The “good thing” was, of course, the Bruins 10-game winning streak and a corresponding 14-game victorious run at home in the TD Banknorth Garden.
The overall streak began on Dec. 12 (with a 7-3 over Atlanta) and was their longest such streak since a ten-game stretch from Mar. 9-28, 1973. The home streak began on Oct. 25, 2008 (with a 5-4 win, also over the Thrashers) and was their longest such streak since a 16-game home win streak from Jan. 10-Mar. 25, 1976.
“We had some real quality scoring chances that we weren’t able to capitalize on,” said Julien, who saw his club “fall” to 29-6-4, good for second overall in the NHL. “It just seemed that every time we climbed back, we gave them some sort of hole whether it deflected off some people.
“We had a lot of pucks hit people in front of the net, but that’s what we preach to our players: go to the front of the net and put those pucks on net and you never know where they’re going to go.
“Obviously they were getting some breaks tonight in that area and we weren’t,” he said.
B’s center Marc Savard
, who was robbed by Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller on a couple of occasions, said that the Bruins had to give credit to the Sabres.
“They came out and had a good start against us,” he said. “It seems like last time they did the same thing.
“I think they sat back in the third (period) and gave us opportunities. I think we lost the game there.
“We had a few empty nets and we could have easily won this game if we had buried our chances but it was a good run,” said Savard.
It was a somber, but not despondent Boston Bruins locker room postgame.
“When we came in after the second (period), I think every guy felt the same, because we wanted to keep this going,” said Savard of the mood between periods. “We have had a lot of fun during this ten game stretch, where we won all ten in a row.
“There is a lot of pride we put out there in the third (period). It is not going to land every night. We tried our best.”
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
was already looking forward when the media spoke to him.
“Well, we have to put it behind us, and focus on the next game,” said Chara. “We know teams are going to be playing us hard. We just have to make sure we don’t get too down.
“It’s a game we lost and we have to move forward.”Shawn Thornton
, who scored his third goal of the season on Saturday afternoon, agreed with his captain.
“There are going to be a lot of games like that throughout the year, where you have to fight through a little adversity,” said the winger. “I think we have good character guys in here now and I don’t think no one was jumping all over each other or anything like that.
“And, I mean, what is that, our sixth loss?
“We are definitely not hitting the panic button here,” he said.
The loss may, in fact, serve as a proper wake up call to a club that had a very easy month of December.
“Well, I mean, we definitely didn’t give up,” said Tim Thomas
, who suffered just his fourth loss of the season. “We wanted to come back and I thought we had a good chance at doing it. I think we tried but fell short tonight.
“[But] this is just another game. It’s actually good to be tested when you have been having as much success as we’ve had and I’m confident that we will respond very well when the time comes.”
That time is coming on Tuesday night when the Minnesota Wild (18-16-3, 9th in the Western Conference) visit the TD Banknorth Garden.
“We have been working hard to get those wins, and I think today we faced some adversity,” said Milan Lucic
. “Looking back, we should be hungry to start a new streak.
“Good teams don’t lose two in a row, and we have to be hungry come our next game.”