Bruins' Daniel Paille feeling better

BOSTON -- Bruins forward Daniel Paille is improving after undergoing surgery Wednesday to repair a broken nose and facial lacerations, according to coach Claude Julien.

Julien said he saw Paille Thursday morning and the forward is listed as day to day, but will not play Thursday night.

"I don't know how well he's going to be tomorrow, whether he'll be able to skate with us or not, or whether he'll take a few more days," Julien said. "He said he's feeling much better today."

Early in the third period Monday night, Islanders defenseman Steve Staios took a slap shot from the right point, and the puck hit Paille in the face. He fell to the ice and was quickly tended to by team trainers and doctors just inside the blue line near the Boston bench.

After a couple of minutes, he was able to skate off on his own and went directly to the locker room, holding a towel over his face. He did not return.

A specialist examined Paille after the game and it was decided he would have surgery. Dr. Thomas Dodson performed the procedure Wednesday at Mass General Hospital.

With Paille out of the lineup, Julien has inserted forward Benoit Pouliot onto the team's energy line alongside center Gregory Campbell and fellow winger Shawn Thornton.

"They've been playing great and it's going to be fun," Pouliot said. "They're big, physical guys and Paille does the job well and I just need to jump in there and try to do what he does. I'll use my speed and create plays."

Julien believes Pouliot will fill in nicely.

"I don't think we question Benoit's work ethic and that's what that line is all about," Julien said. "They compete hard and they work hard. He's excited to be with them and they're excited to have him with them."

Pouliot has one goal in nine games this season, with a minus-2. He scored his first goal Monday against the New York Islanders in a 6-2 Bruins win at TD Garden.

Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.