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Complete Team Effort Lifts B's

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins – Whatever has been troubling the Bruins over the last month – whether it was categorized as a lack of determination, effort or focus – disappeared last night at the Scotttrade Center.

Two goals from Brad Marchand and an unwavering team effort spurred the Bruins out of their two-game losing streak as they beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2.

“It was nice that things did go our way,” Head Coach Claude Julien said. “We took a quick 2-0 lead and guys were really positive, and [St. Louis] tied it up, but we never lost hope or focus, and we just kept coming back.

“There was no doubt we played to win, we did the right things and I thought we had probably a little bit better control of that [third] period than they did. I liked our finish.”

Goals from Marchand and Milan Lucic put the Bruins on top early, but Chris Stewart and Ryan Reaves answered back for the Blues to even the score.

However, with time winding down in the first period, forward Chris Kelly scored to put the Bruins back up going into the break.

“When you look at the time of that goal it was late in the period, [40] seconds left – those are always big goals, I thought that was a big boost for us,” Julien said.

The play capped a successful period for the rejuvenated line of Lucic, Kelly and David Krejci – which registered four points and finished with a +6 rating.

The Bruins only put six shots on goaltender Brian Elliott in the first period, but it was the quality of the chances that mattered.

“I thought it was a great team effort and the goals we scored,” Kelly said, who also added an assist in the win. “We weren’t forcing anything, we were just in the right spot and capitalizing on our scoring chances.”

After a scoreless second period, Marchand scored again in the third period to provide the insurance goal for the Bruins.

“It was a huge goal for us,” Shawn Thornton said. “He had the wheels going and it’s not an easy move when you’re flying that fast. He’s a spectacular player when he puts his mind to it so it was good to see him have a good night.”

The Blues out-shot the Bruins 32-19, but Tim Thomas didn’t allow another goal after the first period, and he saved 14 shots in the second.

“He really did a great job in the second and that’s where most of the plays came from,” Julien said. “Probably a bit of a tougher start. But, again he found his game.”

In the final frame, Thomas was barely tested as he turned away eight shots to hang on for the win.

But Thomas was quick to credit his team with providing some offense, which he said helped him keep calm as the game progressed after a busy first period.

“I just kind of kept the tactic to relax and that ended up working out for me personally,” Thomas said. “I think we did to St. Louis what other teams have been doing to us, we didn’t get a lot of shots but we got real high quality chances and buried them.

With the win, the Bruins (36-20-2, 74 points) distanced themselves slightly from the Ottawa Senators (32-22-8), who are just two points behind the Black & Gold in the Northeast division.

There were a lot of positives that came out of the win last night, but for Lucic the biggest was coming out on the attack early and standing strong as the Blues (36-17-7) battled back – a bona fide Bruins characteristic that has eluded them recently.

“As of late, we haven’t really been rolling,” Lucic said. “A big thing was getting that first goal [and it] really kind of almost felt like it lightened the mood and helped us gain a little bit of confidence.

“Even though we got up and they came back, it still gave us that weight off our shoulders that we were able to go out there and get that next one.”

--- Anthony Gulizia
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