WILMINGTON — Daniel Paille had gotten his chance. Thursday night, after playing six games alongside usual linemates Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton, Paille was promoted to the third line.
In the second period, Paille assisted on Rich Peverley’s goal. Paille, Peverley, and Chris Kelly appeared to have instant chemistry.
Paille’s luck didn’t last long. In the third period, Buffalo behemoth Tyler Myers raked Paille across the face with an errant high stick. Paille didn’t return for the rest of the game, nor did he dress against Toronto Saturday night.
Paille’s misfortune appears to be short term. Monday, Paille returned to practice at Ristuccia Arena. He could be cleared to play against Montreal Wednesday at the Bell Centre.
“At first, I was a bit worried about what could happen,” Paille said. “But I was lucky that it’s not serious and I was able to come back right away.”
Paille practiced on the fourth line Monday with Lane MacDermid and Jamie Tardif. Paille did not participate in a three-on-three battle drill. The area around his left eye appeared bruised and slightly swollen after practice.
Paille played with Kelly and Peverley against Buffalo in place of Chris Bourque, who was a healthy scratch. Paille’s speed and jam around the net gave the line the jump it needed.
“I felt great with Kells and Pevs,” Paille said. “We definitely created a lot of energy. They’re definitely players I can relate to in terms of how they play their style. I’ve learned just to take it shift by shift. That’s how I’m going to take it from now on. I feel I work a lot better that way.”
However, because of injuries, Paille most likely will return to the fourth line against the Canadiens if he’s cleared to play. Bourque, back on the third line against Toronto, scored the game’s only goal in the Bruins’ 1-0 win. Bourque practiced with Kelly and Peverley Monday.
Paille has the speed and check-first approach to play on either line. The Bruins don’t consider Bourque a fourth-line player. They prefer him to play as a skilled wing instead of an energy forward.
Thornton improvingThornton (concussion) took a solo skate before practice. Sunday, Thornton rode the stationary bike.
Thornton didn’t practice Monday and is considered very doubtful for Wednesday’s game. But coach Claude Julien was encouraged that Thornton is symptom-free. He was diagnosed with a concussion after his fight last Thursday against John Scott. The Bruins originally estimated Thornton to be out between 7 and 10 days.
“Things are going well,” Julien said. “But obviously there’s a protocol to follow. We’re certainly going to follow that to the letter.”
Marchand, Krejci sit
Neither Brad Marchand nor David Krejci practiced. Marchand was injured in the second period of Saturday night’s game when he tumbled into the end boards. He finished the second period but didn’t return for the third. Julien didn’t say whether Marchand will practice Tuesday before the team’s departure for Montreal.
Campbell practiced in Marchand’s spot alongside Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. Campbell also rode on the second line in Saturday night’s third period.
“With Tyler on the right side with high-end offensive skills, I think Bergy can benefit from a guy who’s a good two-way player as well,” Julien said. “Where Gregory sometimes doesn’t get enough credit is when he’s got players like that to play with, you’re going to see him go to the front of the net. You’re going to see him grind it out. He’s going to give that line some offense. This is certainly not a guy who’s not going to give offense. He’s capable of doing it.”
Krejci missed his second straight practice because of an undisclosed injury. He didn’t participate in last Friday’s tuneup before the team left for Toronto. Krejci will practice Tuesday, Julien said.
Jay Pandolfo centered Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton Monday. Pandolfo remains with the club on a professional tryout agreement. He can sign a standard contract with the Bruins or with any other team.
“He’s a guy with lots of experience,” Julien said. “He’s a guy who’s here because we respect that part of it and what he can bring. Maybe we can work something out that will get decided with time. Right now, he’s happy to be here with us. He gets a chance to practice with an NHL team. There’s no doubt we’d never hold him back. At the same time, we don’t have him here just to do him a favor. He’s a guy who’s earned the right to be here. He’s certainly a player you might see with us down the road.”
The Bruins recalled rookie center Ryan Spooner from Providence Monday on an emergency basis. It is Spooner’s first NHL recall. He could play Wednesday against Montreal if Marchand is unavailable.
Spooner, one of the team’s two second-round picks in 2010, has nine goals and 21 assists for Providence. The 21-year-old participated in the Bruins’ shortened training camp last month.
Spooner is scheduled to practice with the Bruins Tuesday at the Bell Centre.