Matt Fraser, the 23-year-old who scored the winner Thursday in Montreal after being called up from the Providence Bruins a day earlier, has secured a spot in the Boston lineup.
“I think you’ll see him in the next game, for sure,’’ said Bruins coach Claude Julien.
It was hard not to appreciate the rookie’s big thrill.
“It’s pretty special for him, first playoff game, score a goal like that, and a big one to say the least,’’ said Julien.
The coach said the reports on Fraser out of Providence were all positive.
“I mean, this is a guy if you give him the opportunity, he can certainly put the puck in the net,’’ Julien said. “He’s gotten stronger and he’s played a bigger game than he had in the past, and those are the improvements you look for in young players.’’
Julien thought Fraser, who skated alongside Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson on the third line, played well throughout the game.
“For a guy who maybe said he was nervous before the game, he certainly didn’t look like it,’’ said Julien. “He seemed poised out there and he made some good strong plays throughout the whole game.’’
Because Fraser had played with Soderberg during a callup earlier in the season, Julien put the two together again.
“So it’s not like it was a new thing for him,’’ said the coach. “There was a little bit of, I shouldn’t say chemistry, but knowledge of playing with those guys.
“That line, when it does well, it supports each other. Every time it has the puck, there is close-in support and that really helps. [Fraser] just seemed to fit in well and I just thought it was the right place and the right spot for him.’’
Fraser, too, was impressed with the support from his linemates.
“Everyone is so good here, everyone buys into the system,’’ he said. “This is a team that’s built for the playoffs. They know how to win, they know how to work together, and they know their roles.”
The Bruins piled on the jubilant Fraser after he scored at the Bell Centre, and the rookie was lost in the jumble of players.
“[Johnny] Boychuk was holding me up,’’ he said, “and he was yelling at me not to fall because everyone was going to fall on us. It was such a blur of the moment. It was something I’ll never forget.”
After the game, Fraser admitted to indulging in frozen yogurt for lunch the day before his call-up, and he was a little sheepish when asked if he planned to make the dessert a habit.
“I try not to worry too much about superstitions,’’ Fraser said, “but maybe I’ll wander over to Pinkberry later.”
Rhythm and bluesThe Bruins’ first line — David Krejci, Jarome Iginla, and Milan Lucic — continues to struggle.
They have only two goals in the four games against the Canadiens — one an empty-netter — and five points. “They’ve just got to find their rhythm again,’’ said Julien. “Right now they’re working hard; it’s just a matter of time here. Certainly we have seen them at their best, and a little bit of adversity is what they’re facing now. They’ve been as steady as we could have asked this year, so to me, it is just a matter of time, and they will find their groove again.’’ . . . Only 13 Bruins took the ice for an optional skate Friday at TD Garden:
Lucic, Soderberg, Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille,
Jordan Caron, Andre Meszaros, Kevan Miller, Torey Krug, Boychuk, Corey Potter, Dennis Seidenberg, and
As the series has played out, the Bruins and Canadiens appear to take turns setting the tone. “I think it’s been hot and cold,’’ said Krug. “I think at times we do a decent job of playing our style and imposing our physicality on the series. And then at times they’re skating well and they’re getting a lot of ice and fast-break opportunities. So I think it’s hot and cold and we’ve got to do a better job of staying on top of that.” In Game 4, according to Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins did a better job of asserting themselves. “Our forecheck really set the tone,’’ he said, “the way we moved our feet and also the way we won some battles. That’s something we’ve talked about throughout the series — we have to win a lot more battles. Early on, we were losing too many of them. [Thursday] we were a little better on that and definitely created some more opportunities for us. On the defensive side, when you win the battles, you get out of your zone a lot quicker.’’