The Bruins played well for 40 minutes against the Canadiens on Saturday night in Montreal, but they surrendered a two-goal lead in the final period and eventually lost to the Canadiens 3-2 in overtime. Sure, Boston gained a point but it should have earned two against Montreal.
“It was important for us to win that game [Saturday] night and it stings more than anything else,” Bruins coach Claude Julien told bostonbruins.com following Sunday’s practice. “There’s a big rivalry there and that rivalry has been existing for quite awhile. That game, to me, was extremely important, and to the players, as well. The way we lost it was real disappointing.”
Prior to Sunday’s practice in Pittsburgh, the Bruins watched extensive video as Julien addressed some concerns with the players. The coach wanted to make sure he clarified a few things in preparation for the Penguins Monday night in Pittsburgh.
“We need to move on and focus on [the Penguins],” Julien said. “We can’t carry that load with us and it’s important to bounce back.”
The Penguins have won three of the past four home games against the Bruins, and most of those games have been high-scoring contests. Fortunately for the Bruins, Pittsburgh will be without Sidney Crosby, who has missed the last two games with a mild concussion. The Penguins still have a 21-12-8 record all-time when Crosby is out of the lineup.
A few Bruins players missed Sunday’s practice due to the normal bumps and bruises players experience this time of the season, but forward Nathan Horton, who missed Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury, is still listed day to day. There’s a chance he could return against the Penguins.
“I wouldn’t write him off,” Julien told bostonbruins.com. “Hopefully we’ll get some good news here soon.”
A few Bruins players will reach milestones tonight, including Marc Savard, Mark Recchi and Matt Bartkowski. Savard will be playing his 800th NHL game, while Recchi will be playing his 1,612th NHL game, tying him with Ray Bourque for 8th place on the all-time list. Bartkowski, who was called up from Providence on Sunday, could be playing in his first NHL game.
But the Bruins are not focused on individual accolades.
The Bruins have a tough schedule this week, playing a total of four games against the Penguins, Senators (Tuesday), Flyers (Thursday) and Penguins again (Saturday).
“I think it’s important to get right back on the horse,” Julien told bostonbruins.com. “When you fall down, you get right back up. We need to bounce back. The schedule is out of our control and we’ll take whatever game comes along. It’s more of how we’re going to bounce back more than anything else.”