BOSTON -– Joe Corvo's first season in Boston hasn't gone the way he had envisioned it after being traded to the reigning Cup champs last summer.
Acquired from Carolina to add some offense from the blue line and help spark the Bruins' power play, Corvo has struggled most of the season to produce his customary numbers. After reaching double digits in goals in four of the previous six seasons, Corvo had just two goals this season going into Saturday's clash with Pittsburgh.
Both of those tallies came in the same game in Columbus back on Dec. 10. Those strikes ended a 27-game drought at the start of the season, but he had gone 21 games again without another goal before he finally got Boston on the board in the third period on Saturday.
Corvo's goal was all the offense the Bruins could muster in a 2-1 loss as Boston dropped back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 6 and 8, a skid ended by Corvo's previous offensive outburst in Columbus.
The loss wasn't what the Bruins were looking for, but Corvo is trying to at last take a positive out of finally snapping his own personal slump.
"Yeah, I'm taking it that way," Corvo said. "Anything positive I'm going to take and run with it and try to carry it into the next game and make me feel good out there and play well. I will definitely try to carry that on."
Corvo has showed signs of coming around for a few games now. On Tuesday, he snapped a nine-game stretch without a point with a pair of assists in a 4-3 win over Ottawa. The three points he has over his last three games tops the two he managed in the previous 16 games.
Bruins coach Claude Julien hopes it's the start of a turnaround for Corvo, and he noted that the talented but enigmatic blueliner is often his own worst enemy. Corvo tends to struggle putting mistakes behind him and allows problems to snowball. Now Julien hopes Corvo can use a positive outing to build momentum in the other direction.
"Well you know with Joe, it is all about confidence," Julien said. "With Joe, sometimes he makes a mistake and he carries that on for too long. He's got to let go of those things and build on what he does well."
It was still an up-and-down day for Corvo. He had a chance to snap his drought earlier but was denied on a power-play bid, as he pinched in and one-timed a Tyler Seguin pass from the right slot, but Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was able to slide over for the stop.
"It was a tough cross-body, one-time redirection, just a tough play for me to make," Corvo said. "It was a great pass but it's a lot easier if the pass is coming from low to high."
Corvo also was on the ice for Pittsburgh's second goal, failing to pick up Matt Cooke driving the net and standing idly by as the Penguins agitator banged home the rebound for the eventual game-winner 1:53 into the third.
"He had some great opportunities tonight," Julien said of Corvo. "The goal against he's standing in front of the net and you hope that he had better battle on that. But, you know, he's no different than everybody else that's going through this. We have to improve ourselves as individuals if we want to be a better hockey club."
Corvo did make amends for that with his goal at 6:45 of the third, finally getting Boston on the board after more than five periods without a goal, as he used a Brad Marchand screen in front to sneak in a shot from the left point.
"Marchand did a great job of standing in front of him until the last minute until it kind of got to the net," Corvo said. "It was the right height to where the goalie was kind of staying low and trying to see it and it just went in."
Now it's a matter of Corvo building off that success and not allowing the frustration to set in when mistakes do happen.
"Here and there," Corvo said when asked if he felt his game had gotten better of late. "I just don't feel like I get involved enough offensively, which is something I kind of critique myself on in games, how offensively involved I get. So when that's not really working for me I tend to maybe try and do more than I should. My game plan going into tonight was just to kind of relax and stay at the point and try to stay open that way and give myself some room to stay open and get some shots on net."