March 5, 2011

Half-hearted effort dooms B's in loss to Pens

by Jesse Connolly

Bruins center David Krejci's goal with 32 seconds left forced overtime on Saturday night. (Getty)

BOSTON -- For the Boston Bruins, reflecting on a loss must have felt a little foreign. Winners of seven-straight games coming into the night, the Black and Gold had gone 18 days since suffering their last setback before falling 3-2 in overtime to the Penguins at TD Garden.

 Coach Claude Julien and nearly everyone inside the team's locker room willingly admitted a half-hearted effort was to blame.

 "Well you know, to me, we played probably half a game," said Julien. "The first half of the first period I thought we started off well and then the second half of the first we just slipped. And same thing in the second period, I thought our third period we battled a lot better. And every once in a while you rely on that sixth attacker to help you gain a point and we’ll take that tonight.

 "Lately we’ve been winning games because we’ve played sixty minutes and tonight wasn’t the case."

 After falling behind 2-1 in the second period, Boston's offense went into hibernation mode. Zdeno Chara's shot at the 12:18 mark was the last puck Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had to stop in the frame.

 "We had heavy legs, we didn’t skate well, and we didn’t move the puck well," said Chara, who scored one of the Bruins two goals. "On the other side, Pittsburgh played extremely well. They put a lot of pressure on us. They took away space and time and we couldn’t create much.

"They even had back-to-back games. They had pretty good jump and energy. It almost felt like we were the team who played last night."

 Center David Krejci, who tied the game up at two apiece with just 33 seconds left in regulation, believes that the Bruins would have been victorious if they'd just been a wee-bit sharper at certain points in the contest.

 "I don’t think we played our best game," said Krejci. "I am positive if we played our game then we would win. We gave them too many shots in the first two periods.  hat can’t happen. We tied the game and played pretty hard. We had a bad break and they got a lucky one in over time."

 That lucky break was the most costly of turnovers from defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who lamented his ill-fated attempt to hit Michael Ryder at center ice that was picked off by Dustin Jeffrey and led to the game-winning goal.

 "I guess if you want to take a positive out of it you can," Seidenberg said. "But for me personally right now, I’m pretty frustrated with that play. But again, we play again on Tuesday, and it’s another game."

 With their winning streak now halted, the Bruins can still take some solace in the fact that they've taken 15 out of a possible 16 points over their last eight games.

"It’s going to happen," Chara said of the loss. "You’re going to have games like this where we were just slow and not moving the puck as well as we used to. But we worked extremely hard in the third and earned that point. That’s the positive. Obviously we’d like to get two but it happens."