BOSTON -- In Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals, Bruins head coach Claude Julien had to find someone to take injured Nathan Horton’s spot on the right wing alongside center David Krejci and Milan Lucic on the Bruins' top line. Enter Rich Peverley, the versatile and speedy winger acquired from Atlanta at the trade deadline. Peverley delivered with a two-goal performance in a 4-0 Bruins win that cut the Canucks’ series lead to 2-1 at the time. He would get another helper in the series, and showed in the grand spotlight that he could be counted on in a scoring spot as well as the grinding third-line action he saw prior to that.
With Mark Recchi retired, a vacancy has arisen on the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, and on Friday night Julien decided to give Peverley a whirl there. Once again, he fit right in, having a four-point night in a 6-3 win over the Islanders in the team’s second preseason game.
Following the game, Julien said he was impressed with the two-way game of Peverley and how he fit in with Bergeron and Marchand.
“He is a penalty killer for us during the season so that means he’s actually decent defensively as well,” Julien said. “I think his speed and his experience in this league, he’s capable of playing a good two-way game, and all three of those guys are capable of that.”
Julien also likes the speed Peverley can bring to this line.
“Obviously with ‘Bergy’ and ‘Marsh’ there’s some chemistry there,” Julien said. “I think Rich Peverley brought some speed to that line and I think they’ll enjoy that. And that’s not to disrespect what [Mark] Recchi brought because he brought some other things and gave that line some grit. He just gives the element of maybe a little bit more speed and obviously he felt comfortable with those guys. It was something that we wanted to have a look at and it gives us an option there for sure.”
Peverley was glad to get a chance to play with Bergeron and Marchand. The winger said he enjoys the creativity the duo brings each night and tried to utilize his speed to feed off that. Peverley seemed to hint that he would like to start the season there, but knows Julien -- who mentioned Tyler Seguin may get a chance on the second line right wing -- will be auditioning players throughout the preseason and even into the regular season.
Bergeron (goal, two assists) and Marchand (goal, assist) also had productive nights, and afterward Bergeron said he was happy with the chemistry of this trio.
“I mean it's always fun playing with those two guys,” the Bruins center said. “You know we played a little bit last year together and obviously with ‘Marshy’ it seems like we didn't miss out much with the chemistry and with ‘Pevs,’ I mean, he's got that speed and that intelligence on the ice so I guess that makes things easier.”
-- Following the 6-3 win, the Bruins cut 14 players off their roster. Andrew Bodnarchuk, Ryan Button, Marc Cantin, Carter Camper, Craig Cunningham, Josh Hennessy, Kirk MacDonald, Nathan McIver, Kevan Miller and Jamie Tardif will report to the Providence Bruins training camp.
-- 2011 first-round draft pick Dougie Hamilton (Niagara Ice Dogs, Ontario Hockey League), Alexander Khokhlachev (Windsor Spitfires, OHL), Jared Knight (London Knights, OHL) and Ryan Spooner (Kingston Frontenacs, OHL) will be returned to their junior teams.
-- Bruins winger Nathan Horton (concussion, shoulder) has been cleared for contact in practice but has yet to play a preseason game. During Friday night’s game, Horton told ESPNBoston.com that he and the coaches are just taking their time to be safe.
“It’s all good,” Horton said. “I am cleared for contact and have been going through contact drills in practice so I’m ready, but I think the coaches are just testing me more and will put me in soon. I’m ready whenever they want.”
-- Defenseman Joe Corvo (groin) has also yet to play a preseason game.