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A Memorable 500th NHL Game for Coach Julien

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- Before leaving for New York, Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien was asked about the upcoming game against the Rangers -- his 500th game behind an NHL bench.

"I’ve got a long ways to go till 1000, right?" said Julien to the gathered press at Wilmington's Ristuccia Arena. "A lot of people have 1000 games in. I’m only half way.

"Those things are so far away from my mind...I'm just happy to be here."

Julien and the Bruins, who will take on the Florida Panthers tonight in TD Garden, are even happier to be in Boston as the club worked through a tightly played 3-2 road victory over their Original Six rivals from Broadway.

Julien, who passed Tom Johnson for 6th on the Bruins all time coaching wins list with 143, talked about the victory and said that the Blueshirts gave the Black & Gold "some trouble.

"They really pressured us a lot there at the end when they scored that second goal to get themselves back into it and thank God we had a two goal cushion," said Julien to NESN's Naoko Funayama, postgame. "They played us hard and I think lately they've been gaining momentum by playing well and beating some pretty good teams.

"So, we knew we had our work cut out for us, but the fact that you come in their building and win this game, it's a hard fought two points."

The B's bench boss also talked about the Bruins ability to bounce back from the Rangers opening tally. Milan Lucic converted on off a tremendous forecheck by Patrice Bergeron and a tape-to-tape pass from Nathan Horton at 11:06 of the second period to counter a Ranger goal less than three minutes early.

"I think it was important for us," said Julien. "We always play better with the lead and we were able to battle back and tie it shortly after -- which got us right back into it."

Tyler Seguin added another in the second (16:35) and Mark Recchi then scored for Boston (1:10 of the 3rd period), but it was the play of the B's top draft pick that garnered attention from Julien.

Seguin, who has centered Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton for the last two games, looked very involved throughout the contest and despite having his playing time dialed down, the young forward has upped his intensity on both sides of the puck.

"He's really trying hard to take care of his own end, learning to play without the puck," said Julien. "At the same time, I think he's got to keep his focus on what his strengths are and his strengths are what you saw him do tonight.

"He's a great offensive player that can skate and shoot and score goals -- we're really encouraging him to keep doing that and just trying to add to his game instead of taking away his strengths. And I thought he showed great composure there tonight in regards to that.

"He played well defensively," added Julien, "but also he showed some real good flashes of good offense."

Seguin's goal marked a clear turning point in the game.

"That second goal obviously gave us the lead," said Julien. "Again, we managed to spread it out to a two goal lead, and you know our team is pretty confident when it plays with the lead.

"We just hope we can continue to do that."
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