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Green puts up bonus points

Offensive spark is a nice surprise

When the Bruins acquired forward Travis Green on the day of the waiver draft, they were looking for grit, tenacity, faceoff skills, experience, and leadership. What they didn't expect was offense. Yes, Green has been a 20-plus goal scorer three times, the last coming in 1999-2000 when he played for Phoenix, but the front office saw Green as more of a role player who doesn't have scoring as his primary responsibility.

In the early part of the season, much of Green's contribution was appreciated by his coach and teammates but didn't necessarily show up on the scoreboard.

However, Green's offense has started to kick in, though he was blanked by his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, last night.

He had just one tally in his first 22 outings. Since then, he scored a goal and an assist against Phoenix and potted another in Atlanta against the Thrashers Wednesday night. The latter came at a crucial time. Atlanta had taken a 2-1 lead with only 43.2 seconds left in the opening period and Green tied it with 10.6 seconds left.

"It was a nice night where all the lines were contributing," said Green. "For us to be successful toward the end of the year, we're going to have to get all lines contributing, not just the big line."

Green, who plays on a line with Rob Zamuner and Brian Rolston, said he expects more than he's been able to give.

"I try to contribute any way I can," he said. "Every player in the league wants to contribute offensively. It was getting a little frustrating but I just hope every night I can bring something to the team. Toward the end of the year, you're going to need everyone chipping in with goals and [Wednesday] was one of those nights."

Coach Mike Sullivan said he knows there's offense inside of Green, it's just a matter of opportunity.

"I just hope they can keep coming," said Green.

Line of fire

Bruins captain Joe Thornton had a four-game point streak (3 goals, 3 assists) snapped. Ditto for his linemate, right wing Glen Murray (goal and 3 assists) . . . The Bruins had seven shots in the first period against Toronto with Thornton, Murray, and left wing Mike Knuble combining for six. Rookie forward Patrice Bergeron had the other . . . Left wing P.J. Axelsson remains sidelined because of a shoulder injury. He was hurt Nov. 20 against Washington. He missed two games, came back for one during which he aggravated it, and has missed the last three . . . The Bruins will host the Atlantic Division-leading Flyers at the FleetCenter tomorrow. Ottawa comes to town Monday, wrapping up Boston's three-game homestand.

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