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Stronger Effort for Bruins

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday wasn't exactly the result Head Coach Claude Julien wanted to see, but the effort was promising, contrary to the team's showing on Thursday.

Julien explained that the transformation back to the Bruins successful ways wasn't going to happen after one well-played game.

"I thought we played a lot harder than we had [in previous games], and it's like anything else – when you're struggling, you don't just come out the next night and everything is fixed," Julien said.

"Same thing when you're winning, but yet your play is starting to slip, you're still winning hockey games before it catches up. We're going to play some decent games and at the end of the night you look at what's happened, we're still on the losing end of it, but you got to start building on the positive."

The positives were reflected through the defense, and the overall team focus was sharper, according to Julien.

"I thought our effort was better, our focus was better," Julien said. "Defensively, we're a lot better, our backcheck, our D zone posture – a lot of things were very good tonight."

One of those things was the play of Joe Corvo, who scored on a slap shot late midway through the third period to cut the deficit to 2-1.

"With Joe, it is all about confidence," Julien said. "Sometimes he makes a mistake and carries that on for too long. He's got to let go of those things and build on what he does well. He had some great opportunities tonight."

What Julien wasn't satisfied with was the shot production from his forwards. Out of the Bruins 29 shots on net, 20 came from the blueliners. Although he was happy with the heightened offensive production from the defense, Julien thought his team could have done a better job in front of the net.

"We needed to generate it more from our forwards offensively, but at the same time, we were getting our shots through from our back end," Julien said.

"Again, we have to do a better job in front of the net. If we're getting shots through, where were the screens, the rebounds and that kind of stuff? We'll have to work on that part of our game."

In the middle of the third period when the Bruins were down 2-0, Julien started to mix up the lines a little bit to try and light a spark for his team.

"At one point, you could sense it on the bench that the second goal really hurt us a lot," Julien said. "And I wanted to get the team – to get another spark and start focusing on battling back. We got that goal – it seemed to give us some life again."

Although the Bruins weren't able to execute the comeback, Julien said he is eager to get his team back on the ice when they play Washington tomorrow at 12:30.

The last time the Bruins and Capitals met, Washington won 5-3, and the Bruins hope to avenge the loss.

"I said that already right after the game that it was good that we're going back to play tomorrow," Julien said. "We played a lot harder, yet we came up short and now we have a chance to go into Washington and want to redeem ourselves and win a hockey game.

"So I'm happy that we're playing tomorrow – I'm looking forward to it and hopefully we can continue to get better as a team, and then get better results."

--- Anthony Gulizia
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