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Bergeron: We have to be better...

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins -- Tuesday's game against the Boston Bruins meant everything for the Washington Capitals.

It was a chance to test themselves against the second-best team in the Eastern Conference - a chance to see how they'd respond without their top two leading scorers Nicklas Backstrom (injury) and Alex Ovechkin (suspension).  

More importantly, the Capitals (26-19-3) were just one point behind the Southeast division leading Florida Panthers (54 points), and that made all the difference according to Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron.

"I don't think [the White House] was an issue at all - we were ready for this game," said Bergeron. "But we can't just be up and down like we've been [Tuesday], we're not going to get the result that we want.  

"We said before the game they're a team [with] a good game for them...they [could] be third.

"We knew it was going to be an important game for them and we had to make sure we matched that preparation and we didn't do it," he said.

With the Caps' 5-3 win and a 3-2 overtime loss for the Panthers, Washington did indeed move into a first-place tie with 55 points, good for third in the Eastern Conference.

Bergeron made it clear that he felt his team had to be sharper, as well as moving their feet more to make it difficult for Washington's offense to set up.

And the B's alternate captain refused to blame it on the dangers of having a game before the All-Star break.

"We got to make sure it's not - it doesn't affect us," he said. "We have to make sure we realize we have to be better - we can't play 20 [minutes], not show up for the second then show up or third.

"It's one of those things we can't just rely on that, it's not going to happen.

"We have to use the five days and come back strong and not let that affect us," he said.

---Anthony Gulizia
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