BOSTON -- As the Bruins learned on Tuesday, they cannot take any team lightly at this time of the season. The Flyers, a team already eliminated from playoff contention, scored two quick goal in the second period and then embarrassed the Bruins, beating them 5-2.
Well tonight, Boston will face another team with nothing to play for except pride and the NHL scoring race as the Lightning visit TD Garden with the top two scorers in the NHL, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. As head coach Claude Julien pointed out, teams in Tampa’s and Philly's positions aren’t fading away despite being eliminated.
“It’s a team that played a really good game last night and I watched them play,” Julien said of the Lightning. “You just have to look around the schedule the other night and all the playoff-seeded teams except for Washington lost. It goes to show you that these teams aren’t giving up, and [are] playing some solid hockey when you only got ‘x’ number of games left, and you want to finish on a positive note and play your best. That’s what we should expect from Tampa tonight. They’re going to come and play well and they have the players that can certainly be what you call spoilers and there’s more than one, so we have to be ready for them.”
On Tuesday, the Bruins were a turnover machine, making life easy for the Flyers and most likely making Julien search for antacid. The B's know that with St. Louis and Stamkos on the other side tonight, they will be in for a long game if the turnovers continue.
“Puck management is always the most important thing and you want to make sure in the gray areas you make solid plays or percentage plays,” defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said. “You want to make sure you keep the puck safe and you don’t want to turn it over. If we want success in the playoffs, we can’t let that happen. We need to be ready mentally and focus.”
The Bruins also know this game and their last two (at Washington on Saturday and vs. Ottawa on Sunday) are their last chances to find that consistent mindset.
“Consistency is something that we haven’t had in a long time,” Seidenberg said. “We need to play 60 minutes and we’re trying to get that over the next few games.