"That’s twice in less than a week now we’ve spotted teams two-goal leads and to me, it’s frustrating," said Julien after the B's 4-3 loss to the Washington Caps on Saturday in Boston's TD Garden. "You keep digging yourself a hole and having to dig yourself out."
And, unfortunately, spotting the Capitals a two-goal lead (twice) overshadowed many of the good things that the B's were able to accomplish on the day as Boston out-shot (33-30), out-hit (30-16) and had the edge in the faceoff circle (30-27) against Washington.
"We had some opportunities, I thought, before they scored their first goal, to play with the lead," said Julien. "We need to bear down and bear those opportunities that we have early in the game. It’s tough to play catch-up hockey in this league and that’s what we’ve been doing a lot – way too much.
"And we’re struggling with playing with the lead and creating it."
Julien called a timeout after the second Caps goal my Matt Hendricks, just 25 seconds after Alex Semin opened the scoring at 7:50.
"I just kind of slowed things down again and told them we had to pick up our pace here and had to pick up our game," explained Julien. "So, [we] scored a big goal late in the first and it kind of gave us some life again.
"But -- same thing happened again the second period -- spot them another two-goal lead."
Left wing Milan Lucic
scored with six seconds remaining in the first and fellow forward Brad Marchand
added a goal early in the second to tie the game at 2-2.
Three Capitals power plays made for tough sledding for the remainder of the middle stanza and, in the end, the Caps second pair of goals, both in the second period, proved the B's undoing as defenseman Johnny Boychuk
's late third period marker (his second in as many games) brought the B's within one with 3:13 left in the 3rd.
"It slowed down the momentum, obviously," said Julien. "That was a tough call on [Greg Zanon
, for roughing at 15:34 of the 2nd] on that last one where they scored the power play goal.
"You know, when you look back at the power play it looked like a clean hit. So it was a tough call on us and that was our [fourth] penalty...in the period.
"They scored on it and that ended up being the winning goal," he said.
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) the B's don't have time to dwell on Saturday's setback - the Pittsburgh Penguins are next up on Sunday in another matinee.
"You review your game, you look at the game tape again or whatever the video, of it and you pull out the things you need to get better at and the mistakes that need to be corrected," said Julien. "You also pull out the things that we did well that we have to bring into tomorrow’s game.
"You turn the page and you prepare for the next game."