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B's Saved Their Best for the Third

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
NEWARK, NJ -- Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien looked a little more relaxed when he addressed the media following his club's 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night -- and with good reason.


Julien had called for more energy and a higher battle-level after several uneven performances by the Black & Gold. He got both as the B's persevered through a game that was controlled by New Jersey for over two periods.

"In the first couple of periods we thought we had competed and skated harder than we have in a while, but [New Jersey] was playing well and they were making it hard on us to get some offense going," said Julien.

"I thought we needed more shots and more opportunities at the net in the third period."

The Bruins came out of the locker room for the third determined to dig deeper, but it was defenseman Andrew Ference who found the back of the net for Boston.

"It seemed once we got that goal...it just seemed like our breakouts were clean, execution was better, and we went from there," said Julien. "We got our second wind and things started going the way we were playing when we’re playing well.

"That goal kind of lifted us – other than that I wasn’t disappointed in the effort the guys were putting in. We played a good team tonight, so you can’t expect to walk all over teams like that."

The Bruins didn't walk over the Devils, and the result was in doubt for Boston until buried an empty-net goal with 46 seconds remaining in regulation to finalize the score.

"We were starting to get some opportunities for our guys, and that’s where our confidence comes into play," said Julien. "When you start getting opportunities like that...it gave us a sign that things were coming so we built from that.

"Ference scores that goal, then getting that power play goal [from Nathan Horton], then you send your fourth line out there to get some energy after a goal to make sure you keep the momentum going your way and they go out and score another goal for us.

"That line [Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton, centered by Gregory Campbell] played really well for us tonight  -- looked a lot more like the line we saw last year so that was a nice thing to see form that line tonight," he said.

In fact, with a fight, assist and a goal, Campbell sparked the B's by earning his first career Gordie Howe hat trick.

"He’ll do whatever he has to help his hockey club," said Julien. "That’s what we appreciate him for."

The B's also continue to appreciate their goaltending.

"We all know that wasn’t a bad game [in Tampa], but it was a mediocre game for him," said Julien. "When you’re used to seeing him being a stellar goaltender and you understand how he is, you give him an opportunity to go back in there as soon as possible.

" I thought he played a solid game and made the big saves when we needed them," added Julien. "Our guys played better in front of him as well."
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