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No Bergeron, No Lucic, No Problem: Quick Start Sparks Bruins

Seth Griffith celebrates.jpg

By Chris Chirichiello, Bruins Daily

The Boston Bruins headed into Monday’s game against the Red Wings as heavy underdogs due to Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic being out of the lineup. But nobody told them that.

The Black and Gold dominated from the get-go, scoring three first period goals en route to a 5-2 victory. It was just the effort the Bruins needed after their laugher in Columbus only two days ago.

During the team’s morning skate Monday, head coach Claude Julien preached about commitment, urgency and being hungry. He certainly saw all of that in arguably the Bruins' best performance of the season.

“Yeah, I think it was pretty obvious tonight that there was a bigger determination and commitment to working hard from start to finish for that matter,” Julien said postgame. “So this is one of the hopefully many and we need to understand that this is how we have to play and be successful.”

Between Reilly Smith’s slapper, Gregory Campbell’s gritty goal and Carl Soderberg’s resilience in the first period, the B’s clearly forgot about their performance in Columbus. Their net front presence Monday night was something they were lacking in previous weeks, but they executed in front of Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard.

Building a two-goal lead for Julien’s group usually results in two points. Entering Monday’s game, the B’s owned a 10-2-0 record when possessing two-goal leads in 2014 and are 143-6-9 since the start of the 2010-2011 season.

It was the first time this season the B’s lit the lamp three times in the first period. They certainly needed it on this night.

“It was exactly what we needed,” Soderberg said. “We have been struggling a little bit lately so it was nice to score three goals and get the confidence back a little bit.”

Soderberg’s line mate Loui Eriksson, who had two assists on the night, was thrilled with the team’s start and liked the urgency from all four lines.

“Yeah, it was definitely nice to come out like that and I thought every line was going,” Eriksson said. “We were creating shots and getting chances so definitely something we can build on and keep going and doing that.”

The Red Wings did cut the B’s deficit in half after Tomas Tartar’s power-play goal in the second period, but unlike the majority of this season, they responded.

Seth Griffith sniped one past Howard to give the B’s another two-goal lead in the third period before Chris Kelly sealed the deal with an empty netter.

“I mean it’s going to happen, you are going to get scored on,” captain Zdeno Chara said. “It’s more about how you’re going to respond. It’s a hockey game, the goals are going to be scored for and goals are going to be scored against. The important thing is to stick with the game plan, not to panic and not to get distracted. Believe in what the game is and believe in each other.”

The Black and Gold needed to forget that they were playing without Lucic and Bergeron. They did. They needed to win battles and get traffic in front of Howard. They did.

Most importantly, the Bruins needed to come out smoking against a very good Red Wings team somehow, and they did.

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