Dougie Hamilton has played in some big games. Last year, Hamilton appeared in 20 OHL playoff games for Niagara, his junior team. Hamilton won a gold medal with Team Canada in the 2012 World Junior Championship.
But prior to Saturday night, Hamilton had never appeared in an NHL playoff game.
“It’s definitely pretty cool,” the defenseman said. “It’s definitely weird looking back on it. I think I’ve gotten a lot better in a year. I’m just looking forward to this opportunity.”
Hamilton was a healthy scratch in Game 1 against the Maple Leafs. Hamilton made his NHL playoff debut because of the one-game suspension given to Andrew Ference for his illegal check to Mikhail Grabovski’s head in Game 1. Hamilton played alongside Wade Redden on the No. 3 pairing. Hamilton also took some shifts as Zdeno Chara’s partner.
Hamilton played 13:32, had four shots blocked, missed with another, and was credited with two hits.
“The first period, I was a little bit nervous,” Hamilton said. “I hadn’t played a game in a while. But I felt better after that. It’s just unfortunate that we didn’t get the win.”
Hamilton will most likely be a healthy scratch in Game 3 when Ference is eligible to return. Because of Ference’s absence, the Bruins had to adjust all three pairs. The biggest change was splitting the power pairing of Chara and Dennis Seidenberg. In Game 3, Chara and Seidenberg could be reunited. Ference would return to play with Johnny Boychuk. Redden and Adam McQuaid would be the third duo.
“You miss a veteran like that,” coach Claude Julien said of Ference. “But I think it’s certainly not the reason we lost. I think we weren’t as good of a team. It had nothing to do with Ference.”
Peverley back in
Rich Peverley, a healthy scratch in Game 1, returned to the lineup and played 13 minutes, 42 seconds in the Bruins’ 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs in Game 2. Peverley played on the third line with Chris Kelly and Jaromir Jagr. Peverley and Kelly have been linemates for stretches over the past three seasons. Kaspars Daugavins got the nod over Peverley for Game 1. But Peverley gives the Bruins more flexibility than Daugavins.
One area where Peverley projected to help was on the draw. Kelly lost 7 of 9 faceoffs in Game 1 and he lost 3 of 4 faceoffs against Grabovski. Neither Daugavins nor Jagr took any draws. In Game 2, Peverley went 10 for 12 on the draw. Kelly won six of nine faceoffs.
Even though Peverley and Kelly won most of their draws, allowing the Bruins to start shifts with the puck, the No. 3 line couldn’t generate any offensive consistency. Peverley didn’t have a shot in 13:42 of play. Kelly had just one shot in 15:27 of ice time.
Jagr had two shots in 14:22 of ice time. Jagr was on the ice for two of Toronto’s four goals. He hasn’t had consistent stretches with any of the centers he’s played with since arriving from Dallas. In the third period, Jagr took several shifts with Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell.
“Obviously we’d like to get that third line going,” Julien said. “Right now, we can’t say it’s going the way we’d like. We’re at a stage where we don’t have much of a choice. We’re at the end of the year. Certain guys came in real late, whether it’s [Carl Soderberg] or whether it’s Jags. Jags missed the last couple games. We haven’t had much of a chance to work that line in. It’s certainly not a line we were hoping they would be. We’ve got to hope that as you move forward here, it gets better.”
Phaneuf clips Paille
Late in the third period, Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf threw a questionable hit on Paille. As Phaneuf approached Paille along the boards, the Toronto captain appeared to catch the forward’s head with his left elbow. No penalty was called. Paille was not injured.
“It’s stuff the league takes care of,” Julien said. “Our opinion doesn’t really matter. So I’ll leave it at that and move on.”
Praise for Thornton
Toronto coach Randy Carlyle had Shawn Thornton during Anaheim’s 2006-07 Cup run. Thornton was a valuable bottom-six forward for the Ducks.
“The things that Shawn Thornton did for our hockey club are very similar to what he does here in Boston,” Carlyle said. “He’s a competitor. He’s a guy that knows his role. He has a physical aspect. He has the toughness aspect. He’s got good hockey sense.”
Carlyle referred to Thornton’s penalty shot last season against Ondrej Pavelec. Thornton faked to his forehand, pulled the puck to his backhand, and roofed a shot over the Winnipeg goalie.
“Everybody in the building was surprised at the skill level he had,” Carlyle said. “As a coach, when you see him day to day and you see the impact he has for your club, you admire it. He’s taken no shortcuts. He’s earned everything he’s got. That’s a tribute to the player.”
Bergeron shaken up
Patrice Bergeron missed the last five minutes of the first period. After putting a shot on goal, Bergeron got tangled up with Nikolai Kulemin. Bergeron finished his shift and returned to the bench before retreating to the dressing room, followed by physical therapist Scott Waugh. Bergeron returned at the start of the second period and finished the game . . . At the end of the game, Thornton threw down with Toronto defenseman Mark Fraser. Thornton switched to his left hand and connected late in the fight, but Fraser remained on his skates when the linesmen stepped in . . . Tyler Seguin led all players with eight shots . . . Daugavins, Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo, and Aaron Johnson were the healthy scratches . . . Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman served as the fan banner captain prior to Game 2. Story, B2Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeFluto.