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Defending champs rise from worst to first @NHL

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Bruins got off to a horrid start to their Stanley Cup championship defense, winning just three of their first 10 games and landing in last place in the Eastern Conference.

Two incredible months later, they're back on top.

Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Boston beat Florida 8-0 on Friday night for its 20th win in 23 games his club deserves a lot credit for reversing the slide.

Boston enters the NHL's three-day Christmas break with the most goals scored (119) and the fewest allowed (63) in the NHL. It's a recipe for success for any team -not just defending champions.

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