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Frustration Sets in for Bruins After Loss to Calgary

Boston struggling to find the back of the net

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

BOSTON - The Bruins thought they had finally broken through. The relief was settling in as Patrice Bergeron skated by the Bruins bench for congratulatory fist bumps after potting Boston's first goal of the night.

That respite, however, was short-lived.

Calgary challenged the game-tying goal for goaltender interference - and they prevailed. Just as they did in an eventual 2-1 victory over the Bruins Friday night at TD Garden.

It was a night of frustration and missed opportunities for the Bruins, who have dropped three in a row and four of their last five, while scoring just eight goals during that span.

"We shot pucks at the net, we had chances," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "Frustration right now sets in when you're not scoring and guys are squeezing their sticks. Sometimes the simple plays become tougher plays so we've got to try and get over that hump."

Video: Julien speaks to media after a 2-1 loss to CGY

Boston had done just that early in the second period. After charging hard toward Calgary goalie Chad Johnson, who was handling the puck behind the net, Brad Marchand shoved Mark Giordano into Johnson, pushing him further away from the net.

At the same time, the puck found its way behind the net to Patrice Bergeron in the left corner. Bergeron fired it into an empty net, appearing to knot the game at 1.

But after review, it was ruled that Marchand's push of Giordano into Johnson constituted goalie interference.

"You obviously saw that I wasn't happy with it," said Julien. "All night long they kept skating in front of our forecheck, that's exactly what they did to Marchy and Marchy gives them a shove - which he's allowed to do.

"Just because your goaltender is out of the net and he happens to be in the way, I don't think that should have been called back.

"We never know anymore what they think, so we just have to sit back and accept what they decide. So, it's a frustrating thing because it's never the same thing twice."

The Bruins finally got on the board - for real - at 5:55 of the third period. John-Michael Liles let go a shot from the point that was blocked down out front, before Tim Schaller fought through a scrum to collect the puck and push it toward the net.

The rebound popped out to David Pastrnak, who banged it home from the crease to tie the score.
But the frustration did not take long to set back in. Just 1:10 after Pastrnak's tally, Calgary regained the lead on Alex Chiasson's goal from the slot.

Video: CGY@BOS: Pastrnak cashes in on a rebound at doorstep

"It's kind of the nature of the game, especially when you put some good chances on a few goalies in the past few games, and we just can't seem to get a bounce here or there that really kind of gives us the momentum," said John-Michael Liles.

"It's a bit frustrating, but over the course of 82 games you're going to have stretches like this, and we've just got to keep playing, and just make sure we're on the front foot as much as possible."

The Bruins fired 75 shots toward the net, 36 of which landed on goal. Getting more of those attempts to hit the goalie, while also creating more dangerous follow-up opportunities will be key in turning around Boston's offensive woes.

"We've got to hit the net with prime scoring chances. That's one of them. The second one is, it's OK to get scoring opportunities, but how do you create the second one off the original one? I don't see us getting those much so far this year," said Julien.

For now, the Bruins are trying to remain patient, while also maintaining a sense of urgency to break what has been an unfortunate trend.

"Patience, yes, but at the same time we need to work through it," said Kevan Miller. "It's not something that is just going to happen. You need to kind of battle yourself out of that, for sure."

Video: Liles discusses Bruins' 2-1 loss to Calgary

Khudobin Back Between the Pipes

After missing about a month with an upper-body injury, Anton Khudobin returned to spell Tuukka Rask, who had started seven straight for the Bruins.

Khudobin made 27 saves on 29 shots and said he felt strong between the pipes.

"I felt great," said Khudobin. "It's a great feeling to get back into game rhythm and get back on the ice."

Video: CGY@BOS: Khudobin gets a pad on Monahan's one-timer

The veteran netminder played three games during a conditioning stint with Providence, posting a 2-1-0 record with a 3.49 goals against average and .874 save percentage.

"No matter how hard you practice on the ice, during the practices, at the gym, whatever, it's not going to give you as much as you have in games," said Khudobin. "That's why I had three games there and I started feeling more pucks and got back here and got the action right away which is really good."
Khudobin is still winless in three starts with Boston this season.

"I'm in good shape. I'm moving pretty well and I feel the puck," said Khudobin. "I felt pretty good and just the only thing that bothers me is I have three losses. I want the magic W."

Power Play Scuffles Again

The Bruins, who had scored a power play goal in three consecutive games, struggled to get much going on the man advantage against Calgary. Boston landed nine shots on four scoreless opportunities.

Boston is now 10 for 66 (15.2%) for the season, which places them 21st in the NHL.

"It's tough to say," Pastrnak said of what was ailing the power play. "Some games we're going to get those PP goals and some games they just don't go in. I think it's part of the confidence.

"Obviously, the longer the game goes, the more frustrating it becomes. We have to stick with it and make the same plays like we would if we were up 5-0. That way, it's going to come."

Video: David Pastrnak discusses Bruins' 2-1 loss to CGY

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