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For Bourque, Sunday was Best Game Yet

Winger played his best all-around game of the season in win over Winnipeg

Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 9:53 AM ET / Features
By Eric Russo  - BostonBruins.com
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For Bourque, Sunday was Best Game Yet

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BostonBruins.com – Ever since Chris Bourque returned from being the healthy scratch on January 31 against the Buffalo Sabres, the improvements in his game have been noticeable. In his first game back after sitting out he tallied the game-winning goal against the Maple Leafs and has looked more and more comfortable as the games have went on.

Sunday night’s game against Winnipeg, however, was hist best game yet in the Black & Gold. He assisted on Brad Marchand’s power play winner early in the third period, and skated much of the final frame on the first line alongside David Krejci and Nathan Horton. With Milan Lucic back in Boston due to personal reasons, the left wing spot was open and B’s Head Coach, Claude Julien, decided to reward Bourque for his strong play.

The move resulted in Bourque tallying a season-high 21 shifts and 15:04 of time on ice.

“No doubt, no doubt,” said Julien, when asked following Sunday night’s 3-2 win over the Jets if it had been Bourque’s best game of the season. “I really liked his game tonight. I thought he was a real good player, he had good legs, he played hard along the walls and everywhere else.

“He had some good chances and that’s why I put him up there with David Krejci because, in my mind, he really deserved to be there the way he was playing tonight.”

Bourque, who started the game in the right wing third line spot, instead of on his familiar left wing, agreed with his coach that Sunday was his best game of the season. Now, his main focus is to continue to play a more steady game.

“Yeah, I felt really good right off the start of the game,” Bourque said after Tuesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. “I thought we had a couple good shifts early, set the tone for our game and I thought our line did well the whole time. We were making plays and making stuff happen, we got a big goal there in the second right before the period ended. It was nice.

“I think I’ve had a couple other good games here and there. I’ve got to stay consistent and keep battling out there and keep making plays out there. It felt good.”

Playing well defensively and fitting into Coach Julien’s system have been other priorities for Bourque. And to this point those are aspects of the game that he feels he has been doing well.

“I don’t think that’s been a problem for me,” said Bourque of his defensive game. “I think I’ve been pretty strong on the wall all year, those are the places that you really have to bear down.

“Coach really likes to pride himself on making those small plays and playing good defense, so I’ve been trying to focus on that. The offense is starting to come. Last game, I had a lot of chances, created a lot of offense.”

Bourque says continuing to have a good attitude and playing well in all zones will be key to any success he has for the remainder of the season.

“As I’ve said before, just stay positive, go out and work hard,” Bourque explained. “When you get those chances, make sure you make good plays and stay strong defensively. I think I had a pretty good game in all three zones [Sunday]. Hopefully I can build off that and start rolling.”

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
2 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
3 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
4 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
5 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
6 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
7 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
8 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 54 21 26 10 47
L. Eriksson 54 17 25 11 42
B. Marchand 49 26 14 14 40
D. Krejci 44 12 28 2 40
R. Spooner 54 11 27 -7 38
Z. Chara 52 7 22 11 29
M. Beleskey 52 8 18 9 26
J. Hayes 52 12 13 -7 25
T. Krug 53 3 21 2 24
B. Connolly 51 7 12 -3 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 20 16 5 .917 2.55
J. Gustavsson 9 3 1 .911 2.58
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