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Big Win for B's

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- Given the way the B's felt after Saturday's setback to the Senators, Monday night's victory in TD Garden left the Black & Gold in a much better mood.


Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, left, is congratulated by teammate Andrew Ference after his shutout against the New Jersey Devils in an NHL hockey game in Boston, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010. The Bruins beat the Devils 3-0. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
"Yeah, for sure. That was a tough one. So many chances, some really good chances that didn’t go in, and it stings even worse when you lose," said Boston Bruins forward Blake Wheeler, who scored the B's third goal in Boston's 3-0 win over New Jersey.

"So to be able to bounce back and have a good start and chip in and kind of put it out of reach in the third period there -- It definitely felt really good."

Overall, the Bruins said their game was better.

"Well, I think it’s a lot of things," said defenseman Mark Stuart who had five hits to lead the B's.

"If you’re scoring the first goal, it means you’re having a good start and you’re playing your game right away.

"It’s a lot easier than playing catch up. You know, we’ve gotten down, I mean, those few games, we were down by a couple goals.

"It wasn’t just one goal, so it’s tough to climb you’re way back up in this league," he said.

Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien, who tied Tom Johnson for sixth place on the team’s all-time wins list with 142 victories behind the Boston bench (142-83-0-36), said the strong start (Boston is 7-0-0 when they score first) was a huge part of the B's success on Monday night.

"Yeah, that’s something that we really wanted to do better," said Julien, who will coach his 500th NHL game on Wednesday versus the New York Rangers. "It’s been a while since we’ve really had a good start and managed to score the first goal and that was part of our game plan tonight, no doubt.

"The longer you let the other team in the game, the better chance they have of winning, and that’s what teams that go on the road games want to do. They want to stay in it as long as they can.

"So it was important for us to grab that lead. We seemed to be a team that plays better with the lead, obviously, and seem to build on it and protect it well," he said.

Forward Michael Ryder pointed to a 60-minute effort.

"That’s what we wanted to get back to," said Ryder, who has scored in five of the last seven at a 3-3-6 clip. "We knew that we struggled at home and we wanted to come out and have a good effort tonight and I think we did that at the start, maybe we had a few minutes where we [gave the Devils some chances] -- I think we were out-shooting them...and then they came back to tie us and out-shoot us.

"But [Tim Thomas] made key saves for us, which kept us going. I thought we had a good effort and we finally got the win at home."

Urgency was a word that was used throughout the B's locker room -- before and after the clubs victory.

"You know, I personally approached it as a must-win and I think the team did too," said Thomas, who made 28 saves and earned his 21st career NHL shutout -- his fourth shutout of the season and second career vs. the Devils.

"We need to get back on track; we need to show some urgency.

"We faced a team that’s been playing better but has struggled this year, and we needed to come out with the win so that we could start building and getting back to the game that we were playing when we were having success," he said.
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