NASHVILLE – The Bruins played a physical game, they played a high effort and truth be told they outplayed the Nashville Predators for most of the 60 minutes of hockey.
But the only thing that really matters at this point in the regular season is the scoreboard, and there the Bruins fell a bit short after scratching for just a single goal and falling by a 2-1 score to the Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday night. Backup goalie Juuse Saros made a career-high 35 saves for the Predators against the Bruins, and afterward members of the Black and Gold group were lamenting another “good, but not good enough” kind of effort.
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“Overall I think we played well, but at this point in the season we’re kind of sick of moral victories. We want to get results,” said Torey Krug. “I think it’s one that we definitely should have had. Their defense did a good job in the slot of limiting our second chances, and that’s something that we talked about in between periods.
“At this point in the year with teams fighting for points and trying to make their way into playoff spots, it’s a tough thing to do. Guys have to come to the rink ready to go in that regard.”
It’s a bit of the same old refrain for the Bruins when it comes to falling short in the second and third effort categories in the offensive zone, and not being able to capitalize on a whopping 35 shots on net against Nashville’s backup goaltender. Add into the fact that Nashville was missing their two best D-men, Roman Josi and PK Subban, for most of the game, and things probably should have been better offensively for the B’s in this one.
Saros did make some good saves including a stop on Ryan Spooner at the backdoor in the third period after a nice B’s passing play in the attack zone, but there was also a nagging sense the Bruins didn’t push him to the embattled stage.
“We’ve had too many of those where we outplayed a team and didn’t get the result that we needed,” said David Backes. “At some point you have to pile up some points. This is results time, and this is a time to make a move [for the playoffs]. We needed to make it a phenomenal road trip, and instead it was just an ‘okay’ one.
“The goaltender makes a few saves, but we need to create the chances and beat the goaltender. It could have easily a win for us in a lot of different respects. We need to make sure we put a stop to this sooner rather than later.”
Clearly the urgency is there for the Bruins to start amassing points and regulation wins with divisional rivals like Ottawa and Toronto holding so many games in hand against Boston. But the good things about Thursday night’s physical, intense effort aren’t nearly enough with the Bruins headed back to Boston empty handed after their trip to Music City.