When you play teams that are fighting for something other than a playoff spot, sometimes the complacent attitude could be a bad thing and it could cost you.
The Boston Bruins were in a similar situation on Monday night when they took on the Carolina Hurricanes. This was only the second time these two teams have met this season, but this was the first of two meetings between these squads this week.
The Bruins, who were swept by the Canes last season, looked good against their Southeast Division rival in the first game earlier in the year. The Hurricanes are currently in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, so this game was about self-respect in their eyes. With a depleted roster and a terrible outing during their recent homestand, that is all they have to play for.
Prior to the game, B's head coach Claude Julien announced that he re-shuffled the lines once again. This time, it was Tyler Seguin being demoted to the third line and Gregory Campbell getting the promotion to the second line.
Tuukka Rask was back in net for the Bruins as he opposed Justin Peters of the Hurricanes. Chris Kelly made his return to the lineup in this game after missing 14 games with a fractured tibia. The pieces are slowly coming back together. Jordan Caron (healthy scratch) made his return to the lineup as well. He skated on the fourth line with Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton.
In the first period, the Hurricanes were super aggressive. The defensemen acted like forwards and it seemed like the Bruins were on the penalty kill the entire time because it looked like they were constantly down a man. Rask was the man of the period as he came up with some great saves to shut down the Canes in the opening 20 minutes.
As for the B's, they jumped out to a 3-0 lead on two goals by Brad Marchand and one by Peverley. Once Boston popped in its second goal, Carolina made the goalie change. Out went Peters, in came Dan Ellis. In the grand scheme of things, it was not much of an upgrade.
The second period started with the Black and Gold really turning their game around. All of a sudden, it was the Hurricanes who were on the defensive. The biggest difference was that the d-men for the Bruins started to be more physical along the boards. With Rask standing tall behind them, players like Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference were able to contribute offensively.
After the Bruins added two more goals (scored by Ference and Caron respectively), they entered the final 20 minutes with confidence. That quickly disappeared as they seemed to lose their edge. On the other hand, the Hurricanes did not go away quietly. After being denied a goal by video review, they answered right back seconds later with goals by Patrick Dwyer and Drayson Bowman. The Bruins managed to add one more goal on the stick of Nathan Horton, which resulted from a tape-to-tape pass from Dougie Hamilton.
In what turned out to be a soild outing for the Bruins, they defeated the Hurricanes by a final score of 6-2.
Seidenberg posted three assists and a plus-four rating in the win while Jaromir Jagr finished with a pair of assists. This was a performance that the players could be happy with. Lets see if they can build on this in the upcoming week.
The Bruins will be on the road Wednesday night when they take on the New Jersey Devils.
Gold Star: Tuukka Rask (40 saves on 42 shots, 2 goals allowed, .952 save percentage)...He gave us a little bit of a scare in the third period, but he held strong when it counted and came through with a clutch performance.
Black Star: Tyler Seguin...For a guy who leads his team in total shots, he managed to get only one shot on goal. He is looking forward to Patrice Bergeron returning as soon as possible.