By Arthur StapleNewsday (MCT)
Newburyport Daily News
---- — BOSTON — The Bruins regrouped with their practice here yesterday, though there wasn’t much to regroup from. Coach Claude Julien didn’t see his team’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Rangers in Game 4 as something to be quickly erased, just a back-and-forth game in which the Bruins didn’t play as consistently or as strongly as they did in building a 3-0 series lead.
“I don’t think we got outplayed, I don’t think we got outworked; it was just one of those games where a couple of good bounces went their way, and that was the difference in the game,” Julien said after practice. “For us right now, and I said it when I was in New York, we’re living in the present. Yesterday’s the past. Right now, we’re looking to get ourselves ready to play a real good game tomorrow and play to win ourselves a hockey game.”
The Bruins have the luxury of needing to win only one, starting with Game 5 here Saturday night. Their power play, 3-for-9 in the series, kept the Bruins in front for much of Game 4, but there were some mistakes from usually reliable Bruins stars such as goaltender Tuukka Rask and captain Zdeno Chara that let the Rangers off the mat.
Julien hardly is worried about either of those two, considering they have had a lot to do with the Bruins being close to clinching a spot in the Eastern Conference finals.
“What do you want me to say? Not really, not really,” Julien said when asked if he spoke to Rask, whose gaffe on Carl Hagelin’s goal in the second period opened the door to the Rangers’ comeback. “There’s not much you can say on those types of things. It’s things that happen. We know the impact it had. He lets one of those in and how many does he save for us? You kind of balance those things out. It becomes a non-issue.”
Bruins rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who set up Tyler Seguin’s goal that put the Bruins briefly in front in the third, was particularly tough on himself about Chris Kreider’s overtime winner. Hamilton had decent position on Kreider but wasn’t physical enough to disrupt either Kreider’s speed or his stick, and the Rangers rookie deflected the winner past Rask.
“That’s a play I need to make,” Hamilton said Thursday night. “I feel like I let the team down.”
Dennis Seidenberg, Chara’s regular partner, skated Friday and pronounced himself day-to-day, meaning there’s a better chance he’ll play for the first time in the series. But even if he doesn’t, Julien is pleased with the three rookie defensemen — Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug, who has three goals in the series — and doesn’t see them as liabilities.
“For us, it’s remaining honest and objective and saying there’s some mistakes made, but also there have been a lot of great things happening,” Julien said. “A lot more great things than bad things, and we want to rally back tomorrow and play an even better game so that we can win this series, and that’s all we’re thinking about right now.”
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