|Boston Bruins Gregory Campbell, right, battles for the puck with Toronto Maple Leafs' Keith Aulie, left, and Phil Kessel during second period NHL hockey action in Toronto Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese) |
Former Bruins forward Phil Kessel's wrist shot beat would-be hero goaltender Tim Thomas
and stood up as the game-winning tally when Boston's Michael Ryder rung the post behind J.S. Giguere on the sixth and final shot of contest.
"It was a shootout," said a succinct Julien of Kessel's rare appearance (0-1-1 and a minus-6 in eight games versus the Bruins) on the scoresheet against his former team.
According to Julien, save one exception, the Boston Bruins beat themselves on Saturday in a game that should have never reached the game-deciding penalty shot contest.
"Slow start? I don't think we showed up much," said Julien of the first period that saw Nathan Horton
's goal (at 4:48, unassisted) get negated by Carl Gunnarsson's tally (at 15:53, from Bozak and Kadri).
"I mean the second period was a little better, but again, we had an opportunity to make the most out of the situation and they gave us some opportunities and we didn't just take advantage of it."
Even so, and thanks to Thomas' heroics, Boston held the lead twice -- after Horton's goal and then, after Greg Campbell's goal (from Seguin and Boychuk) at 6:08 of the third period.
"I thought Tim played extremely well for us and was probably the reason we did end up with a point," said Julien of the veteran goalies' several spectacular near game-saving saves. "Timmy was able to bail us out when we broke down several times and allowed us, at least, to gain a point."
But even 38 saves by the league's best goaltender didn't hold up as the Maple Leafs garnered opportunity after opportunity and the B's squandered theirs.
Then, former Bruins farmhand Kris Versteeg scored a power play goal with 42 seconds left in regulation (19:18, from MacArthur, Kaberle).
"We got what we deserved tonight and we were kind of lucky to get that point," repeated Julien.
"You're certainly going to play to win, and you're diappointed that they tied it with a little bit of time left," added the B's head coach, who pointed to the Bruins penalty box as the usual suspect. "You take penalties when you are chasing the puck and it ended up coming back to bite us."
"I think we got what we deserved tonight, with the way that we played. Our effort, our execution and our commitment to playing our game just wasn't acceptable...like I said, we didn't play well enough to win tonight -- it's as simple as that."
The B's have Sunday off from practice and return to Wilmington's Ristuccia Arena on Monday at 10:30 a.m.