November 25, 2011

Bruins proud of effort, ground gained during run

By Jesse Connolly

BOSTON – With the Bruins riding a ten-game winning streak coming into Friday’s matinee, anyone claiming to have penciled them in for a loss to the Red Wings probably would’ve been quickly encouraged to get their head examined.

However, given the trouble Detroit has given the Black and Gold in recent years, they certainly had just cause to assume win No. 11 in a row was anything but a lock. Boston simply got schooled during a home-and-home series with the Wings last season, falling 6-1 at home before suffering a 4-2 setback at Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit didn’t man-handle the B’s on Friday afternoon, but a 3-2 shootout victory by the West’s perennial Cup contenders put Boston’s run to bed.

“Yeah I thought it was a good game,” said Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. “Good game to be a part of, lot of back and forth hockey, lots of speed. We had to have our heads on a swivel because their team did a lot of crisscrossing and stuff like that. So I thought it was a good game for us. But still we need to find a way to get that extra point.”

Because of Bergeron, the Bruins didn’t go home empty-handed as they earned a point for pushing the game past regulation. The reliable pivot came through with a big goal in the third to tie the game at 2-2, erasing a Detroit lead for the second time on the day.

“We played a good team and obviously we want to win you don’t want to go out there and be satisfied with one point,” said Bergeron. “But with that being said, I thought we did some good things. We showed some character coming back in the game.”

Boston had a number of glimmering opportunities in overtime to bury the Wings and keep their streak alive, but Detroit’s high-end talent proved to be too much for the B’s to handle in the shootout.

“Yeah it’s a tough one. It’s a real tough way to lose, in a shootout,” Zdeno Chara said. “I thought that we battled really hard for 60-minutes, but obviously they have a great team. It was a real close game. That’s what you want to see, you know, that effort that we provided. There are no regrets.

The Bruins captain reaffirmed that the team should have their heads held high after the tough loss.

“When you play that hard for the whole game and you lose in the shootout, that’s the way it goes sometimes,” said Chara. “You can’t get frustrated with that. It’s too bad that we couldn’t pull it out again, but that’s just the way it goes. Just (have to) get ready for the next one.”

The Bruins will look to start a new streak when they take on the Jets on Saturday at TD Garden, but the B’s have plenty to be proud of when looking back on a run that saw them rise from the bottom of the conference standings to back among the contenders for the top spot in the East.

“Things are going well, and like I said, we still played well tonight, so hopefully we can continue to bring that tomorrow and get another win tomorrow,” winger Shawn Thornton said. “Honestly, we got a point tonight, that’s points in eleven straight games. That’s pretty good as far as I’m concerned.”

It certainly is.