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Friday, November 18, 2011
McQuaid gets back at Blue Jackets

By James Murphy

BOSTON -- Defenseman Adam McQuaid picked a nice night to get his first goal.

Not only was McQuaid playing the team -- the Columbus Blue Jackets -- that traded him to the Bruins in May 2007, but his team -- as predicted by McQuaid to ESPNBoston.com Wednesday -- finally found itself in a low-scoring, tight affair. And thanks to McQuaid's second-period goal, the solid goaltending of Tuukka Rask and shootout goals by Rich Peverley and David Krejci, the Bruins were able to win 2-1 to complete a sweep of their five-game homestand.

McQuaid, admittedly a simple, stay-at-home defenseman, decided to let it fly from the point 4:24 into the middle period and the puck found its way through traffic and beat Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis Sanford to tie the game at 1. But following the game, McQuaid was happier with how he fared while paired with captain Zdeno Chara against the likes of Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash than with his lamplighter.

“I was just trying to keep it simple,” McQuaid said. “I had an opportunity to play a little more against their top line. I just wanted to play even simpler than I usually am. Just trying to keep them off the scoresheet.”

Turns out he was the only one to put the Bruins on the scoresheet in regulation and overtime, and his two-way game impressed his defensive partner.

“He stepped up,” Chara said of McQuaid. “He's playing against top lines and playing really solid, keeping the plays really simple and he took some really good shots. He's just a really solid defenseman that you can rely on.”

Coach Claude Julien was pleased with McQuaid as well.

“Adam’s a big guy, and he had played against top lines,” Julien said. “They’re a big, heavy team, so we needed a good physical presence up there, and I feel that Adam’s been playing better the last few games as far as handling the puck and making better decisions all around. He’s been a better player for us, and it was nice to see him play well tonight and score the goal that got us back in the game.”