|Boston Bruins' Matt Hunwick (48) celebrates his goal with teammates, including Dennis Wideman (6) and David Krejci (46), of the Czech Republic, in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Thursday, March 19, 2009, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) |
Despite the B’s 3-2 overtime setback to the Los Angeles Kings, Thursday night was no different for the rookie.
“I thought I was a little overanxious and almost had too much energy to start,” said Hunwick after the game. “I think as the game went on I found a little bit more comfort out there.
“With the penalties it’s hard to get into a consistent flow, but for the most part I felt pretty good.”
Speaking of penalties, Hunwick earned one right off the bat – at 1:44 of the first.
“Yeah, I guess I was trying to be aggressive and trying to lift his stick from underneath and I don’t know if you saw that I got his hands,” said the defenseman of his hooking infraction. “But it’s not a penalty I like to take in my first shift back.”
Redemption came quickly however; as Hunwick used his hockey sense to find and opening and give Michael Ryder a target.
“Yeah I knew that we had a forward covering [the blue line],” said the blueliner. “He was either in the high slot or maybe even a little farther back so I knew that I could come down.
“Originally, I think I was going to go to the back door, then I saw that there was some space in the slot area and I kind of went there and almost lingered for a second [Ryder] was able to find me.”
Hunwick, the game's third star, who finished a plus-2 on the night and logged over 14 minutes of ice time, found twine for his sixth goal of the season to put the Bruins up 1-0. Unfortunately, like Mark Recchi’s goal in the second, it was one of the only bright spots for the Black & Gold.
“I think it will be pretty tough for the next couple of days. I mean, we have two days of practice coming up and I don’t think we’re easily going to forget this loss,” said Hunwick. “When you have control, and you’re up two-nothing and to lose three-two in overtime, it’s a pretty disappointing outcome.”
That’s particularly so because the Bruins cautioned themselves against a letdown.
“We talked about coming out and having a strong third period and lately protecting the lead has been a problem,” said Hunwick. “Tonight was no different. I think it’s definitely [left] a bitter taste.”
A very important matchup with the New Jersey Devils awaits the club on Sunday, so the B’s don’t have time to sulk. They will return to practice in Wilmington on Friday and Saturday.
“We don’t want it to carry over to the next game,” said Hunwick. “But at the same time I think that sour taste should be in our mouth when we go to practice and we have to continue to get better as far as our work ethic at practice.
“I think we’ve done that the past couple days…and if we continue to do that, I think we will be fine once the playoffs come around.”