BOSTON, MA - The Bruins didn't end 2013 the way they wanted to.
Hosting the New York Islanders on New Year's Eve, the Black & Gold jumped to a 3-1 lead before allowing four straight goals to ultimately fall, 5-3.
It was fairly self-inflicted, with the Bruins allowing an uncharacteristic four power-play goals, in what ended an eight-game winning streak at TD Garden.
"I think when we took the 3-1 lead, we kind of relaxed and they came back hard and they kind of got the momentum back and we couldn’t regain it," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told reporters postgame.
"They made their own breaks and they made their breaks by getting some good bounces and got themselves back in the game but in the third period, they were the better team."
Boston and New York went to the third tied at 3-3, before the Isles scored just 32 seconds in, when John Tavares banked the puck from behind the goal line off Tuukka Rask and in.
"It’s just a bad break on that fourth goal on the first shift. He’s behind the goal line and that’s just an example of how the night went for us," said David Krejci, who scored his 100th career NHL goal to give the Bruins an early 1-0 lead in the first.
"We felt like we could have scored a couple more goals, we felt like we could have defended a little better and we also felt like we could have had a couple more power plays. So it was just a tough night for us."
"Obviously it’s disappointing but we have to regroup and move on and we have our next game in a couple days so we have to be better."
The game got away from the Bruins, in a building where they take a lot of pride in being dominant. They hadn't lost a home game in regulation since a 4-3 loss to New Jersey on October 26, another game in which they allowed an uncharacteristic four power-play goals.
"We lost because I think it was, like you said, probably self-inflicted," said Julien. "We took a lot of ill-advised penalties that at one point caught up to us and I didn’t think our penalty kill obviously was very good tonight."
The Bruins ended up with 28 penalty minutes on the night, 14 of them coming to Milan Lucic late in the third period, with the Bruins trailing 5-3. He ended up being assessed a boarding penalty, along with unsportsmanlike conduct and a game misconduct.
But the Bruins' penalty trouble had begun earlier in the game, especially in the second, when they took three straight penalties that result in two man-advantage goals for the Isles and a 3-3 tie heading to the final frame.
"Some of those penalties are penalties that ended up hurting us a lot on the road so we have to take ownership of that," said Julien.
"I’d say we did get comfortable after we had the two-goal lead," added Lucic, who admitted the frustration from those power-play goals allowed and a few bad bounces allowed them to get frustrated and undisciplined.
"They capitalized on their chances and got their breaks and say what you want at the end of the day, you make your breaks so like I said, it sucks to end of the year of 2013 this way, and we have an opportunity to bounce back on Thursday."
The Bruins didn't ring in the New Year as they had wished, but this is a team that hasn't lost more than two straight all season. It marks only the third time in 2013-14 that the B's are on a two-game losing streak.
"Obviously you’ve got to give credit for the good game but a lot of it is our own doing; not playing the way we should and taking too many penalties," said Patrice Bergeron, who notched his 10th of the season with a power-play tally to make it 2-1.
"We knew they had a good power play and we didn’t do a good job on the PK and, like I said, we can give them credit but still, we could’ve played a lot better."
The Bruins are back in action on Thursday night against Nashville, and will use it as a chance to bounce back, like they always do.
"Well you’re going to have to want to do something about it," said Julien. "We’ve lost two in a row now. We don’t like being in that situation so hopefully we get a positive response from our team on Thursday."
So, can they move on easily from this game, and start 2014 off right?
"We have no other choice," said Krejci. "We have to have a good practice tomorrow [Wednesday] and come out from first to the last minute on Thursday."
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