There may have been frustration among those in the sellout crowd at TD Garden when the Bruins allowed two goals in the span of 37 seconds of the second period Tuesday night, leading to a 3-2 deficit after two periods. But that was not the mood in the dressing room as the Bruins prepared to take the ice in the third.
As a matter of fact, it was the determination to stick to the game plan of throwing pucks to the net and generating traffic in front of San Jose goalie Antti Niemi that Claude Julien, Milan Lucic and others credited for scoring three in the third, en route to a 5-3 win for Boston’s first winning streak of the season.
“It was exactly what we talked about after the second,” Julien said. “I really liked our game, even the second period was probably our best second period of the season. We just had that little lapse again that allowed them to score a couple goals. Coming out for the third, I thought we were playing well enough that we could give ourselves a chance if we just stayed with it. And our guys did exactly that. We found a way to get some goals. Same old, same old, getting your nose dirty around the net, jumping on those loose pucks. [It] made a big difference.”
Lucic had his most productive and active games of the season in front of the net. The effort didn’t produce any goals off his stick but he did assist on three goals, including the game-tying goal five minutes into the third period that sent the Bruins on their way.
“I think that’s the most important thing, especially when your down, is to stick with the game plan and play desperate to get yourself back in the game,” Lucic said. “Talking in the second intermission here, going out for the third, we just talked about being positive and sticking to the game plan and giving ourselves opportunities where we can get ourselves back in the game. We did that and were able to come out with a big win.”
Lucic agrees with Julien that the team’s fight and focus has started to re-appear in the last four games, a sign that the wins will follow.
“I think so. I think that’s where the focus has shifted and I think that’s why we’re starting to have success and starting to play the way that we are,” Lucic added. “We’ve got to do whatever we can to keep that up and keep giving ourselves success by worrying about the things that matter, like you mentioned ‘ more than the things that are kind of not controlled by the players. Just focus on playing our game the right way and the way that the coaches put the plan together. When we do that we’re a real hard team to beat.”
Lucic also believes he’s turning a bit of a corner, and the three assists Tuesday night reinforce that positive vibe.
“I think so. [I'm] feeling a lot better, a lot more confident on the ice,” Lucic said. “Hope to get a few more shots on net, that’s probably the one area where I need to work at more on my game. Probably being a little bit more selfish and getting those shots on net. So, if I do that, the goals will come. I think as far as moving my feet and getting into those areas and being strong and hard on the puck and all that type of stuff is definitely over the last week, has gotten a lot better.”