BOSTON – The Bruins were understandably down in their home dressing room following Tuesday night’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden.
They couldn’t finish off a number of scoring chances throughout the game, couldn’t take advantage of three power play chances and couldn’t find a way to seal the deal in 3-on-3 overtime or through five shooters in the ensuing shootout. Boston's franchise goaltender also couldn't fight his way through a screened shot from the perimeter in the first period, and couldn't turn into an impenetrable brick wall in the shootout.
Instead they dropped a valuable point to a Carolina team that will be golfing a week from now, and moved one step closer to becoming another NHL team golfing far too early in April.
“We can’t start thinking about this loss too much. We have to get back to work [on Wednesday] and you know it’s going to be a big game [against Detroit] on Thursday,” said Tuukka Rask. “This time in the season when you lose games they’re always tough and they’re pretty much all must-wins. So we have to get ready for Thursday, and it’s going to be a pretty much do-or-die for us.”
Unfortunately for the Bruins, if the Red Wings win all of their remaining three games then Boston is already dead on arrival.
All three home games were viewed as must-wins for the Bruins entering this week, and they kicked off that stretch with a loss. Now the B’s need to hope that Detroit falls in regulation to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night, and that the Bruins can throttle up a better playoff-level performance on Thursday night.
It’s far from a sure thing given their recent track record, but the B’s also aren’t going to throw their hands up in surrender.
“Honestly, there’s no doubt that we needed those two points and obviously we wanted them, but for some reason we just couldn’t put the puck in the net,” said David Krejci. “Especially in the first two periods we had a few really good scoring chances so you know what, it is what it is. But we got a point, so what’re we going to do now? So we just kind of regroup and get ready for [the Red Wings] on Thursday.
“Right now it’s right after the game, so it’s obviously frustrating. But you try to have a good attitude and really enjoy tomorrow – tomorrow night just kind of sit by the TV, watch the game and you know see what happens. That’s all we can do right now.”
Boston is once again entering territory late in the season where they need other teams to lose in order to push into the playoffs, and that’s a truly unsettling place to be with only a few games remaining on the schedule.