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Bolts opponents repeating history

by Corey Masisak
"We didn't score goals, but I think we had chances. You can see when we got the puck deep and finished our check, we created some chances."

"We had good energy. Then we made a couple bad plays. Then you're playing catch-up to a team that's very good defensively and very frustrating to the offensive team."

"I don't think they had better chances or that they played better than us. I think we were all over them. Just some bad breaks, you know."

"I thought that we had a good start and created some chances and some pressure. But then we had some breakdowns, and that's when they got some momentum."

Those four quotes are offered here without attribution for a reason. All four came after Game 1 losses against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Two were by members of the Washington Capitals. Two were by members of the Boston Bruins. Not sure which quotes are from which team? That's the point.

To end the suspense, the first quote is from Alex Ovechkin and the second from Bruce Boudreau. The final two are from David Krejci and Zdeno Chara, respectively.

The point of this exercise is to show how similar the reactions were to a Game 1 home loss by guys from each team, and obviously to point out that the Bruins need to adjust and/or play better in order to avoid the same fate as the Capitals.

If it weren't for a few brilliant saves by Tim Thomas, Game 1 on Saturday night at TD Garden could have been even worse than the final 5-2 score line indicated. Thomas gave up four goals -- and also had to make the four or five best saves of the game to keep the Bruins in it when the outcome was still in doubt.

The Bruins thought they had a lot of good chances, but they really didn't. Boston had 33 shots on net in Game 1 -- 12 of them came from 50 feet or beyond and 23 from more than 40 feet away, according to the official play-by-play.

Those perimeter shots are OK if there is traffic in front of the goaltender or rebound chances created. Boston had three shots on net in a seven-second span in the second period, including one that was definitely a rebound attempt from Mark Recchi. Other than that one sequence, Tampa Bay goaltender didn't face two shots in a span of shorter than 12 seconds -- and the second shot in that sequence was from 43 feet away.

Now the Bruins have two days to regroup and figure out a better way to attack the Lightning. They probably need to learn from their own mistakes and from the shortcomings of the Capitals if they want to not suffer the same outcome.
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