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No. 2 line gave it second effort


By John Vellante, Globe Staff, 01/19/99

The second line took center stage in the Bruins' holiday mugging of
Nashville yesterday at the FleetCenter.

Steve Heinze, Joe Thornton, and Peter Ferraro ''kept it simple,''
according to coach Pat Burns, and the Bruins rode that simplicity to
an 8-1 rout of the Predators.

Heinze scored a pair of goals, his 12th and 13th of the season with
Ferraro assisting on both, and Thornton banged home his career-high
eighth goal and assisted on another. Together they had 13 of the
Bruins' 37 shots on the beleaguered Nashville goaltending duo of Tomas
Vokoun and Chris Mason.

This was a game the Bruins needed badly, and it was Ferraro, who missed
nine games with a chest sprain and then three more with postconcussion
syndrome, who sparked Boston's biggest offensive explosion since a 9-2
rout in Montreal last Oct. 28.

''That whole line produced for us because they kept it simple and just
threw it at the net,'' said Burns. ''We've been working on tips the last
couple of games because that's the toughest save for a goaltender. They
did that today.

''[Ferraro] is a body that we definitely need because he has experience
in the NHL. It's easy to insert people and give them jerseys and put
them in positions, but it's not the same when you don't have the
experience.''

Ferraro, who now has five goals and six assists on the season, returned
to the lineup Saturday against Tampa Bay, but says he's still not 100
percent.

''It's been frustrating being injured because you feel you're not part
of the team,'' said Ferraro. ''It seemed I'd be coming along nicely and
then get hurt. To come back like this, though, and be able to contribute
is real nice.

''It's day to day, sometimes I still feel dizzy, but for the most part I
feel good. But that's the life of a pro athlete. You play through
injuries and you battle. The big thing has been the lack of ice time,
and that takes away from your conditioning. You can do as much as you
want off ice, but it's not the same as when you're on it and playing.''

Ferraro set up Heinze at 16 seconds of the middle period to snap a 1-1
tie and open the floodgates. He skated down the right side and passed
across to Heinze, who was coming down the slot. At 11:54, he snapped a
shot from just inside the right circle and Heinze redirected it to
Vokoun's right.

''The biggest thing with our line,'' said Ferraro, ''is that Joe has
great speed and Heinzie has a great shot, so for me all I have to do is
get in there and stir things up, play feisty, forecheck hard, and try to
get Heinzie the puck because he knows where to put it.''

Heinze, who had his first multiple-goal game of the season, agreed with
Burns on the simplicity theory.

''For sure,'' he said, ''we were doing a lot of the right things,
especially in the second and third periods. Hopefully we'll figure out
that the stuff that we did tonight causes success and gets us some goals.
If we take confidence out of this, good things are going to happen.

''[Ferraro's] return obviously helped me out tonight. He worked hard and
made some nice passes. But we had every line going tonight. Guys decided
to show up, made some hits, get the puck in deep, and play hard-nosed
hockey. It was simple, but we scored eight goals.''

This story ran on page C03 of the Boston Globe on 01/19/99.
Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.

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