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Stuart Stepped Up

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Boston Bruins' Mark Stuart, right, and Philadelphia Flyers' Daniel Carcillo fight in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 11, 2010, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Montreal, QC -- The Bruins had faced criticsm for their lack of a physical response to the hit that concussed Marc Savard and on Thursday night in Philadelphia, the B's Mark Stuart had clearly had enough.

The B's defenseman fought twice, earned a takedown of Daniel Carcillo at 14:02 of the first, and turned the lights out on Ian Laperriere at 7:41 of the second.

"Well I think coming into this game, we just wanted to play a hard game and be hard to play against," said Stuart. "We know they’re a team that plays hard every night.

"It’s always a physical game when we play them. We just kind of wanted to win that battle, so I think we did a pretty good job."

According to his coach, Boston's Claude Julien, Stuart did a great job.

"I think Stuey’s always been that kind of guy to stand up for his teammates," said Julien. "He’s just coming off a hand injury so for him to do that definitely showed that he was ready to do whatever he had to for our hockey club."

Stuart talked about sitting in the penalty box for 10 minutes and whether the fact that Zdeno Chara had returned to the club helped his decision to drop the gloves.

"I think with Big Zee back, I’m not quite a big minute guy anymore," said Stuart with a smile. "But it is tough when you miss that much time [for fighting penalties].

"It’s always nice to play those kind of minutes, but I thought in both situations, it was the right thing to do."

Stuart was asked if the Bruins were attempting to make a statement.

"I don’t know about a statement," Stuart said humbly, "I just think we need to play like that every night.

Boston Bruins' Mark Stuart, left, pulls the jersey over Philadelphia Flyers' Ian Laperriere during a fight in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 11, 2010, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
"I think guys were winning battles, winning races, and it showed on the scoreboard. Guys were getting in on the forecheck. We need to do that every night. There’s not enough games left in the season for us to take any nights off.

"We got to do exactly what we did [Thursday] every night. And it’s not getting any easier, we’ve got a big game on Saturday coming up."

Julien spoke to his club's effort and, with a clear nod to Stuart's play, the Bruins head coach wants that same effort versus the Habs and for the rest of the season.

"We’ve got to play more like we did tonight," said the B's bench boss. "This was a pretty solid all-around effort from our team, and obviously, if we can build a little consistency in our game that way, it would be important.

"It’s been a struggle all year, as you know, the injuries with all these key players. Obviously Savard we expect might be out for the rest of the year, is a big blow to our hockey club.

"We have to really pick it up as individuals and as a team, and play the way we did tonight," he said.
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