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Despite disappointing loss, Bruins find positives

by Tal Pinchevsky /

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien admitted he wasn't a very happy man the morning after his team's 6-5 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 that squared the Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece heading back to United Center for Game 5 Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

But despite a loss in which their defense appeared uncharacteristically porous, Julien and his troops came away with some positives. Most notably, the Bruins' ability to come back from several deficits.

"We scored five goals. We should be happy with that," Julien said before the team boarded a flight to Chicago on Thursday. "The goals that we gave a lot of times were just guys not being in the right place where they should have been. Instead of stopping in our positions, we did a lot of curling last night, which is usually a sign of our team struggling."

It wasn't the style of play the Bruins have typified over the past couple of years, and Julien was adamant the team was average Wednesday night. But the coach was pleased with his team's ability to claw back, even if it wasn't the kind of game he wanted to be involved in.

Boston came back from two two-goal deficits and tied the game 4-4 early in the third period on Patrice Bergeron's second of the game. And a huge go-ahead goal by Chicago on the power play was muted 55 seconds later when Johnny Boychuk tied the game, 5-5, with a blast from the point.

"That's just how it goes sometimes. You have to be able to play those games where there are four and five goals," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. "I think we're happy with how we played last night, being able to come back with different situations. You have to be able to play those games too. It doesn't matter if you're built on defense. Tough loss."

The five goals were the most Boston had scored in a game since Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Then again, the six goals Chicago scored were the most Boston has allowed since Jan. 31, when they dropped a 7-4 decision at home to the Buffalo Sabres in their seventh game of the regular season.

Though the Bruins surely got off their game against the Blackhawks in Game 4, there is a silver lining Boston can draw on heading into Game 5, even if its coach is far more concerned with correcting the team's mistakes.

"I think there's a lot of positives to take from last night. The loss really is what's really negative, maybe the fact that we didn't play as well as we could have," Julien said. "You give credit to guys for bouncing back twice from two-goal deficits and getting ourselves back in the game. A lot of times you could have seen the game being over at that point. But our guys showed a lot of character. There's a lot of positives to take from that game."

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