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Four-Line Production

Offense from Kelly, Campbell lines important to the Bruins' success

Sunday, 03.10.2013 / 3:17 PM ET / Features
By Eric Russo  - BostonBruins.com
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Four-Line Production
The B\u2019s have relied on the lines of David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron for offense to this stage of the season. But, part of what has made the Bruins so good over the past three seasons is a balanced offensive attack, spread throughout all four lines.

BostonBruins.com – For much of this season, the B’s have relied on the lines anchored by David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron for offense. But, part of what has made the Bruins so good over the past three seasons is a balanced offensive attack, with all lines chipping in. And that's exactly what they got in Saturday's 3-0 win over the Flyers.

To start the season, the line centered by Chris Kelly hadn't been putting up points on the scoresheet as often as in the past. The shots were there, and the help both on the faceoff dot and on the penalty kill units, but the back of the net was tougher to find.

Last season, Kelly and linemate Rich Peverley ranked seventh and eighth on the Bruins, respectively, in scoring. Kelly tallied career highs in goals (20) and points (39), while Peverley had a 11-31–41 line. Both sported sky-high plus/minus numbers, as well – Kelly was at plus-33, good for fourth in the NHL, and Peverley came finished with a plus-20 rating.

Kelly currently is a minus-6, with two goals and four assists, while Peverley has potted three goals and four assists, and sits at a minus-8.

In Saturday’s win against the Philadelphia Flyers, the line showed its offensive potential, as Kelly scored his second goal of the season – and first since February 24 – with Peverley, and recent call-up Jordan Caron, providing the assists.

If the line can begin to produce more and shore up their defensive game, Kelly knows it will give the B’s back their trademark depth.

“For sure,” said Kelly, following practice at Ristuccia Arena on Sunday, on if it is important for his line to contribute. “There's no secret that our top two lines have done all the scoring. We're in the situation we are because they've been producing.

“It was nice that Soupy's [Gregory Campbell’s] line and my line were able to contribute and maybe take a little weight off those guys' shoulders for a game," he said, on both he and Paille putting goals past Ilya Bryzgalov with full line efforts. "Hopefully that continues.”

And Kelly was able to walk out of TD Garden Saturday night confident and satisfied about his game.

“We've been pretty positive,” Kelly said of his line. “It was nice to leave the rink with a bit of a smile on our face and feel good about the way we played.

“We expect a lot out of ourselves," the center added. "Team success is the most important success, but you want to contribute. You don't want to make anyone feel that you're letting them down, make other guys have to do more or pull more of the weight than they should because, for whatever reason, the bounces aren't going your way.

“It was nice to feel good about our game.”

The centerman didn’t want to get too high, however, acknowledging that it was just one game.

“I thought we played well,” he said. “Throughout the night we had some pretty good offensive time, some pretty good chances. It was nice to score, but it's one [game], there's still lots of games to be played. It's something, as a line, that we can build off of.”

The Bruins have now won 26 games in a row, in which Kelly has scored a goal - a pretty startling statistic, whether its coincidence or not.

“I heard that stat,” he smiled. “I guess I need to score more, every game - if I got two [now], maybe next game."

The line of Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton, and Daniel Paille was able to add a goal board against the Flyers as well. Even if the main job of the line is to provide energy and a hard-checking game, Head Coach Claude Julien has liked the play of that line over the past few games, after they, too, were not producing as much early this season.

And the more they can chip in offensively, the better it is for the B's.

“They're getting a few more even shifts because they're playing better,” said Coach Julien. “At the beginning of the year, we weren't getting what we thought they were capable of, which we've seen in the past. But, their game is coming around and it's a good time for it too because all of those games forces me to use them more - which is  a benefit to our hockey club right now."

"They've been good the last three games, more to the image we think they're capable of giving us."

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
2 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
3 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
4 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
5 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
6 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
7 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
8 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 73 21 31 2 52
L. Eriksson 73 19 23 0 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
M. Lucic 73 15 25 10 40
B. Marchand 69 22 17 6 39
C. Soderberg 74 11 27 8 38
R. Smith 73 12 25 8 37
T. Krug 70 12 23 12 35
D. Krejci 39 7 21 7 28
C. Kelly 72 7 20 8 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .919 2.30
T. Rask 29 19 12 .921 2.34
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