“This was one of the games that we needed, and we realized that we had to bounce back,” head coach Claude Julien told NESN after the game. “As much as…we tried to put aside [Tuesday night’s game] and concentrate on this one, we’ve got to put this one aside and start thinking about the next and try and get that same kind of effort night in and night out.”
In a game full of penalties to both teams – five to the Penguins and eight for the B’s – a strong power play and penalty kill became important.
“We had some guys that logged a lot of ice time because of the numerous penalties that were called,” said Coach Julien, “but the guys responded well, and we did the job, and we were able to get the big two points.”
Coach praised the team’s work throughout the “tough night.” The B's had to persist despite some questionable (and perhaps missed) penalty calls, including one that sent Aaron Ward to the hospital for precautionary measures after he received a stick to the throat.
“Our penalty killers did an incredible job tonight,” said goalie Tim Thomas
. “In theory, we don’t want to take that many penalties and have to kill off that many penalties, but it was what it was, and we had to deal with it, so the penalty killers came up big.”
Thomas had 21 saves during the night, stopping all but one of the few shots the team let through while trying to “keep [the] game simple and not make it any harder than it was,” he said.
“We didn’t give them a whole lot to shoot on [except] those outside shots, and Timmy took care of those,” added P.J. Axelsson.
But the big news of the night was the strong work of the third and fourth lines, including Vladimir Sobotka’s first NHL goal and a goal for Petteri Nokelainen. All players on both lines came out of the game with at least one point.
“Every once in a while, that’s what you need, for everybody to be able to score some goals at times and help your team win,” Coach Julien said, “and tonight, our bottom two lines did the offensive job.”
The whole team was proud of the work the lines had done, especially putting the only two goals of the game on the board.
“Those guys were working hard for us all year, and when they get on the scoreboard, it’s huge,” Axelsson said. “I’m happy for them; they’ve been working hard to get those goals.”
Coming out with a win tonight gave the team a needed boost for the games ahead, captain Zdeno Chara
“It seems like we’re playing better on the road…so we just have to play like we did tonight [for the rest of the trip]…lots of big efforts and hard work,” he said.
“Then, when we come back home from the road, we just have to continue to play that way.”