Four different Bruins each had three-point nights, including Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara who both scored their first goals of the season. Tyler Seguin added a goal and two assists, Andrew Ference contributed with three assists, and Nathan Horton and Chris Kelly each contributed a goal and an assist.
Not only that, but the Bruins went 2 for 5 on the power play, and managed to shut down the NHL leading goal scorer, Phil Kessel. Kessel, who bore the "A" on his sweater, only found through to Tim Thomas' pads once throughout the night and finished with a minus-1 rating. His five-game point streak was also snapped tonight with 7-5=12 totals.
So. What was the difference maker? How did the team that looked miserable against the Carolina Hurricanes just two days ago come out and make compost out of the streaking Leafs?
Well, they changed. Literally.
After yesterday's practice that showcased the uprooting and redistribution of the first three lines, the Bruins came out looking like a different team, both in performance and in line combinations. Horton moved to the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, while Seguin moved up with Lucic and either David Krejci or Chris Kelly. Each player looked different in the fact that they weren't worried about forcing chemistry and something that wasn't there, but instead focused on what they could do individually to help the collective team.
"It was maybe less about the chemistry and more about yourself," head coach Claude Julien said. "We put certain guys on certain lines so they could find their own game. I thought Looch [Lucic] with [Chris] Kelly, and then Segs [Tyler Seguin] just got good speed, good skill, and it just made him skate hard and retrieve pucks for them and make plays, so that was good. And then Horts [Nathan Horton], the minute you play with Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] and Marsh [Brad Marchand], you have to have your work ethic going and your compete level, and he did that tonight. For a lot of players, it was just about finding their own game."
Players like Lucic and Horton rekindled what they already had, while other players like Seguin and Ference reached new levels of their games. Seguin's three points set a career high for points in a regular season game for the 19-year old. Ference also put up three assists--all in the first period-- to tie his career high for assists and points in a game.
Though each line had an impressive stat line last year, Seguin was convinced that switching up the lines was what made them so successful tonight. Boston had six different goal scorers and scored more goals in Thursday night's game (6) than they had total in the previous three games (5).
"I think it was definitely a good thing because no one really had too much chemistry," Seguin said. "And when all the lines are mixed up you kind of just focus on playing your best. And with that tonight everyone kind of just focused on your game and what they have to do in taking accountability and I think that’s why we were successful. Not thinking about the chemistry and just "I need to do my role" and things will work out and that’s what happened tonight."