If nothing else, maybe this loss takes a bit of the sting out of Wednesday’s defeat.
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In Game 1 on Wednesday, the Bruins came within 18.5 seconds of taking the Canucks to overtime before falling 1-0. In Game 2 on Saturday, the Bruins did manage to get into sudden-death overtime, and their demise was very sudden indeed as they found out just getting to OT might not be the cure to all their problems.
Alexandre Burrows, who escaped a suspension for his bite on Patrice Bergeron in Game 1, inflicted even more pain on the Bruins when he swooped in deep around the net and tucked in a wraparound just 11 seconds into overtime for a 3-2 victory and a two games to none series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Bruins have shown a remarkable resiliency all postseason, bouncing back from one seemingly demoralizing defeat after another to keep their longest postseason run in two decades alive. That resolve will be tested like never before now, but the Bruins are still managing to remain upbeat, drawing upon those past experiences to remain steadfast in their belief that this series is still there for the taking.
"You’ve got to seize the moment," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "There’s still an opportunity here. We’re not out. Obviously, right now it sucks, and it hurts that we weren’t able to get this win. But we can’t dwell on it. We have to move on. We have to look forward to what we need to do in order to win a game to get ourselves back into this series."
That opportunity will come Monday in Boston, where the Bruins hope the TD Garden faithful will help them get back into this series.
"They’re going to be into it for sure," Lucic said. "I know they’re not going to give up on us. They didn’t give up on us when we were down against Tampa or Montreal, so they’re definitely going to be excited and hopefully we can use them to our advantage."
The Bruins certainly aren’t giving up, but if they are to get back on track against the talented Canucks they’ll have to do a better job of not giving away the puck. Turnovers and poor decisions were the biggest culprit in Boston’s loss on Saturday, but the Bruins took that as a positive as well. Those mistakes are correctable, and they remain confident they can beat the Canucks if they clean up their own game.
"In the last two games here, we’ve lost by one goal and still I don’t think we’ve played the way we can," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We’re a better team than we’ve shown. We’ve got to go back home and start showing that and get ourselves back in this series.
"As far as I’m concerned, we’re taking responsibility for this loss," Julien added. "It’s our own fault. We beat ourselves with some bad decision making and some poor puck management. You take responsibility and you make the corrections that you have to do and you move on. I think our game this year has been good when we’ve been at our best and executing properly. And we didn’t do that here."
The Bruins have been in this position before. They lost the first two games of the playoffs against Montreal, and those both came at the Garden. The Canucks are a far greater challenge than the Habs ever were, but the Bruins will at least be going home to try to get back into this series.
"We’ve been through a lot this year," Julien said. "We’re resilient. I don’t think that’s what’s going to drag us down. We’ve been able to bounce back before. We’ve gone through the experience of being down 2-0 against Montréal, probably even worse because we lost to them at home. So, it’s probably a better team here, absolutely a team that makes it to the Final is a better team, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’ve been through it. We didn’t come here just to roll over. We’re definitely going to go back home and regroup and bounce back."
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, the hard-luck loser in both of these games in Vancouver, was also quick to point to that opening-round series with Montreal for inspiration.
"It is what it is, so you just have to move on," Thomas said. "We have to play this [series] a lot like we played in the Montreal series, except the difference is we lost two at home and had to go on the road [against Montreal]. If we look back and figure out what our approach was in Game 3 in Montreal, I think that’s a pretty good blueprint to go off of in this series."
But even Thomas knows it’s not as simple as just trying to duplicate a past formula. The Bruins need to play better and work harder than they have so far in the Finals if they hope to have a chance at winning the franchise’s first Cup since 1972.
"We’ve been able to bounce back all playoffs," Thomas said. "We haven’t had this type of a hole since the first series, but every time you do it you have to put in the work to turn it around. It doesn’t just happen. We’re going to have to do what we need to do to be ready to win Game 3."