New York, NY - Heading into tonight’s match-up against the Blueshirts at Madison Square Garden, the Black & Gold knew they would be facing a willing opponent - an opponent not pleased with their 0-2 start.
The B’s wanted to come out with a jump on the road, but a hot-handed Marian Gaborik thwarted their attempt at a strong first period, scoring two goals just 2:13 apart before seven minutes had even passed in the stanza - and eventually paving the way for a 4-3 Rangers win in overtime.
"That first 10 minutes is obviously what cost us the game tonight, and it’s unfortunate," said Head Coach Claude Julien from the Bruins’ visiting team locker room at MSG following the loss.
"Everything we talked about before the game wasn’t happening," Coach added, referring to the message he gave his squad during a heated timeout called after Gaborik’s goals. "So, we had to get our heads into it and once we started doing that, you saw what was happening. We started spending a lot of time in their end and doing all the things we were supposed to and every time we did that we were getting the success that we were looking for."
"What I liked about our team is the resiliency to get back and start playing the way we should’ve and giving ourselves a chance to win."
Despite the slow start, the B’s battled back in the second to score on the power play, their first man-advantage goal of the season, when youngster Dougie Hamilton fired a shot with purpose, seeing Brad Marchand in front, who deflected it past Henrik Lundqvist.
"It’s tough against them, they drop every time they can," Hamilton said on the Rangers’ ability to block shots (25 in total tonight). "Just trying my best to get a little bit going," before adding that it was "nice to finally get a power-play goal."
"These are the kinds of goals that you need to get yourself back in the game. It was nice to see that goal to get us going," Coach Julien added on Marchand’s power-play goal set up by Hamilton’s shot.
And that wasn’t the only heads-up play by the 19-year-old defenseman, who played what Coach Julien labeled not a “good,” but an “outstanding” game, on both sides of the puck.
"He was so poised and confident. If anybody thinks he can’t play in this league, they should just take some time to watch this game," said Coach. "Not just defensively, but offensively."
"I don’t know what more to say about this guy, but I think his teammates are seeing the Dougie Hamilton that everybody’s projecting. Right now, we’ve got to keep him going with lots of confidence because that’s what he’s shown and it’s paid off."
After battling back from first being down 2-0 to tie it 2-2 with goals from Marchand and Milan Lucic, and then knotting the game 3-3 with a Nathan Horton goal after being down 3-2 late in third period, the Bruins took some positives away from tonight’s game - and the ability to gain a point in the standings.
"I think we played a really good last 40 minutes, especially the way we started the second to get ourselves back in it," said Lucic on the positive to take moving forward, into Friday’s game against the New York Islanders at TD Garden.
"MSG is never an easy place to come into. They’re definitely a heavy favorite to be one of the powerhouses in the league this year," added the power forward who Horton labeled as a "monster" out on the ice tonight. "So they played well. We also played well and it was a good game, unfortunate bounce there in overtime."
"But it was good to see us battle back."
-Caryn Switaj ^CS
Check BostonBruins.com later tonight and tomorrow for full coverage from tonight’s game from Madison Square Garden.