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Bruins Notebook, October 2, 2009

by Dyan LeBourdais / Boston Bruins
Boston, MA -- On Thursday night, the Bruins faced one of their top rivals in their regular season home opener -- the Washington Capitals. Unfortunately for the sold-out crowd on Causeway Street, the Black & Gold were not able to sustain their opening jump and dropped a 4-1 decision to the Caps.

“I thought we had a pretty good start of the game,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. “We were doing what we were supposed to do, and then all of the sudden, I don’t know if we got frustrated because we couldn’t score a goal, but whatever reason, we just started to change the game plan.

“We were making some mental mistakes.”

Indeed, the Bruins did come out of their locker room flying, but after a whistle and a scoring opportunity deemed a “no-goal” by the officials, Boston’s momentum faltered.

“We just couldn’t really find a way to keep ourselves in the game,” said goalie Tim Thomas (30-saves). “We came out flying and it looked like we were going to take it to them and because [the Capitals] weathered that storm somehow we lost our momentum and penalties kind of lost our momentum.”

And while the Bruins were unable to take advantage of any of their opportunities on the man-advantage (0/5), the Capitals (2/9) did capitalize on their own power plays.

Capitals centerman Brooks Laich scored Washington’s first power play goal at 17:15 of the first while Michael Ryder served a bench minor for too many men on the ice. Laich earned another power play goal just 16-seconds into the third.

Alex Ovechkin was the other factor favoring the Capitals flying start. Washington’s wunderkind scored two goals and assisted on one of Laich’s to help lead the Caps to an easy victory.

“You never take any credit away from a good player who scores goals like he does, but at the same time, you have to look at how he gets them,” said Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien, postgame. “And a lot of those were maybe what I would call “gifts” from us.”

Krejci Plays
David Krejci finished his recovery from a June 4 surgery just in time for opening night.

The B’s center was expected to have a 4-6 month recovery period, but has been skating for the past month.

“I don’t want to make any excuses, I was ready. I’ve been skating for a month. There’s no excuse,” he said. “I had some chances and I wouldn’t say I panicked, but I didn’t do what I usually do.

“Again, I have to get my head on right, right back and be better on Saturday.”

Coach Julien seemed unconcerned about his Krejci.

“I think for a guy who hadn’t played at all, he had a really good game tonight,” said Julien. “He was skating well and he made some good plays.

“You can see his hands are almost there, not to the point that we know they can be, but for a guy who hadn’t played since last year, I give him a lot of credit for what he did tonight.”

Patrice pots one…
Patrice Bergeron broke the B’s scoreless streak in the third period when he broke out of the Bruins end on a breakaway and deked Washington goaltender Jose Theodore to score the Bruins first goal of the regular season at 7:56.

The goal, assisted by Steve Begin and Mark Stuart, put the Bruins on the scoreboard for the first time making it 4-1 Capitals.

Bergeron was anything but boastful about his goal.

“It feels good to have the first one behind me. But it’s a team game, so I’m not really worried about that. You have to make sure you win games more than anything else,” said Bergeron.

Another Chance on Saturday
Bergeron and Thomas agreed the team needs to play a full 60 minutes on Saturday versus the Hurricanes.

Thomas said “We just have to be prepared, prepared to play 60 minutes hard. That’s how we got our success last year, that’s how we’re going to have it this year.

“Any thoughts that it was going to be easy, I think have been proven wrong,” he continued. “It’s not that we tried to have that [mindset], but maybe that was somewhere in the formula.”

Bergeron said that the team needs to create more traffic in front of the net against the Hurricanes.

“We had some chances,” he said. “[The Capitals] made some good blocks; their forwards and even their D were blocking our shots.

“We got to make sure we get those through.

“If the puck doesn’t get to the net it’s going to be hard to score, so obviously we need to make sure we have more traffic [and] also get more shots on net.”

Coach Julien was pretty clear about his feeling.

“Without throwing blame at anybody in particular, we had a lot of good players who were not very good for us tonight,” said Julien. “There were a lot of mental mistakes, and you hope to take this game and use it as a learning experience.

“I don’t think that’s the kind of game you want to play in your own building in front of your own fans and certainly as a home opener. That’s certainly not what we wanted to demonstrate.

“We have a chance to redeem ourselves quickly here with the game Saturday…hopefully our guys realize that, and they’re going to come out here with a better effort on Saturday,” he said.
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