This has not been a kind postseason for Rich Peverley.
The all-purpose forward was a healthy scratch for Game 1 against Toronto. Peverley scored a goal in the Bruins’ 5-2 Game 3 win over the Maple Leafs. After that, he went 16 straight games without collecting a point.
Peverley finally halted that streak in Game 4 of the Cup Final Wednesday. In the first period, Peverley whipped a power-play shot past Corey Crawford to make it a 1-1 game.
“You could just see that extra stride in his step after he popped that goal,” Tyler Seguin said.
Peverley took advantage of two misplays by Brandon Saad and an interception by Andrew Ference. Saad started by failing to clear the puck out of the defensive zone. Ference, holding the left point, picked off Saad’s attempt. Saad blocked Ference’s shot, but couldn’t swipe the rebound clear.
Peverley pounced on the loose puck. Before Crawford could react, Peverley snapped the puck over the goalie’s glove at 14:43 of the first period.
Peverley started the series as the No. 3 left wing alongside Seguin and Chris Kelly. But Peverley was demoted to the fourth line in Game 2 when coach Claude Julien moved Daniel Paille to the third line.
Peverley may not be a permanent fourth-line resident. He gained confidence after his power-play goal. He skated assertively and created scoring chances. Peverley recorded four shots, the most he’s landed in the playoffs. Of Peverley’s 13:38 of ice time, 51 seconds took place on the power play. Peverley had been taken off both units prior to Game 4.
Peverley’s presence prompted Julien to give him some third-line shifts with Paille and Kelly. On the penalty kill, Peverley played 1:38, most of any Boston forward.
“Rich was skating well [Wednesday] night,” Julien said. “That’s why, a few times, I bumped him up. He was taking some faceoffs. The guy’s got a really good, quick release on his shot. So, it was nice to see him score that goal.”
Rask still confident
Tuukka Rask allowed a postseason-high six goals in Game 4. Rask had given up four goals in four previous games, including three losses.
But when Rask evaluated Chicago’s Game 4 goals, he didn’t consider any soft. Rask’s only shortcoming was his inability to make timely saves to rub out his teammates’ errors.
“Every goal is stoppable, but I don’t think there were any weak ones, so to speak,” Rask said. “Mistakes piled up and I wasn’t able to bail our guys out. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. You don’t say, ‘I should have it or I shouldn’t have had it.’ It doesn’t make any difference.”
If the Bruins alter their Game 5 lineup, Kaspars Daugavins could be a candidate to hit the press box. Daugavins skated only nine shifts for 5:57 of ice time in Game 4.
The No. 4 left wing’s ice time has decreased in every game. In Game 1, Daugavins played 15:09. Daugavins had a glittering scoring chance in triple overtime.
In Game 2, Daugavins played 8:28. In Game 3, Daugavins played just 6:30. In the first period, Daugavins was called for an ill-advised roughing penalty on Andrew Shaw.
Based on his ice time, Daugavins hasn’t gained the trust of the coaching staff. The Bruins could consider Jordan Caron or Jay Pandolfo as replacements if they’re seeking a more dependable fourth-line left wing. Both Caron and Pandolfo are responsible defensively and exhibit sharper hockey sense than Daugavins.
However, neither Caron nor Pandolfo has dressed for a playoff game. Both wings may have too much rust to knock off.
A day off
The Bruins didn’t practice Thursday. They will practice Friday morning at TD Garden prior to their departure for Chicago. The Bruins will host a sendoff in the Garden parking lot starting at 11 a.m. on Friday . . . Kelly wasn’t fooled into thinking he had scored on an open-net bid from the crease’s doorstep in the final frantic minute of Game 4’s wild-and-wooly second period. Kelly knew when the building filled with the sound of a fog horn blast, which accompanies every Bruins’ goal, it was premature. Asked if it had given him pause to wonder if he had indeed scored on the play, Kelly deadpanned, “No, I know I didn’t score. I looked up and saw there was 40 seconds left, but it threw everyone off.” . . . The Bruins do not want to trail the Blackhawks after 40 minutes in Game 5. Chicago is 9-0 when taking a lead into the third. The Blackhawks held a 4-3 lead after two periods in Game 4.