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A Learning Experience

Thursday, 01.29.2009 / 10:41 PM ET / Features
By John Bishop  -
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A Learning Experience
Boston, MA – The Bruins looked like an angry bunch following their 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils, and that was just fine by head coach Claude Julien.

“Hopefully [they’re mad] enough that we bounce back with a good effort next game and come up with a win,” said Julien, who seemed to characterize the loss as a learning experience for his somewhat inexperienced squad.

“I think this was a good test for us,” he said. “We played a team tonight that, when you look at their roster just up front, I think [David] Clarkson is the youngest guy, with two years in the league, and the rest are all veteran players.

“You look at [Milan] Lucic, you look at [Phil] Kessel, [Blake] Wheeler, to name a few, [David] Krejci, there’s a few years – those are guys that are playing on our top lines. You know it was good for our team to battle against that, and I thought for the most part we handled it well.

“Hopefully we can grow and get better from this experience.”

The most veteran members of the Bruins squad had already expressed similar thoughts to the press.

“We've got some big games coming up, so we've got to move forward and hopefully learn from this one,” said Stephane Yelle, a two-time Stanley Cup champion. “They play a patient game, and we battled back and just have to find a way to finish.

"Some nights it goes like that, and you just have to find a way to battle through it and find a way to win."

Aaron Ward, who owns three Stanley Cup rings, agreed.

“It was a good show for us in terms of what playoff hockey is about,” he said. “That team is pretty disciplined in their style of play, and they played a good solid road game and got pucks to the net.

“It doesn't matter how they went in -- they went in -- so, we can lick our wounds and think they were unfortunate goals, but they all counted, and hopefully we can turn the tables at some point.

“We need to score, get the puck towards the net and see what chances come from it.”

Ward pointed to the New Jersey club’s tenacity in putting the puck in the net, no matter how unusual some of the goals may have been, and in turning the entire game on it’s head with only minutes left in regulation.

“"We talked about second efforts, but they are a third effort team,” said Ward. “They are resilient out there...we really had to be aware of the fact that they are a solid defensive team and that we had to really capitalize on their opportunities.

“We got [to] them in the third but we could have started a little earlier.”

Game Notes: Phil Kessel, back from a bout with mononucleosis, played a total of 21 shifts for 19:16.  Kessel also assisted on the second and third goals for the Black & Gold…The gloves came off only 3:03 into the first period, when Shawn Thornton and Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador engaged in a heated bout in front New Jersey goaltender Scott Clemmensen.  Thornton fell quickly but hopped back up just as fast to earn a take down of Salvador.  Both received five-minute fighting majors… Marc Savard extended his point streak to six games with an assist on Boston’s third goal of the night…The game was a sellout, with 17,565 in attendance...The Bruins are now 6-1-2 when wearing their third jerseys.

Angela Stefano and Angela Latona contributed to this report.




1 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
2 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
3 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
4 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
5 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
6 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
7 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
8 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


P. Bergeron 80 32 36 12 68
L. Eriksson 82 30 33 13 63
D. Krejci 72 17 46 4 63
B. Marchand 77 37 24 21 61
R. Spooner 80 13 36 -9 49
T. Krug 81 4 40 9 44
M. Beleskey 80 15 22 6 37
Z. Chara 80 9 28 12 37
J. Hayes 75 13 16 -12 29
D. Pastrnak 51 15 11 3 26
T. Rask 31 22 8 .915 2.56
J. Gustavsson 11 9 1 .908 2.72
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