BOSTON -- Benoit Pouliot made his Bruins debut in a 4-1 win over the Lightning on Saturday night and Adam McQuaid played his first game of the season after missing the 2-1 season-opening loss to the Flyers on Thursday with the flu. McQuaid assisted on Daniel Paille’s second-period goal that proved to be the game-winner and Pouliot seemed to fit in fine with his linemates Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin, using his size and speed.
“It felt good. It was tough not being able to be a part of Thursday night, so I was happy to be out there today,” McQuaid said. “Maybe a little more tired, towards the end of the game, a little more than normal. But I guess that’s to be expected. Overall I felt pretty good, so just go forward and get better from there.”
McQuaid was originally credited with the second goal, but then it was determined that Paille had scored it. The big rear guard didn’t mind the mix-up, and was happy to be able to get the puck on net and create chances, something he and his teammates did successfully with 42 shots on net.
“Just kind of trying to find a shooting lane to get it past the first guy,” McQuaid said of the Paille goal. “Try and get it in there. You never know, if someone gets a stick on it or a leg on it, or if there’s a rebound or something. So, just trying to get pucks on net. I think that’s everyone’s goal. ... And you never know what can happen when you throw a puck at the net. I think they were doing a lot of the same, a lot of just trying to throw pucks into the crease, and you never know what kind of bounce you can get."
Meanwhile, Pouliot seemed to read his linemates well and feed off their tenacious style. The 6-foot-3 199-pound winger, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, was throwing his body around and also keeping up the pace of his linemates.
“Segs [Seguin] is so fast, Kells [Kelly] is so good with the puck, protecting the puck, making plays, and my game is speed and using my size,” Pouliot said. “I went to the net hard, created a couple chances there, could have had a couple but it's the first game, there's a lot left. I'm excited for the rest of the year.”
Head coach Claude Julien, who said he sat Pouliot in the first game because he felt he wasn’t used to the team system yet, was impressed.
“Everybody seemed to like him tonight for the amount of ice he got,” Julien said. “I thought his energy, he competed hard, he made some good things happen, and I like the direction he took tonight. He’s certainly continuing to show us that as he gets more comfortable, he seems to be bringing a little bit more. We all seemed to be happy with his game tonight.”
Julien also liked the fact that the rugged MacQuaid, who thrives off a simple and physical game, was jumping into the play.
“I think it’s something we want to see more from all of the guys on the back end, but probably if you had to pick a guy on defense that’s probably the least of them expected to go up, it’d be him,” Julien said. “He’s such a defensive-minded defenseman that when you see him supporting the attack, it certainly opens people’s eyes or gets the attention of the people watching him. We want him to do that more. He’s a pretty smart individual. He knows, he picks his spots, and he doesn’t want to lose that identity of being a good shutdown defenseman, but he also wants to help in regards to other areas of the game. He’s got a good shot, and I think he’s just getting more comfortable, and has got an understanding that our system requires that our D's jump up whenever the occasion occurs.”