BOSTON -- If playing with four new forwards, including two call-ups from the American Hockey League, didn't prevent Bruins coach Claude Julien from using four lines Wednesday night at TD Garden against the Predators, it seems nothing will.
And center Steve Begin rewarded the faith the Boston bench boss apparently has in every one of his players. Begin, normally a fourth-liner but the third-line center against Nashville, scored the winning goal 8:33 into the third period, helping the Bruins earn a 3-2 comeback win, just their second regulation victory in six home contests.
After the goal Begin raised his arms and let out a yell as if he'd just struck gold.
"It's awesome," said Begin, whose last NHL goal came last March 12 when he was with Dallas. "The most important thing is we won the game, but it's great to get my first goal out of the way and now I'm going to have to think about something else. Not that I was thinking about it every day but "
Begin shouldn't have been thinking about it much because he's not a Bruin to score. Boston brought him in as a free agent to bang, forecheck and win faceoffs. On Wednesday night, he prevailed on eight of 11 draws and helped the Bruins' maligned penalty-killing unit snuff out all three of Nashville's power plays.
Begin logged a season-high 15 minutes 47 seconds of ice time, as every Bruins skater except Trent Whitfield had at least 10:44 of playing time. In their Boston debuts, rookie Brad Marchand skated for 14:42 and trade acquisition Daniel Paille, who assisted on Begin's goal, skated for 14:22.
"We needed energy out there," Begin said. "Claude always rolls four lines, so it's good for the team and it's good for the fourth-liners. They want to go out there and give more for the team and it's kind of a reward for them too."