MONTREAL - Shawn Thornton has a rule, win or lose.
"I've said it a million times. We'll think about this till midnight," Thornton said, as he stood in front of his stall in the Bruins' visiting team locker room at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.
It was roughly 10:10 p.m., so the forward had just under two hours to lament his team's 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3.
"We'll go over some things tomorrow and then we'll get ready for Thursday's game," he continued.
But first, the lamenting.
On Tuesday night, the Bruins found themselves in at least a two-goal hole for the third straight game.
In Game 1, they fought back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to tie the game at 3-3 and send it to double overtime, ultimately falling 4-3. In Game 2, they were in a 3-1 hole early in the third, and stormed back to win 5-3.
In Game 3, they found themselves down 2-0 after the first, and trailing 3-0 past the midpoint of the second period in the eventual 4-2 defeat.
MONTREAL - With two days off between games, the Bruins and Canadiens have rested and regrouped, as the teams get set to face off in Game 3 on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
With the series tied at 1-1, and the importance of the go-ahead game tonight is not lost on the Black & Gold.
They've had to play catch-up hockey the past two games, and they know that will be much tougher to do without the momentum-building spark from their home crowd.
The Bruins can draw positives from their third period efforts, though, having scored seven goals in the final frame through the first two games.
"Obviously, try to build up from what we did in that third period and try to bring that to tonight’s game for a full 60 minutes," Patrice Bergeron said pregame from the Bell Centre, of the team's mindset heading into Game 3.
"They’re a great team and we can’t just play for bits and pieces in games."
BostonBruins.com - It's the playoffs, and players throw their weight around. They crash and bang, and battle for every inch. They get emotional, and fired up.
We don't see as many fights as we do during the regular season, but we still see a physical Bruins squad.
"It’s been good for us to be able to keep playing physical," said Dougie Hamilton.
"Just as long as we keeping playing physical and keep hitting, I think it’s still the same Bruin way."
Naturally, that will sometimes gets the best of them.
The Bruins have taken 13 penalties through the first two games of their second round series against Montreal. Four of them have been matching minors, and the Canadiens have taken advantage of their nine power plays, scoring four times.
P.K. Subban has factored into all four goals. His lethal point shot led to both the first goal of Game 1 and the double-overtime winner.
What can the Bruins do to slow down Subban and the Habs' power play?
BOSTON, MA - After a day off on Sunday following their come-from-behind win in Game 2, the Bruins were back on the ice at TD Garden Monday for a full practice before jetting off to Montreal for the ensuing two games. Games 3 and 4 are set for Tuesday and Thursday.
From the confines of home, the Black & Gold will be bringing their confidence from the comeback victory with them to the hostile Bell Centre.
For many, it's a difficult place to play, with 21,000-plus fans showering their Habs with praise, and their opponent with boos.
"Being tied 1-1, we're definitely a confident group going in there, but it's going to be a different challenge going into Montreal, playing in the atmosphere there and the intensity that the crowd will bring," Daniel Paille said following Monday's practice at TD Garden.
For the Bruins, though, it's nothing too different than what they've experienced before. It's the playoffs, and every building is loud. It's about embracing that, whether at home, or on the road.
"I mean, that's how you get into the game. Our crowd is just as loud when we get going, and we just feed off of it," said Paille. "So as the road team, you just kind of tend to enjoy it and have a good time with it."
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins were off on Sunday, following their 5-3 comeback win over Montreal in Game 2 on Saturday that saw them rally for four straight goals in the third period.
During the availability, Julien gave the latest update on Chris Kelly’s recovery. The alternate captain has been out of game action since April 8.
“Chris Kelly is coming along. Every day’s a better day for him, so that’s basically all I can tell you about him,” said Julien.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli later issued an update through the team on defenseman Adam McQuaid, who has been sidelined since January 19.
“McQuaid underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on Thursday, May 1 on his right ankle,” Chiarelli said in the update. “His expected recovery time is eight weeks.”
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins don't make it easy.
They make it nail-biting, and dramatic. Just when you think it's maybe 'not their day' and luck isn't on their side and the fight isn't quite there, they'll make you wish those thoughts had never entered your mind.
If this was a first time affair, maybe those thoughts would have crept into their minds, too.
But we've seen the Black & Gold rally from deficits, time and time again. They had already done it twice, from down two goals, this postseason, though there's one comeback in 2013 that still sticks out the most and makes you think anything's actually possible.
As a result, Saturday's comeback at TD Garden that saw the Bruins fight from being down 3-1 midway through the third period to score four straight goals and take the 5-3 win from Montreal, shouldn't be too shocking.
"When we get that first goal, I think everyone knows that if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen again," said Dougie Hamilton, who started the comeback at 10:56 into the third to pull Boston to within one. The Habs still led 3-2.
"It just seemed like we got that life, and we knew we were going to come back and win the game," said Brad Marchand, who pulled up in the left wing circle and found Hamilton with a cross-ice pass for the crowd-awakening goal from the high slot.
WILMINGTON, MA - This time of year, you'll hear a familiar refrain from the Bruins.
One game at a time. Short-term memory. Don't get too high, don't get too low.
The refrain is there, because it works. In the playoffs, a win can put you over the moon, and every loss feels like losing a Game 7 in overtime. A player has to trick his mind into never being satisfied, while never being too hard on himself.
"It's never fun to lose, especially at this time of the year," said Patrice Bergeron, as the team gathered at their practice rink, Ristuccia Arena, following their 4-3 double overtime loss to Montreal in Game 1 on Thursday night. Most Bruins stayed off to rest, while a dozen opted to hit the ice. All regrouped.
"That being said, you've got to put it in the past. It's a series and it's one game, so we need to make sure we bounce back."
There was a calmness to the Bruins' locker room following the loss; not in a complacent sort of way, but stemming from the fact that while the OT loss stung, it was, after all, just one game.
That's why come Friday, the group's feeling towards its play on the ice was still a positive one.
"Of course it is," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. "I said it [Thursday] night, there was no panic after the game. It was only Game 1, and it's a long series."
BOSTON, MA - The feeling was disappointment.
It wasn't frustration, or anger, and it didn't result in careless words being thrown around in the locker room postgame. Amidst the disappointment, there was still a sense of calm.
"This is just game number one here. You don’t get frustrated after one game," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien.
At 4:17 into double overtime late Thursday night, P.K. Subban beat Tuukka Rask right off the faceoff on the power play with his lethal point shot.
The Bruins had first killed off a penalty to Daniel Paille to start the second OT, and were tasked with killing another, as Matt Bartkowski was sent to the box for a hold after trying to gain positioning with Brandon Prust in front of Rask.
They came up short, falling 4-3 as the Habs took Game 1 at TD Garden. The result stung.
"That’s pretty self-explanatory," said a solemn but calm Bartkowski, when asked about the disappointment following the loss.
The pain won't necessarily linger for long, though.
BostonBruins.com - Every day in the lead-up to their second round series against the Montreal Canadiens, the Bruins have been asked about the storied rivalry between the two franchises.
It's been 90 years of hockey in Black & Gold. The teams will be facing each other in a postseason series for a much talked about 34th time - the most in all of North American professional sports.
For the core of current Bruins, they've seen the Habs during the playoffs three times since 2008. In 2011, the collision course took them through Montreal to the Cup. That barrier stands in their way yet again.
"Well there's definitely a lot of history and it's always very special to play the Canadiens," Patrice Bergeron said on the morning of Game 1 from the Bruins' locker room at TD Garden.
"It's always an intense game and hard to play against type of games to win, so it's about making sure we take it up to another notch."
Countless reporters had streamed into the locker room for the media availability time slot following the team's routine pregame skate, routinely crowding around the Bruins' stalls to catch their every word.
David Krejci was asked earlier in the week what he thinks of when he hears Boston-Montreal. His easy response?
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins and Canadiens get the honor of kicking off the second round with Game 1 tonight at TD Garden.
In preparation, the Black & Gold hit the ice for their routine pregame skate Thursday morning, with Daniel Paille once again on the ice with the group.
Brad Marchand did not join in the skate (he skated Wednesday with the team after missing Tuesday's practice). "He took his option," Head Coach Claude Julien said of the winger's absence.
As for Paille, Julien said the forward would be a "game-time" decision to return to the lineup. He's been out of game action since the second to last regular season game on April 12 against Buffalo when he took a heavy hit.
"Yesterday, and going into this morning's skate, I feel like I'm back to where I need to be," Paille said following the skate.
It's been a somewhat frustrating few weeks for the forward, and while extremely proud of the team's performance in Round 1, he's been itching to get back into the lineup.