BOSTON (AP) — The Bruins played Pittsburgh three times this season and lost all three by one goal. Now they await the top-seeded Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals, and the Bruins are trying to figure out what went wrong in those games.
“We’ll look at our games and things that we did well, things that we need to be better at,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said yesterday during a news conference at TD Garden. “But we also look at the playoff games. We look at everything.
“There’s not much that doesn’t get looked at. That’s the way hockey is today. But the regular season is one thing, playoffs is another. So we’re certainly not hanging our hats on the fact that our record wasn’t good against them this year. There’s only three goals difference at the end of the day. So I don’t think in three games that’s a big thing to worry about.”
Julien gave his team a second straight day off the ice since the Bruins won their second-round series against the New York Rangers with a 3-1 victory Saturday. The Penguins had an equally easy time of advancing through the second round, taking out the Ottawa Senators in five games.
The NHL has not announced the schedule yet for the Bruins-Penguins series.
“The rest is obviously important,” said Julien, whose team needed seven games to beat Toronto in its first-round series. “We know we’ve been through a grueling schedule there for quite a while. So to have that opportunity is good. We’ll still have lots of time to practice. But this time of year, rest is extremely important. Everybody needs a rest, I guess. So it’s good for the whole team.”
The time off could prove valuable. Dennis Seidenberg returned to play in the series-clinching win against New York, but defensemen Andrew Ference and Wade Redden were unavailable. Both are making progress, with Ference returning to the ice for the first time since the weekend.