finished the night with a 7-3 victory over the Capitals at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

No one was more productive than Matt Grzelcyk, who finished with a historic five-point night (more on that later), though nearly every line got in on the fun. A bloodied Brad Marchand joined David Pastrnak in scoring twice and logging an assist, Craig Smith recorded a goal and a helper and Erik Haula also scored for the Bruins. Curtis Lazar, Urho Vaakanainen were credited with assists, and Anton Blidh and Taylor Hall each logged two.

Safe to say these new line combinations — breaking apart the Bruins’ “perfection line” and sending Pastrnak down to skate alongside Hall and Haula on the second line, with Smith up on the top line alongside Marchand and Bergeron — are working.

Cassidy was especially effusive in praise for the second line, which, if you do the math (and there was a lot of it in this one), was responsible for three goals and three assists. But he also seemed pleased with the production from across the lineup since shaking up the roster.

“Those guys are clicking right now,” Cassidy said. “That’s what we hoped for when we made a few changes, that we’d get all the lines going. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Lately, it seems like every line is feeling good about their game. If a line does have an off night, they tend to contribute in different ways … Just happy for them that things are going well.”

Here are other notes from Monday’s Bruins-Capitals game:
— Matt Grzelcyk more than made up for the fact that his turnover led to the Capitals going up 2-0 in the first period. He finished the night with four assists and what at one point was the go-ahead goal that put Boston up 3-2 after its early deficit.

He is the first Bruins defenseman to have a five-point outing since Ray Bourque in January 1994 — who also did so against the Capitals.

Grzelcyk wasn’t down for too long following his error, citing the support from his teammates.

“For me personally, I kind of just want to get back on the ice as quick as possible,” Grzelcyk said. “It’s obviously a little uncomfortable skate going back to the bench when you made a little bit of a big blunder there and cost the team. But we have great resilience, great leadership. Guys immediately come up to me, tell me to keep my head up, and I know that I have to play with confidence in order to get back in the game.”

— Conor Sheary, a Winchester, Mass. native and Massachusetts alum, was the hero for the Capitals in the first period. The local kid scored both of Washington’s initial goals, bringing his total to eight in 25 games against his hometown team. That’s tied for the most he’s scored against any team, according to Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press.

— The Bruins are back in action Wednesday, hosting the Montreal Canadiens in a game that originally was scheduled to take place across the border but was brought back to Boston due to attendance restrictions in Canada.

Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak
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