Kevan Miller solid once again
You probably didn’t notice Kevan Miller too much during the Bruins 3-2 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday afternoon, but hey who said that’s a bad thing? Miller was solid once again in this one as Miller continues to fit in just fine with the Bruins as he fills in for the injured Dennis Seidenberg.
Miller logged 14:27 of ice time playing alongside fellow young defensemen Matt Bartkowski. Miller has looked very comfortable through two games. Part of his comfort could very well be getting to play alongside Bartkowski who he spent time with down in Providence last season as they both played for the Bruins’ minor league affiliate.
Miller was very solid with the puck, making smart decisions and being safe with the puck. From a defensive standpoint he was again very solid as he registered a team high five hits. On the Bruins second goal of the game, a goal by Reilly Smith, Miller made a key pinch that kept the play alive, eventually leading to Smith’s goal
Miller will be sent back down to Providence once Seidenberg or fellow injured defenceman Adam McQuaid returns, but Miller’s play in just two games can only help the confidence of the Los Angeles, California native grow.
Reilly Smith and Carl Soderberg keep on shining
You may feel like after every game someone is talking about something good he did, but as each game passes, Reilly Smith continues to get better and better. Smith scored his fourth goal of the season in Saturday’s win. The goal, his 15th point of the season, helps Smith climb to third on the team in scoring, just two points behind Milan Lucic and David Krejci for the team lead in points.
Carl Soderberg had arguably his best game of the season, picking up an assist on Smith’s goal. With a little bit of luck on his side, Soderberg could have easily had two or three goals. Soderberg was in Ward’s grill all game just missing out on goals on multiple occasions. It was Soderberg’s hustle on the back check that broke up the play in the Bruins zone and eventually led to Krejci’s overtime winner.
Smith and Sodeberg have been huge on the Bruins third line this season. Throw in Chris Kelly and you have yourself a pretty solid third line, something the Bruins have been desperately looking for in seasons past.
Second line non-existent in win
Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson combined for just five shots Saturday afternoon with three of those coming off the stick of Marchand. With the exception of one scoring chance by Marchand where he was robbed by Ward, the line was virtually non-existent.
With Marchand and Eriksson struggling to score goals at times this season, the Bruins need a more consistent effort from their second line. The Bruins were fortunate enough to escape this one with a win, but lack of scoring from their second line could come back to haunt them in close games like this. To their defense, the line has been better the past few games.
Despite not doing much as a line, Bergeron did manage to win 14 of 22 face-offs, a 64% success rate.
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