Claude Julien

5 things we learned as Bruins beat Blackhawks, Claude Julien pulls even with Art Ross

DJ Bean
March 03, 2016 - 4:32 pm

Whether he cared about personal accomplishments or just wanted a measuring-stick win, Claude Julien had to like what he saw Thursday against the Blackhawks. The Bruins defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions, 4-2, at TD Garden behind a strong effort that gave Julien his 387th regular-season win as Bruins coach, tying him with Art Ross for the most in team history. By turning in a clean defensive performance and got balanced scoring in the victory, the Bruins improved to 37-23-6 on the season (78 points) to remain third in the Atlantic Division. Tuukka Rask stopped 25 of the 27 shots he saw, though improved play in front of the net made his night easier than it's been for much of the season. Here are four more things we learned Thursday: ERIKSSON BACK TO SCORING AFTER LINE SWITCH Claude Julien kept the lines that he used in the third period of Tuesday's game against the Flames, which saw Loui Eriksson and Matt Beleskey switch spots. Beleskey played on the left of David Krejci and David Pastrnak, while Eriksson moved to the third line with Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes as the B's used the following lineup: Marchand-Bergeron-Stempniak Beleskey-Krejci-Pastrnak Eriksson-Spooner-Hayes Ferraro-Acciari-Connolly Chara-Miller Krug-Seidenberg Liles-McQuaid Rask After going four straight games without a point, Eriksson got back on the scoresheet with a second-period goal to bring his season total to 24. LILES AND SMILES John-Michael Liles and Lee Stempniak both picked up their first points in Boston uniforms. While Stempniak earned a secondary assist on Patrice Bergeron's first period goal, Liles' point was the most impressive of the two. After David Krejci sent the puck up to Eriksson in the neutral zone at the end of a second-period penalty kill, Eriksson and Liles enjoyed a nice little give-and-go to set up the goal. Liles had a beauty of a saucer pass in the exchange.

MARCHAND GETS TO 33 The linemate switch didn't slow down Brad Marchand, as the still-streaking winger ended a two-game scoring "slump" with his 33rd goal of the season in the first period. With the goal, Marchand surpassed Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin for sole possession of third in the league. On pace for 42 goals this season, Marchand now trails only Alexander Ovechkin and Patrick Kane in the scoring race. Speaking of Kane: he has provided the Blackhawks with ample scoring this season (37), but all three of the Bruins' even-strength goals came with the dangerous winger on the ice for Chicago. PASSING CRAZE Torey Krug has gone 39 games without scoring a goal. That's some next-level non-Torey Krug stuff right there. Yet Krug, who has managed 16 points in that span, has found a way of generating offense without rocketing shots from the point. Thursday marked the second consecutive game in which Krug has had the primary assist on a Bruins goal not only from passing, but from passing deeper in the zone than a defenseman's traditional spot at the point. On Tuesday, Krug assisted Landon Ferraro's goal with a pass from the half wall. Thursday saw him take a feed from Marchand entering the zone and pull up at just before the hashmarks before dishing it back to Marchand, who picked his spot and fired a wrister past a defender and Scott Darling to make it 2-1. Krug also added a power play assist from the point, feeding Ryan Spooner's snipe on the man advantage after Patrice Bergeron drew the puck back to the point early in the second period. Krug now has 32 points on the season, only three of which have been goals. He's still on pace for 40 points, which would make for a very consistent start to his NHL career. The undersized puck-mover had 40 points as a rookie and 39 a season ago in his second NHL campaign.