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A Learning Experience

Thursday, 01.29.2009 / 10:41 PM / 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 MTL 64 41 18 5 172 142 87
2 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
3 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
6 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
7 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
8 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43


P. Bergeron 61 18 26 4 44
L. Eriksson 61 14 21 2 35
R. Smith 62 12 23 11 35
B. Marchand 57 18 16 8 34
M. Lucic 61 13 21 11 34
D. Hamilton 62 10 24 0 34
C. Soderberg 62 10 24 6 34
T. Krug 58 11 20 6 31
D. Krejci 38 7 19 7 26
C. Kelly 60 7 19 8 26
T. Rask 25 16 9 .920 2.34
N. Svedberg 6 5 0 .917 2.39
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