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Lucic Back on the Board

With a goal against the Leafs, the winger broke a 15-game scoreless drought

Monday, 03.25.2013 / 11:46 PM / Features
By Eric Russo  - BostonBruins.com
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Lucic Back on the Board
With the exception of a three-assist game against the Philadelphia Flyers 10 days ago, it has been a frustrating 15-game scoreless stretch for Milan Lucic. Entering Monday night\u2019s contest with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins\u2019 power winger had not scored since February 24 in Florida.

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BOSTON, MA – With the exception of a three-assist game against the Philadelphia Flyers 10 days ago, it has been a frustrating 15-game scoreless stretch for Milan Lucic. Entering Monday night’s contest with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins’ power winger had not scored since February 24 in Florida.

After starting the night on one of Coach's new lines with Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron, Lucic found his game more and more as the game went along. And at 9:49 of the second period, with the Leafs up 2-0, No. 17 finally broke the streak, cutting the Leafs lead in half with a vintage Lucic goal, in the B’s eventual, 3-2, shootout win.

The goal was all about power. After collecting a quick pass from Peverley, Lucic used his heavy frame to skate through the spoked-B at center ice and blow past Toronto defenseman Cody Franson at the Leafs’ blueline and bust to the net. Lucic, all alone, then fired a shot through the five-hole of goalie James Reimer for his fifth goal of the year.

“It was almost like I wasn’t even thinking,” said Lucic of his goal. “It was one of those things that when you’re scoring you’re not even really thinking about it, so my only thought was take the puck to the net and I was able to open him up."

“[Reimer] plays real well post-to-post and that’s why I decided to go in the five-hole there.”

When Lucic saw the puck in the back of the net, a huge sense of relief kicked in.

“Definitely relief,” he said after the win. “You start thinking positively again and like they say, the monkey’s off your back. It was definitely in my mind after the goal, I had a lot more positive thinking, so it was good to get it.”

B’s Head Coach Claude Julien said when Lucic is playing his best, the winger is moving his feet.

“Always has been,” said Julien, when asked if that was the key to Lucic’s game. “With Milan, it’s all about his feet. When his feet are moving and when he uses his speed, not just on the goal, but a couple other times there, he really took the puck to the outside and tried to cut back in.

“Either he’s going to get those chances or create some power plays for us by getting them to drag him down. But, he’s big, he’s strong, and when he uses his speed he’s certainly that much more of a player.

“Milan was very good after the first period, he got his feet going and it made a big difference.”

Lucic, who says he tried not to let his frustration spill out to the rest of the team during his slump, agreed that when he is moving, he’s a more effective player.

“You try to remain positive, but it was definitely coming to a point where it was hard to and you start second guessing yourself,” the winger explained. “So, usually it’s not a pretty one that goes in that gets you out of your slump, but I think you look at that goal there, I think a big thing was, I was moving my feet on the play and I was able to create a lot of speed.

“When I move my feet, I give myself a lot more opportunities.”

After just about a half a game apart, Lucic found himself reunited with his former linemates, David Krejci and Nathan Horton, during the third period, when the Bruins were attempting to tie the score, a result of No. 17 finding his legs.

With the B’s lines back together, creating energy and scoring chances, Brad Marchand was back skating with Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron, who eventually tied the game, with Dougie Hamilton showing some offensive skills and feeding him a pass from behind the goal.

After earning the two points, Lucic, even with a renewed confidence, was focusing more on his team's collective effort, talking about how the Bruins need play with that kind of desperation and step up their game even more down the stretch.

“It was good, it wasn’t too long that we were apart,” said Lucic, on how the B's fought through to find their game, and were able to get back to the instant chemistry with their usual lines. “Obviously, we were pressing to tie the game there, and it was a good job by Bergeron who got set-up by Dougie to get that goal.

“I think we’re a big part of this team and we need to definitely step up our game," he added on his line.

"There’s 17 games left starting on Wednesday and we want get our game to where it needs to be in order to have success in the playoffs.”

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
3 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
6 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
7 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
8 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 25 16 9 .920 2.34
N. Svedberg 6 5 0 .917 2.39
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