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Bruins Weather Storm, Head South

After an uneven game against Carolina, the B's hope to bring their 'A' game with them to Atlanta

Sunday, 12.28.2008 / 12:38 PM / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Bruins Weather Storm, Head South
Raleigh, NC -- After the Bruins 4-2 win over Carolina, Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice said, “Overall, you’d sit there and say you played a hell of a game tonight.

“We did some good things but there’s more to the way they beat us than ‘they got a couple of lucky breaks’ and ‘we’ll get ‘em next time.’

“If you play the game you’re supposed to play over and over, like Boston does over and over again, then we’ll have success.”

Head coach Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins made a similar assessment.

“I think they were very good,” he said of Carolina. “They probably deserved a little better -- I’m sure they’re going to say that and rightfully so.

“But we found a way to win. We didn’t have our ‘A’ game tonight but we found a way to win and that’s what’s important I guess right now.”

Simply finding a way to win has become another staple element of Boston Bruins hockey and after seven straight victories it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Black & Gold don’t necessarily need to play their best to earn a “W” – a development that might keep their head coach up at night, but also has the B’s wanting to put together more solid efforts, as well.

“I really thought our first five or six minutes were good tonight,” admitted Julien. “We had a couple good chances.

“We were on top of them quickly and we created turnovers. Then for some reason we took our foot off the gas pedal and they started taking it to us.”

Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, who needed to be outstanding at times during the victory, said that the Hurricanes made life uncomfortable for Boston.

“They pushed us, especially in the second period” said Thomas, “probably [more than] we’ve been pushed in a long time.

“They kept us out and in our zone for a good portion [of the game].

“But it was good and, in the long run, good for us, I think, to get pushed by a team like this.”

It was good for the Bruins, not in the sense that they were forced to eek out a victory in a game that saw them outplayed for most of the contest, but that they realized they had to raise their game during the third period.

 “It seems like we would have one good shift and three bad ones,” said Marc Savard, who earned the assist on Michael Ryder’s game-winner and Chuck Kobasew’s empty-netter. “We just couldn’t get any flow going tonight.

“And our line (of Milan Lucic, Savard and Phil Kessel), I thought we struggled a lot tonight. We were skating by pucks a lot and not doing the little things – but we picked it up in the third and I thought we had a better period.”

Savard said that Carolina, who had played in Atlanta the night before, had gotten “the turkey out of them” and that the holiday layoff had hurt the Bruins.

“We were rusty tonight, but Timmy had a great game, thank God, and we got another two points.”

Julien was looking skyward, as well, and spoke to Blake Wheeler’s two goals.

“Thank God we had the Krejci line (of Wheeler, Krejci and Ryder) going well and scored some important goals for us,” said the coach. “You get those nights and that’s when you need other guys to step up.

“Hopefully we can be better [Sunday] night.”

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