TORONTO, Ont. — The Bruins have a simple objective on Saturday night as they face the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre: get back in the win column.
Yes, playing the right way, to their strengths, will likely breed success — but no matter how it is done, the Bruins need to find a way to get results.
“I think it’s to keep plugging at it, and really having confidence to get results — and going out there and making plays,” Patrice Bergeron said following the team’s pregame skate on Saturday morning.
“Bottom line is making sure we play our game, we stay confident, we realize, yeah, the standings are tight, but we’re still in a playoff spot and it’s in our hands and we have to take it a game at a time.”
After Friday’s action, Tampa Bay moved into first place in the Atlantic Division with a 7-4 win over the New York Islanders. The Bruins remain in third place in the division.
Veterans like Bergeron will help keep the group focused — not on the big picture and the standings and the pressure, but just on playing a solid game that’s worthy of two points.
BostonBruins.com — Defenseman John-Michael Liles did not travel with the Bruins to Toronto in advance of their Saturday night matchup against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
Liles left Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers late in the second period with a lower-body injury after getting tied up with Garrett Wilson along the boards.
On Friday, before the team left for Toronto, Head Coach Claude Julien gave an update on the blueliner.
“We’re doing further evaluation on him today and he won’t be joining us on this trip,” said Julien.
Liles has played in 12 games for Boston after being acquired at the trade deadline from Carolina.
BOSTON — The past two weeks have been frustrating for the Bruins, to say the least.
After picking up points in seven straight games, they have now gone pointless in their past five, with their most recent win dating back to Mar. 12.
Their latest loss, 4-1 to the Florida Panthers at TD Garden on Thursday night, was just as frustrating — and closer than the final result showed.
Patrice Bergeron thought he had tied the game at 2-2 just over eight minutes into the third period, when he chopped a loose puck towards Roberto Luongo. “No goal” was the call on the ice. The play was reviewed by the NHL’s Situation Room in Toronto for a lengthy amount of time. The puck appeared to cross the goal line near the post.
The official ruling was that “video review was inconclusive in determining whether the puck completely crossed the Florida goal line. Therefore the referee's call on the ice stands - no goal Boston.”
When further replays were shown on the Garden HDX video board, the crowd broke out into a boisterous round of boos.
“I think we all saw that replay and I was shocked,” said Bergeron. “I guess it looked — to me, it looked like it was in — but I don’t know exactly what the rule is and what they were not sure about.”
NEW YORK, N.Y. — A brief “Hen-rik, Hen-rik” chant broke out at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night after an incredible save sequence by New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist and his teammates on the penalty kill.
The Bruins were pressing, with a 3-1 deficit.
Playing from behind, every chance carries an ounce more of weight and an injects a greater dose of frustration.
“It’s disappointing, to say the least,” Head Coach Claude Julien said Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden following the defeat. “We played much better in California. We didn’t play well tonight at all, so whether it’s one of those off games, we’ll find out soon enough tomorrow night when we play Florida.”
NEW YORK CITY — After three days off from games, the Bruins will be back in action on Wednesday night against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. ET (NBCSN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
The tilt will kick off a set of three games in four nights for the Black & Gold, and the first leg of a back-to-back that will conclude in Boston on Thursday night against the Florida Panthers.
After dropping their last three games, all on the California road trip, the Bruins are looking to get back in the win column. They have not dropped four in a row all season.
“After coming back from that road trip, I think we need to get ourselves back on track here,” Head Coach Claude Julien said following the team’s pregame skate. “And a way to get back on track is to be ready at the drop of the puck and understand who you’re up against and what you need to do to win.”
WILMINGTON, Mass. — When the Bruins hit the ice for practice on Tuesday morning at Ristuccia Arena, Tuukka Rask was not present.
“He’s just a little under the weather right now,” Head Coach Claude Julien said following the skate.
Rask was set to meet the team on the plane and travel to New York City with them in advance of Wednesday’s night matchup with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
With Rask ill, Jeremy Smith was called up from the Providence Bruins on an emergency basis and was also set to travel with the team.
Smith and Jonas Gustavsson served as the goalie tandem during Tuesday’s practice.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Bruins were in search of offense — and points — heading into Saturday night’s matchup with the Kings at the STAPLES Center.
They had been outscored 7-2 on their California road trip, with a 4-0 loss to the Ducks on Friday night and a 3-2 loss in San Jose on Tuesday.
Going up against the league’s best defensive team was going to be a tall task.
The Bruins found themselves down 1-0 in the first and trailed the Kings 2-1 heading to the third period. That is how the score would stick, with a 2-1 loss in LA making them pointless on the trip.
They turned it on for the final 40 minutes, outshooting the Kings 23-7 during that span and holding them to just two shots in the third period.
“You can like your team’s performance in the second and third, but at the end of the day, we’re going home empty-handed and that’s not what we came here for,” said Head Coach Claude Julien. “So maybe it was good that we were able to show that we’re capable of playing with these guys when we set our minds to it.”
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Bruins will have one more chance on Saturday night to pick up two points from their three-game trip through California.
The Los Angeles Kings are ready and waiting, as they will look to bounce back from a 4-0 loss to the Ducks in Anaheim on Friday.
“We didn’t come here to go home empty-handed so we’ve got to find a way to get some points here,” Head Coach Claude Julien said following the defeat at the Honda Center. “We let some slip in San Jose and tonight, obviously a 4-0 game, it’s a little tough to say we let them slip away, but you know, we played well enough that we should have had a chance.”
ANAHEIM, Calif. — With 11 games left on the Bruins’ regular season schedule, the mantra will be the same from game to game.
The standings are tight. They change every day.
The intensity will be high. The Bruins will have to bring their A-game.
All of the above will be true as the Bruins kick off a tough back-to-back in Southern California on Friday night in Anaheim against the Ducks, before facing the Kings in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Though the Bruins let two points slip away in San Jose in a 3-2 loss on Tuesday night, they can continue drawing confidence from their strong road record.
The buildings in California aren’t easy places to play. The Ducks’ 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday marked their first regulation loss at home in 11 games.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The sun may be shining in Southern California, but the Bruins know where their focus lies as they finish out their road trip with a tough back-to-back against Anaheim and Los Angeles this weekend.
After a day off to rest and recover on Wednesday, the team returned to practice on Thursday at Toyota Sports Center, the training center of the LA Kings.
With two days off from game action after dropping their first game of the trip in San Jose, the Black & Gold should be geared up to face the top two teams in the Pacific Division.
“You’d like to think you’re team is capable of rising to occasions and playing well and playing hard,” Head Coach Claude Julien said following practice. “I thought we played decently against San Jose, but still not good enough to win and we could have been better.”
“So I think we can definitely expect more from our hockey club, in order to win these kind of games that we think are important for us.”