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One Game at a Time

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- With their first win in four tries this season against the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers, the Boston Bruins last night clinched the Northeast Division title and the East's second seed in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It was a nice way to do it actually," said Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien of his club's now secure playoff positioning. "It was a heavy game and, you know, for once we got some breaks and instead of the other way around, and the first goal was probably an indication of what might’ve happened.

"A good shot [by Zdeno Chara], blocked by our guy [Jordan Caron] and gives [Marian Gaborik] a breakaway, so tough one to swallow.

"But our guys stuck with it," explained Julien. "We found a way to score some goals on them and they’re a tough team to play against - we know that. But, again, I think both teams really wanted to win that game and there was more than just pride on the line."

So, in the knowledge that they can carefully plan out their final three regular season games, the Bruins can sleep in on Monday (there's no practice) and get a day's measure of R&R before they play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Still, the defending Stanley Cup champions didn't allow themselves too much time to celebrate earning another t-shirt.

"You just go about your business," said Julien. "There’s nothing more than that.

"It’s great to have it happen, but there’s no celebration and we’re moving on. Our focus is not on that, more than it is on continuing to play better as we move forward here and playoffs are a whole another story.

"This is a nice accomplishment, but at the same time we’re expecting more of ourselves."

As such, Julien had no grand pronouncements about his plans for this week.

"One game at a time," he said. "We’ll manage it that way and look at what’s going on.

"It’s a lot of things that we have to think about in the next day or so and I think we’re going to try and manage ice time, try and give guys some rest if need be, but there are still some important games left to be played here. Pittsburgh next game, then we go t Ottawa, who can possibly be our first round opponent and Buffalo who is trying to get into the playoffs and battling for their lives.

"So we have to take care of our business, but at the same time think it through before you make those kind of decisions."

But the B's impressed their coach with an strong showing against New York.

"I said it before the game, you know if we can come in here and play a real solid game, I like the way we played the last game in this building," said Julien. "They beat us, but we had as good a chance, I thought we did a great job of getting on them but at the end of the night, they scored one more goal than we did so I didn’t mind that game, I thought it was a good one.

"And then to come in here tonight and same thing," added Julien. "Sometimes it’s a matter of getting the breaks.

"You have a puck go off a skate or go somewhere and it’s in the net and that’s what makes the difference in the game.

"So, you have to expect that and the biggest thing for me was for us to play a solid, strong game and we did."
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