BOSTON (CBS) – Claude Julien was not pleased with his Bruins following Tuesday night’s 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders, and summed up their poor penalty kill in one word.
“Sloppiness,” a fired-up Julien said of the Bruins’ PK unit that has been nothing short of stellar this season.
But that solid play was nowhere to be found as 2013 said goodbye on Tuesday night. After taking a 3-1 lead in the second period, the Bruins sat back and let the Islanders storm right back into the game. Four unanswered goals later, three of which came on the man-advantage, that Boston lead was an embarrassing 5-3 loss.
“A lot of things I didn’t like tonight,” Julien said. “I think when we took the 3-1 lead we kind of relaxed and they came back hard and they kind of got the momentum back and we couldn’t regain it. They made their own breaks and they made their breaks by getting some good bounces and got themselves back in the game but in the third period, they were the better team, again. We lost because I think it was, like you said, probably self-inflicted. We took a lot of ill-advised penalties that at one point caught up to us and I didn’t think our penalty kill obviously was very good tonight.”
New York took advantage of four of their eight power plays, including twice in the final minutes of the second period when Torey Krug was called for boarding and Tuukka Rask was hit with a delay of game penalty. Overall, the Bruins were whistled for four penalties in the second frame.
“Bad PK tonight,” said Julien. “I’m not going to start analyzing the game here guys. You guys can do that. I have enough of that to do on my own.”
John Tavares scored twice for the Islanders in the third period, including once on the man-advantage, to break the 3-3 tie and hand the Bruins a frustrating loss to end 2013.
“We were up 3-1 and we kind of let up,” said center David Krejci, who scored his 100th career goal in the first period. “I feel that we kind of gave them their second and third goals on their power play, it was kind of a bad bounce but it happened because we weren’t sure. And then in the third period, the first shift, another power play goal so our penalty kill didn’t do a very good job today but it’s not just them, it’s the whole team. We win as a team and we lose as a team. Obviously it’s a disappointing loss but we have to move on.”
Krecji said the Bruins lacked discipline when it mattered most.
“It just wasn’t there today. I don’t know what happened but a couple bad penalties, a couple questionable calls and before you know it, you’re losing,” he said. “So we have to learn from that and be more disciplined next game.”
“It sucks to end off the year of 2013 this way, but we have an opportunity to bounce back on Thursday,” said forward Milan Lucic, whose frustration showed in the final minutes when he was issued a two-minute penalty for boarding, another two-minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10-minute misconduct for a hit on New York defenseman Travis Hamonic.
Julien is looking for a much better Bruins squad to take the ice when Boston hosts the Nashville Predators on Thursday.
“Well you’re going to have to want to do something about it. We have a game again on Thursday against Nashville and we’ve lost two in a row now. We don’t like being in that situation so hopefully we get a positive response from our team,” he said.