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Line Shuffling Helps Bruins Down Detroit In 3-2 Comeback Win

BOSTON (CBS) - Dave Goucher, the voice of the Bruins, told Toucher & Rich just a few days ago that we're at the point in the season where it's dangerous to be critiquing wins, and the most important thing is just accumulating points.

That sentiment couldn't be more true for the Bruins Thursday night.

Boston played uninspiring, terrible hockey for more than 40 minutes at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, but the tide started to turn in the third period. Down 2-0 early in the third when it felt like they should have been down by a touchdown (that's how good goalie Tuukka Rask was), Carl Soderberg got Boston on the board with a power play goal at the 5:05 mark.

The Bruins would go on to score two more unanswered goals in the final frame in a dramatic comeback win, earning a much-needed two points in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Following the game, 98.5 The Sports Hub's Adam Jones caught up with Dave Goucher and Bob Beers of the Bruins Radio Network to provide a game summary and recap.

Both Goucher and Beers credit the comeback win, in part, to the different line combinations employed by head coach Claude Julien in the final 20 minutes.

"The Bruins had to do something to try to get some life and get going. They really had nothing for the first two periods of the game. The only reason it was close was because Tuukka Rask was fantastic. He had 14 saves in the first period and another dozen in the second period," Goucher told Jones.

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron took a high stick to the face from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period, so he was forced to miss the rest of the frame to receive 20 stitches.

Bergeron's absence, as well as David Krejci's ineffectiveness and a number of other factors, was the reason for the different line combos.

"The mixing and matching starts because [David] Krejci is not ready to play center yet. I think that was painfully obvious there in that first period. They had to move him around. He was playing center, and then they had to keep him at center because Patrice Bergeron went down injured and missed most of that second period," said Beers. "They had to make those changes based on that. You start with David Krejci and move him back to the wing alongside Bergeron. OK, now who else is going?"

Julien also reunited the Soderberg line and put Reilly Smith with him alongside Loui Eriksson, which helped create a little more balance. The Ryan Spooner line with Milan Lucic wasn't really doing much offensively because the Wings were getting physical with rookie David Pastrnak, who got knocked down a couple of times.

"There were a lot of people guilty of turnovers in this game, but some of the young guys as well. So they had to make a couple of changes that way. Based on that knowledge and those players not going in those certain situations you had to make some changes to your forward lines. Not only just to jumpstart the offense, but defensively too. They were just stuck inside their own zone a lot," said Beers.

Right wing Brett Connolly, acquired by Boston via trade at the March 2 deadline, made his Bruins debut Thursday night after a fractured finger in his second team practice kept him out for the last month.

Bob Beers liked what he saw from the 22-year-old former top 10 pick.

"[Connolly] was fine, but he was tired in that third period. That adrenaline kind of wears off as the game goes on then it catches up to you, now you're playing regular shifts. He had to play some double shifts in the second period because they were a man short up front with the Bergeron injury, so that was a lot of ice time for him coming back in his first game," Beers said of Connolly's conditioning.

"You can't simulate game action until you get out there and play a game. He's got good offensive instincts. This was a good start for him. This gives Claude Julien someone else to count on in different offensive situations."

The Bruins have won five, lost six, and now won four games in a row. With just four games remaining in the NHL regular season, Boston holds a slim three-point lead over Ottawa for the final playoff spot in the East.

Listen below for the full game recap:


After chatting with Goucher and Beers, Adam Jones goes over the best and the worst of the Bruins 3-2 win over Detroit in a segment he calls Plus/Minus.

Listen below:

Hear every game of the 2014-15 Boston Bruins season on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the Boston Bruins. Pregame coverage with Dave Goucher and Bob Beers begins 30 minutes prior to every game!

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