"This was a very important game, more important than everybody thinks," Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara
said. "It’s kind of a situation where you lose a couple games and the team starts questioning their talent or their play."
But confidence shouldn’t be a problem for the Bruins club, who stand no. 2 in the league, just a point behind the San Jose Sharks –– and, according to goaltender Manny Fernandez, confidence never was something lacking from the Black & Gold locker room.
"As much as we got on a roll, it was tough to put us down," he said after the 6-4 victory over the Senators.
”[The Senators] have a skilled team, they’ve been kind of a little bit off as of late, but they’re still a dangerous hockey club. To get over that hump was the toughest thing tonight. If it’s going to be like this for a while that means we’re going to have to work twice as hard and limit the mistakes," he said. "It’s not an easy game by any means."
The Senators, who have lost seven of their last eight games, didn't go quietly into the night, however.
"I thought we had a really good start, strong start of the game. And then we let them back into the game and it was really a hard, battling game," Chara said. "It wasn’t pretty, but then we … got that one goal, four-three lead, and then at that point and we all the sudden got that energy and we were playing back to our old game and we finished strong.”
The Bruins sustained a ten game winning streak prior to a pair of home losses to the Buffalo Sabres (4-2) and Minnesota Wild (1-0). Before last night's game, Bruins head coach Claude Julien said the opposition was less of a concern than the internal drive of the Boston team itself.
"It’s about our hockey club right now. I don’t think it’s about your opposition more than how we are going to respond to our last couple of games where we felt our play slipped a little bit and not that much more," he said. "When you look back at the situations, even Minnesota we’ve had our chances of winning, but we just got to grind it out through these tougher times and face the situation."
And grind it out they did.
"It was an important win for us," said Bruins forward Marc Savard
, who notched his 700th NHL game Thursday night. "I’m proud of the guys, we battled through it, it wasn’t our prettiest win but we needed a win and we got it.
"We had some big efforts from certain guys. It was a huge to get a win tonight especially against these guys."
Just 2:20 into the first period, Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward found the back of the net just less than two minutes before defenseman Chuck Kobasew secured a two-goal lead.
"It starts with effort and it ends with effort and the middle part is consistency. Staying with it the whole way through," Ward said after the game.
“I think we were happy with our start,” Kobasew said. “We don’t take any team for granted every night.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. You can’t take anyone for granted at this level, so we don’t look at it that way. We’ve been more or less focused on what we have to do to be successful.”
But after a back-and-forth struggle for control of the scoreboard, the Bruins came through in the third with both guns blazing.
“We came in the third and we were ready and we got all over them,” Bruins center David Krejci
said. “We did whatever it takes and we got rewarded.”
“It was [an important win],” Julien said after the game. “We had talked about that also before the game, between the second and the third, and it was either as we say, ‘stop the hemorrhaging,’ or ‘continue to slide.’ You lose three in a row, and your confidence takes an even bigger beating.
“Losing this game would have certainly hurt us obviously a lot more than we think. Winning it, might hopefully be what we needed to get back our game and maybe play a little more like we did in the first half of the first period, and closer to what we did in the third.”