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Slow Start Halts the Bruins

by Anthony Gulizia / Boston Bruins – After allowing just 13 shots on net against the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday, the Boston Bruins found themselves in a similar predicament as they struggled to get the puck moving against the San Jose Sharks Thursday night.

The Bruins put just 17 shots on net – nine in the first two periods combined – as the Sharks (37-27-10) snapped a two-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Black & Gold.

“Yes, they’re a good team defensively, but we got to create some more chances, don’t just settle for the perimeter," Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. "[We need to] try to get inside and get in front of the net to create something there. I think we just didn’t get enough shots, and it’s hard to win games doing that.”

The Sharks got on the board early with a goal from Joe Pavelski, and they extended the lead in the third period with another from Daniel Winnik.

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara scored with just over four minutes left in the game, but at that point, it was tough to come back and the two-goal deficit proved irreversible.

“I think we got better as the game went along, but early they dictated the pace,” Bergeron said. “They came hard at us and we didn’t respond, obviously. We know they’re a team that comes out strong at home and we didn’t match it.

“At the same time I thought we battled back, we just got to make sure we have a better start. But it is frustrating.”

Late in the third period, Bruins forward Benoit Pouliot carried the puck through the zone and deferred to veteran Brian Rolston, who put a shot on goaltender Antti Niemi.

Chris Kelly tried to control the loose puck, which ended up on Chara’s stick.From behind the net, the Bruins captain banked the puck in off Niemi, who scrambled in the crease in an attempt to get back to his feet.

“They created some good chances and [Chara] got that big goal for us to get us back into the game, but we fell short,” Bergeron said. “It was too late.”

If there was one positive to take from the game, it was the effort of Kelly’s line, which has played strong the last four games, combining for a total of 19 points (six goals, 13 assists).

“[The] chemistry seems to be pretty nice,” Pouliot said. “We’re supporting a lot in ourselves, and talking a lot. Rollie and Kells are always talking on the ice, which is nice to know where they are and try to play off each other and right now it’s working.”

Last night’s loss marks the second time this month that the Bruins (42-28-3) have won two straight games, but then failed to string together a three-game winning streak.

The last time the Bruins did that was in the month of December, when they won seven-straight from Dec. 10-28.

But ask Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, and he said he believed last night was a game the B’s could have won their third-straight.

“We’re having a hard time picking up momentum and keeping it for a long time,” Thomas said. “The good news is recently, we proved what type of team we can be, so we have to pick that up again Saturday. If you could’ve asked me before the game, I thought we would’ve carried it over.

“I mentioned this after last game, I felt that we turned a corner and hopefully we still have.”
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