April 15, 2012

Lucic knows he and Bruins have to step it up

By Jesse Connolly

BOSTON – It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the predicament the Bruins found themselves in through two playoff games last year was much grimmer than the situation they find themselves in now. 

After dropping the first two tilts of their quarterfinal series against the Canadiens on home ice, the hill the B’s had to climb over in order to advance to the second round seemed nearly insurmountable. Now, of course, they undoubtedly wish they’d held serve and taken care of business against the Capitals at TD Garden, but heading down to Washington tied 1-1 isn’t the worst scenario the Black and Gold have ever faced.

“Yeah it’s tied 1-1 now, so it’s gone to a best of five instead a best of seven,” winger Milan Lucic said. “We’ve been in worse situations, but whatever happened last year is last year and whatever is happening this year is this year.”

However, for Lucic, this start to the playoffs feels an awful lot like the one he got off to last year against the Habs. The hulking didn’t score a goal in the series after leading Boston with 30 tallies during the regular season, and didn’t pick up a point until Game 5. Thus far against Washington, Lucic has just three shots and zero points.

“Looking back at that series I wasn’t really able to get anything going in the first two games and I feel like I haven’t really gotten anything going here in the first two games as well,” he said. “It’s not like I’m trying not to do anything, but in saying that you’ve got to put pressure on yourself to want to be better.  I want to be better and I’m going to do everything I can to help this team win.”

After burying 260 goals over their first 82 contests, Lucic knows Boston is capable of much more offensively.

“Yeah for sure, especially after being the second highest scoring team in the league and only getting two goals in two games is obviously something that we’re not happy with,” he said. “Especially our top two lines, we’ve got to be better – all of us, especially myself -- creating opportunities in the offensive zone and we’ve got to take it upon ourselves to be better.”

Considering they’ve managed just two goals against rookie Brad Holtby and the Capitals in more than 144 minutes of hockey, it’d be easy for the Bruins to feel frustrated heading into the next two games down in Washington, but Lucic and the Bruins know there’s nothing they can do now about the outcome of either of the first two games in this series. All they can focus on now is what lies ahead.

“We are looking forward to the challenge ahead that’s coming up in Game 3 and we’re not looking at anything past that,” Lucic said. “So, obviously we know that we want to play better and I think everyone here is kind of on that same page that we are going to do whatever we can to play better.”

Game 3 is set to begin at Verizon Center at 7:30 p.m. on Monday night.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.