SUNRISE, FL --
There's no secret about the issue that's dogging the Bruins right now and when Milan Lucic
was asked about the B's first period in Tampa Bay on Tuesday, he immediately hung a hat on the problem.
"Obviously, our starts aren’t really the best right now," said Lucic. "You look at our past couple of games...we get down 2-0 against the Capitals, 3-0 in Pittsburgh, and 3-0 last night, even 4-0 after the first.
"We have to do a better job getting ourselves ready prior to the game – and having that killer instinct to get the first goal.
"I think it has to start somewhere and it starts there," said Lucic.
Lucic agreed with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
, who on Tuesday told reporters that the B's needed to get angry when the other team scores.
"Yeah, I think so," said Lucic. "I mean, I think you look at our last few games, I thought our second periods were pretty good.
"But I think what Zee said is that it’s getting mad after that first one, and not letting the second or third one go in.
"I definitely think it’s up to us to respond and get ourselves back in it sooner than later - before a hole is too big to dig ourselves out of," he said.
The B's now need to watch the standings, too. And although the Bruins maintain two games in hand, Ottawa continues to pick away at the Bruins lead in the Northeast Divsion and now stand just one point behind Boston for home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
So now, while it's important for the B's top players to help put the B's back on track, it's more imporatant for Boston to step up as a team.
"I think we’re at our best when we step up as a unit and all 20 guys are going and it’s up to everyone to do their job and get the team going," said Lucic. "It’s not like we’re not trying, it’s not from a lack of effort.
"I think our sharpness has to go up a bit, and so does our sense of urgency.
"It’s that time of the season where we have only 13 games left, and the season can wear at you at this point, but we have to do whatever we can to get that rest and find that second win where we can finish off where we want to," he said.