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Peverley falls in line

He doesn’t play numbers game

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By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / February 23, 2011

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On Sunday, as one of his first orders of business with his new team, Rich Peverley approached Steven Kampfer. The 28-year-old Peverley had worn No. 47 in Atlanta. Kampfer, a Bruins rookie, has claimed No. 47 since training camp. Per hockey etiquette, it would have been expected of Kampfer to hunt for a new number.

Instead, Peverley told Kampfer he didn’t want him to change his number, and Peverley chose No. 49 for himself.

It was just one of the steps Peverley has been taking since last Friday to incorporate himself into his new life as a Bruin. On Sunday and Monday, he ran through his first practices with the team. Last night, he played in first game as a Bruin, skating alongside Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder on the third line against the Flames.

In 15:15 of ice time, Peverley ripped off three shots, with all of them blocked by the Flames.

Peverley had 2:10 of ice time on the power play. He skated on the first unit with Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Tomas Kaberle, and Zdeno Chara.

“I think we had some chances,’’ said Peverley. “I’m just hoping to get some more chemistry going in practice and carry it over to the next game.’’

Yesterday, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli acknowledged that one of his plans was to clear salary cap space via a salary dump. In all likelihood, that scenario would have had Blake Wheeler and his $2.2 million annual hit shipped out for a prospect or a draft pick.

But when Peverley became available, Chiarelli and Atlanta counterpart Rick Dudley worked out a trade that, for the Bruins, achieved two things: clearing cap space and landing a valuable forward with time remaining on his contract (signed through 2011-12 at an annual $1.325 million sum).

So for the Bruins and Peverley, it was a bit of a surprise the forward was in a deal. Peverley had been averaging 19:13 of ice time per game, second-most among Atlanta forwards behind captain Andrew Ladd, his former linemate.

But Peverley had been moved down the lineup. In his last game as a Thrasher, last Thursday’s 4-3 loss to Phoenix, Peverley mostly centered grinders Eric Boulton and Chris Thorburn.

“I had another year on my contract, so I wasn’t thinking too much about a trade,’’ Peverley said. “Rumors were around with other guys’ names. Your name isn’t in the rumors. It definitely comes as a surprise anytime you’re traded.’’

Last Friday, when the Bruins made two trades (Wheeler and Mark Stuart for Peverley and Boris Valabik; Joe Colborne, their 2011 first-round pick, and a conditional 2012 pick for Tomas Kaberle), two of their three new pieces made their Black-and-Gold debuts. Kaberle, arriving at Ottawa’s Scotiabank Place just over an hour before puck drop, skated 23 shifts for 19:34 of ice time. Kelly, centering Ryder and Tyler Seguin, had a 15:09 workload.

Peverley’s last coach was Craig Ramsay, formerly the lead assistant in Boston, and Ramsay’s former boss didn’t think Peverley would need much reprogramming to acclimate himself with Boston’s system.

“He’s coming from a team that his coach was with us for years,’’ said Boston coach Claude Julien. “A lot of things are very similar to what he was doing over there. So it’s probably an easy adjustment.’’

Savard still ailing According to Chiarelli, Marc Savard is still suffering from post-concussion symptoms, including headaches, irritability, and memory lapses. Savard suffered a moderate concussion Jan. 22 against Colorado. He is at his home in Peterborough, Ontario, but is scheduled to return to Boston for re-evaluation next week.

Paille a scratch Daniel Paille and Kampfer were last night’s healthy scratches. After serving a four-game suspension for a blind-side hit on Dallas’s Raymond Sawada, Paille made three straight appearances, skating on the fourth line. Last night was the second time Kampfer was a healthy scratch. Johnny Boychuk, in suit and tie last Friday against Ottawa, returned to the lineup and was paired with Chara. Boychuk landed the heaviest hit of the night when he walloped Brendan Morrison in the second period with a clean check in the defensive zone . . . Milan Lucic landed a game-high five hits . . . The Bruins had their six-game streak of scoring at least one power-play goal snapped.

Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at fshinzawa@globe.com.

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