Emotions, Effort There for Bruins
The Bruins came out with an emotional, physical effort, but the result didn't come
Following Friday night's emotional events, the city remained heavy, but felt a sense of relief moving forward. Another astounding national anthem sung in unison by the crowd set the scene at TD Garden, where the Bruins were facing off against the top-ranked team in the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The effort may have been there throughout, but the B's ultimately fell, 3-2, to the East's dominant Pens.
Boston carried the emotion into the first period, buzzing with eight shots in the first six minutes and 30 seconds of the game. Adam McQuaid engaged Tanner Glass, the gloves dropped, and the crowd fired up.
"I thought we were obviously emotionally attached to the game," said Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara. "We were physical. I thought we were, for the most part, in control. We just basically played on the edge and always sticking up for each other."
"It’s just too bad that we didn’t get the result that we wanted. But other than that, I like the game that we played - it's too bad."
Just over two minutes after McQuaid's fight, Brad Marchand converted on the power play for his team-leading 17th goal of the season when he streaked through the middle after a quick up-ice play from Tuukka Rask and Chara.
The B's closed out the period with another fight, this time between Nathan Horton and Jarome Iginla. Throughout the game, they threw 35 hits, and brought their fight, sticking up for each other and engaging the Penguins when necessary.
"We know that that’s more like us, playing that way," said Chara, of the physicality. "We just got to continue to play the same way and keep getting better in certain areas."
Marchand, who put the B's on the board first, also wrestled with Jussi Jokinen.
"We had a lot of emotion, played a physical game, guys were sticking up for each other, and we had a lot of energy out there," said Marchand. "Definitely a good game for us."
"I thought we built on last game and we had another very strong game. A lot of opportunities but, again, we need results and we can’t continue to lose games like this."
The frustration level of losing four straight - though the B's clinched a playoff spot with a point in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Sabres Wednesday - hasn't yet reached anywhere near the frustration during the B's tough stretch in March when they lost four of six.
"I think everybody’s walking out of here happy with the effort and the commitment that was put into this game," Coach Julien told media following the loss. "But when you don’t score goals, it tarnishes a lot of things."
The Bruins outshot the Pens in every period and 40-24 overall. Though they met a goaltender up to the task today in Tomas Vokoun, the lack of capitalizing in front of the net and two power-play goals allowed in the third period ultimately left the B's skating off without the two points they had wanted to give their fans.
"It’s not that we’re doing something less or differently," said Chara on the league-leading penalty kill letting in two power-play goals today, an anomaly that has happened for the past three games. "It’s just sometimes those pucks find a way to end up in your net."
"We’re playing the same way we did all season long. It’s just you go through ups and downs throughout every season and right now, it just seems like they’re getting some opportunities and they’re going in," Marchand added.
"Before, maybe the pucks would hit a stick or we’d get a lucky bounce or what not, but we do have to work on getting pucks out a little more. We’re giving too many opportunities and not getting them out. If we can work on that, it’ll be better."
Rask Expecting More from Himself
Jarome Iginla, playing the B's for the first time since being traded to Pittsburgh, scored through a screen from the high slot for the Pens' first power-play goal, followed by a Kris Letang wrist shot from the left circle that beat Rask.
"Short-side, no matter if there’s a screen or not I should stop that. No question about that, but it happens," Rask said of Letang's game-winner.
"I didn’t see it, but it’s a five-hole goal on the ice. It’s my bad too, so it’s not too often I cost a game, and today I did I think, and that’s how it is sometimes for a goalie, and [you’ve] got to move on," said Rask of the Iginla goal, clearly wishing he had performed sharper in goal for his teammates.
"We had the motion, we had hits, a couple scraps out there, so, you know, it just didn’t get rewarded, and it sucks, but I think we’ve got to get the good things out of this and move on and hopefully I’m better next game."
Seguin's Goal Too Little, Too Late
With the Bruins trailing 3-1 late in the third, after heading into the period knotted at 1-1, Rask went off the ice in the final minute of the game and Tyler Seguin punched the puck in behind Vokoun. Though it was a fitting reward for Seguin, having fired eight of the B's 40 shots on goal, to earn his 16th of the season, it came with only 2.6 left on the clock.
"I thought we had a lot of emotion that we carried in from last game. It’s just getting the result that we got again," said Seguin, on the second straight loss following an effort that probably deserved more. "It’s definitely getting frustrating not finding a way to win these games. I thought we definitely earned it."
"When we play a game like we did tonight and we only get one goal and one with a couple of seconds left, it’s definitely frustrating," said Marchand. "We deserved a little bit better, but we got to put a little onus on ourselves and make sure we step in the next game."
"We didn’t get the two points and we couldn’t find a way today, but I still think we’re going in the right direction," added Seguin. "I thought we have been for the last few games. We’re going to take the positives out and bounce back for tomorrow."
The Bruins will host the Florida Panthers at TD Garden Sunday for another 12:30 p.m. matinee, and are hoping the effort can finally transfer. They're expecting another emotional atmosphere, but this time, they're hoping for a different outcome.
"[It was] pretty much the same as the last game with what it meant for this city and this country," said Chara, on the outpouring of energy to kick off the game. "We want to do our best and work hard. I guess it’s just too bad we didn’t get the result."
"Overall, I think we fed off our fans and we were hoping our fans would feed off us with a win," Coach Julien said. "But that’s the only part that is disappointing when you look at the final outcome, is that we didn’t come up with a win."
Nathan Horton Leaves After First Period
A result of the physicality saw Nathan Horton drop the gloves with Jarome Iginla in the first period of Saturday's game. After a quick bout, Horton went down the tunnel and did not return to the game.
Coach Julien did not have an update on Horton yet following the game, but said, "obviously the injury came from the fight. I’ll let you guys know whenever the final evaluation is made. That could be later on tonight, or tomorrow morning at the latest."
Soderberg Makes NHL Debut
Carl Soderberg suited up at TD Garden for the first time in the spoked-B in front of the Boston faithful, and played 16:10 of ice time.
"I thought he handled himself well for his first game," said Coach Julien of the forward who will be adjusting to the NHL's smaller ice surface and getting his game legs back under him after two weeks without playing. "The one thing he is, he’s a smart player and he’s going to figure it out pretty quickly."