As bad as the Bruins power play was Tuesday night in a 5-3 loss to the Dallas Stars, Claude Julien sees a bigger problem. His team is getting sloppy and careless when it matters most.

One example came when the Bruins had tied the game in the second period, 3-3. They get a power play and a chance to take their first lead. Instead, they allow their second shorthanded goal of the night. They couldn’t recover.

“I think carelessness is one [issue],” Julien said. “[Just] poor work ethic on the power play. When you looked at even the second goal, you know, our coming back and our two guys back there are just flat footed and just kind of lackadaisical and very soft and real disappointing that our power play was like that tonight. We talk about the lack of power plays we get, and tonight we get some and we don’€™t do anything with it so we only have ourselves to look at and blame ourselves for this, not only the power play but this loss.

“I thought when we tied it 3-3, the start of our second period, even in our second period, I think we had at least seven good scoring chances. But a lot like last game too, we had some great opportunities right in front of the net and we’€™re not burying those. Same thing with Montreal, in the first period we could have had the lead one-nothing with Price out of the net and they’€™ve got guys in the crease and we didn’€™t bury those, so again it’€™s a challenge of burying your chances and what it ends up doing is giving them the opportunity to take a lead.

“And our power play wasn’€™t good, but at the same time we had lots of opportunities to score goals tonight throughout the whole night. We had lots of shots, lots of loose pucks in front, and because you don’€™t bury those you end up on the losing side of things, and that’€™s one of the reasons besides not having enough guys playing at their capabilities.”

Now the Bruins face a five-game road trip out West. Julien sent a clear message to his team that the turnaround must start with a better effort from the players in the dressing room and on the ice.

“I can give game plans and I can do a lot of things, but I can’€™t play for them,” Julien said. “It’€™s got to come from within and you talk about a dressing room and, you know, wanting to do that. We’€™ve got a tough road trip coming up, and you’€™ve heard me say that often. I don’€™t think we can panic, but the one thing we can do is we can wake up and realize what needs to be done here, and it’€™s going to take some’€¦ some good efforts, some grit as you mentioned, win battles with some determination, and, you know, and right now we don’€™t have a lot of guys doing that.”

One mistake Julien did take the blame for was the miscommunication that had Niklas Svedberg taking the ice to start the second period when Julien wanted to make a change and insert Tuukka Rask to start the period with Boston down, 3-1.

“It was a miscommunication,” Julien said. “Certainly that’€™s the last thing I wanted to do to Sveddy [Niklas Svedberg], and I told Tuukka [Rask] to be ready and be ready after the period, so I thought he was getting ready and then when I came out of the locker room he was still in the hallway so I said you’€™re going in, so it’€™s unfortunate. Certainly didn’€™t want to embarrass Sveddy. He doesn’€™t deserve it, and, you know, I think as I said earlier it would have been nice to give him a little bit more support in his first game back.”

Julien clearly wasn’t putting all the blame for the three first period goals on his backup goalie, just called up from Providence.

“Well I think we’€™ll deal with that,” Julien said. “I think hopefully we’€™ll put him in a position next time with a little bit more support. You know, when we played well we had good layers. We didn’€™t give up much. Tonight wasn’€™t’€¦ certainly wasn’€™t the case. We gave up a lot.

“I think first of all that this guy comes back and plays his first game and we didn’€™t give him much support at all. I felt bad for him. You know, he could have used a lot more support to get his confidence back and I think some of the goals coming in from the side obviously you’€™d like him to have those, but rebounds and our guys aren’€™t there to clear the rebounds they score another goal, and it was important for me to give our team some life and make that change, but certainly we didn’€™t give him a lot of help. At the same time, I don’€™t think we have enough guys right now playing to their, I guess to their abilities to win hockey games, and that’€™s been going on now. Like even if we won against the Islanders that’€™s been going on for at least four games where this month we don’€™t have enough guys going and we have a lot of guys that are very average for what’€™s expected of them and I got a good handful of those.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Give David Krejci credit for this much: He’s not sugar-coating the Bruins’ power-play effort of late.

After not only failing to score Tuesday night, the Bruins allowed their first two shorthanded goals of the season at a horrible time, and fell to the Stars, 5-3, at TD Garden.

Give David Krejci credit for this much: He’s not sugar-coating the Bruins power play effort of late.

After not only failing to score Tuesday night, the Bruins allowed two short-handed goals for the first time this season and fell to the Dallas Stars, 5-3, at TD Garden.

The first short-handed marker by Dallas came directly as a result of a sloppy, lazy pass from Krejci that never got to Torey Krug along the Dallas blue line. It was picked off by Vernon Fiddler, who beat Niklas Svedberg up top for a 1-0 Dallas lead. After the Bruins battled back to tie the game, 3-3, it was another short-handed goal that was Boston’s undoing, as Trevor Daley skated past a standing Krejci and beat Tuukka Rask.

The Bruins, who scored a short-handed goal of their own, did manage nine shots on the man advantage in four chances but no goals. What gives?

“Just sucks, that’€™s the only word I got,” Krejci said. “We’€™ve been working on it in practices but it’€™s no good so that’€™s where we’€™re at right now.”

Krejci had no disagreement with Claude Julien‘s assessment that the Bruins were plain sloppy on the power play at critical times.

“One hundred percent. I mean, it’€™s not just a goal against us, there’€™s more things to it,” Krejci said.”We’€™re just not playing well on the power play, we have to practice way more. Maybe we have to change something but that’€™s up to the coaches. We just have to find a way to be better and it has to start in practices.”

Krejci can sense the lack of consistency.

“I thought we played ten good minutes then we got away from our game plan,” Krejci said. “We played really badly, poor decisions. Then again in the second period, really good ten minutes and then went downhill again. For some reason we weren’€™t able to play a full 60 minutes, that’€™s why we lost today.”

Krejci and the Bruins were booed loudly at the end of the game, leading to the thought that going on the road for five games out West might help.

“One hundred percent. You notice that the fans booed us, but you know, rightly so. We deserved it,” Krejci said. “Not that we’€™re going away that it’€™s a good thing but sometimes things like this can pull the team together, play more as a team for each other and once we come back here ready to go and make a push before the seasons over.

“I mean we were’€”we have to play a full 60 minutes and we have to be sharp in every area of our game and we were not today. If you play better or not’€”if you play better now or not when we did before it doesn’€™t really matter we’€™re still losing games and we’€™re not playing a full 60 minutes. If you don’€™t put the full 60-minute effort together then it’€™s going to be hard to win hockey games in this league.”

Where is the Bruins team that appeared to have things turned around in January?

“You know what, it’€™s a good question but we have to stick together here as a team and find a way to start winning hockey games again,” Krejci said. “Like I said, we had a pretty good start in the second period and we had 17 scoring chances after two periods so that’€™s pretty high and only three goals. There was more chances we could have put the game away but poor decision making including myself. That’€™s not the way we should to win hockey games.

“Honestly, we talk a lot. We have lots of meetings. Coaches are there doing their job to get us ready but it doesn’€™t mean that we’€™re ready to go’€”that it’€™s going to come easily. Sometimes I can just talk about myself, first period felt unbelievable and second period I couldn’€™t handle the puck for any reason. It just, I don’€™t know, the confidence lull or whatever but that is what it is right now so only out here as a team we’€™re going to get out of this hole. Like I said we have to stick together and just start playing well.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Although they scored three goals for the first time in four games and threw 44 shots at Kari Lehtonen, the Bruins couldn’€™t find an equalizer in the third period of what ended up being a sloppy 5-3 loss to the Stars at TD Garden on Tuesday (box).

Although they scored three goals for the first time in four games and threw 44 shots at Kari Lehtonen, the Bruins couldn’€™t find an equalizer in the third period what ended up being a sloppy 5-3 loss to the Stars at TD Garden on Tuesday (box).

The loss was Boston’€™s third regulation loss in four games, marking the first time they’€™ve had such a stretch in almost two months.

Boston got goals from David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Dougie Hamilton, but shoddy power play work and an unfruitful third period meant an unfruitful result. The B’€™s fell to 28-19-17 on the season, and with Florida in line for a victory at the time Boston’€™s game ended, the race for the final playoff spot could very well close to four points with the Panthers holding two games in hand.

Tyler Seguin, who was sent back from Dallas’€™ morning skate with the flu, played and recorded no points.

The Bruins have a five-game road trip ahead of them that will begin Friday in Vancouver.

Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:

ROUSSEL TOSSED

The Bruins got an injury scare early when Adam McQuaid laid a hit on Antione Roussel in the neutral zone. The Stars left wing clearly didn’€™t like it, as he responded by cross-checking McQuaid in the throat.

McQuaid went down to the ice and was holding his throat area before eventually getting up. Roussel, meanwhile was assessed a five-minute cross-checking major as well as a game-misconduct.

McQuaid left the bench and went to the training room but returned to the game following the power play, which, as explained below, was a disaster.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

The Bruins entered Tuesday’€™s game last in the NHL with 122 power plays on the season. In the morning skate, Claude Julien only half-kiddingly said that the B’€™s only get power plays during practice. Well, the Bruins got power plays and boy oh boy did they give up shorthanded goals.

Roussel’€™s first-period infraction gave the Bruins a five-minute major that yielded only three shots on goals for the Bruins. The Stars enjoyed it, however, as Vernon Fiddler picked off an ill-advised pass at the blueline and cashed in with a shorthanded goal.

With a man contesting him at the point, Krejci tried to make a D-to-D pass along the blueline to Torey Krug, but Fiddler got a stick on it and was off to the races. Krug was also partially at fault, as he turned toward Fiddler and started skating east-west rather than turning and burning the second the puck was knocked out of the zone. Krejci was replaced by Dennis Seidenberg on the first power play unit on the next power play.

Fiddler’€™s goal was the first shorthanded goal the Bruins have allowed this season. The second followed quickly, as a four-minute double-minor following a Ryan Garbutt that cut Dougie Hamilton led to a Trevor Daley shorthanded goal to give Dallas the lead back after Hamilton had tied it.

Hamilton did not play the final 6:54 of the period after leaving the ice, but he returned for the third period.

PENALTY KILL GETS ONE BACK

There were no power-play goals in Tuesday’€™s game, but both teams used the penalty kill to make up for it. Dougie Hamilton took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with five seconds left in the first period when he went after Alex Goligoski following a hit on Patrice Bergeron.

The Bruins’€™ penalty kill took after Dallas’€™ early in the second period, as Brad Marchand picked off a John Klinberg bid in the high slot and took it the other way with Bergeron. Marchand slid the puck across to Bergeron upon entering the zone, taking the defender with him and leaving Bergeron to deke and back Kari Lehtonen into the net along with the puck.

The goal was Boston’€™s fifth shorthanded goal scored.

RASK TO THE RESCUE

Niklas Svedberg was given the start Tuesday after returning from his four-game conditioning stint in Providence. It did not last long.

After allowing three first-period goals, the second of which was a bad one to give-up short-side, Svedberg was replaced by Tuukka Rask, who was getting his first breather in 12 games.

Svedberg didn’€™t appeared to get word, as he skated to the net to begin the second period before Rask caught up with him and seemingly gave him the bad news. The change woke the Bruins up and, obviously, got them better goaltending. Bergeron scored his short-hander 26 seconds in to the period, with Hamilton tying the game at 6:42.

Rask, meanwhile, held up his end of the bargain with a terrific diving blocker save on a Brett Ritchie backhander. He stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Daniel Paille has just one goal this season. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Daniel Paille has just one goal this season. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Bruins have hit a bit of a snag with losses in two of their last three games, but things have generally been looking up. They’€™re winners of nine of their last 13 games and have points in 13 of their last 16 games. Lots of players should be encouraged.

In the case of Daniel Paille, however, it’€™s hard to tell what to feel. On the snakebitten scale, Paille rarely registers below an 8, but recent games have seen him break that scale and then spill glue all over the place trying to rebuild it. He still has just one goal in 53 games this season.

“I know if I had 10 goals by now, I wouldn’€™t be as mad as I am now,” Paille said Tuesday morning, “but for me it’€™s just about trying to move on and focus on the next play.”

The fact that multiple Bruins scoring chances have been punctuated by Paille flubs ‘€” missing the net, shooting the puck over the net, falling down at center ice with no one but the goaltender in front of him ‘€” has undoubtedly been a point of frustration for both Paille and the Bruins, but one shouldn’€™t overlook the fact that he’€™s creating chances. Missed opportunities don’€™t come unless there’€™s an opportunity.

“It’€™s encouraging to see him get those chances,” Claude Julien said. “It’€™s maybe frustrating more for him than it is for us to miss those opportunities because he’€™s had some really good ones and could have provided us with some important goals.”

The Bruins have moved Paille around in their lineup in recent games. The last two have seen him go from his usual fourth-line role with Gregory Campbell and Craig Cunningham to the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Among other missed opportunities, Saturday saw him send the puck over a practically open net after receiving a pass from Patrice Bergeron on an odd-man rush and Sunday saw him trip up at center ice on what would have been a breakaway against Carey Price.

To make matters worse, Paille, a free agent at season’€™s end, is playing for a new contract. In 53 games this season, Paille’s lone goal came at the end of a shift on Nov. 21 against the Blue Jackets. Considering he scored 10 goals in the lockout-shortened season and had nine a season ago despite missing 10 games, it will be hard for potential employers to pay him to be anything more than a fourth-liner.

With more chances, that could change. It won’€™t unless the pucks actually start going in, however.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Tyler Seguin was sent back to the team hotel and missed Tuesday’€™s morning skate with a flu bug that is going around Dallas’€™ team. Coach Lindy Ruff said the team is ‘€œhopeful’€ that Seguin will be able to play Tuesday night against the Bruins.

Tyler Seguin was sent back to the team hotel and missed Tuesday’€™s morning skate with a flu bug that is going around Dallas’€™ team. Coach Lindy Ruff said the team is ‘€œhopeful’€ that Seguin will be able to play Tuesday night against the Bruins.

Should he play, Tuesday will mark the second time that Seguin has played at TD Garden since being traded to Dallas in the summer of 2013. Seguin is flourishing offensively with the Stars, as he is tied for the NHL lead with 59 points and is third with 29 goals.

The Bruins had no absences from morning skate and will ice the same forwards and defensemen that they did Sunday against the Canadiens. Niklas Svedberg, who is back from a four-game conditioning loan in Providence, will make the start for Boston.

The anticipated lineup for the B’€™s is as follows:

Lucic-Krejci-Pastrnak
Marchand-Bergeron-Smith
Kelly-Soderberg-Eriksson
Paille-Campbell-Cunningham

Chara-Hamilton
Seidenberg-McQuaid
Krug-Miller

Svedberg

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

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