BOSTON — The Bruins’ win streak had to come to an end at some point, but they probably wish it could have happened a different way and against a different opponent.
The Bruins’ 12-game win streak was snapped Monday night in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens. The loss was the Bruins’ first of any kind since falling to the Washington Capitals on March 1. Of course, the Bruins did extend their point streak to 13 games with the shootout loss.
That extra point will be of little solace to the Bruins, although the B’s probably were ripe for the picking. Teams generally struggle in their first game after a road trip, and the Bruins were coming back from three days away. Boston played a sloppy first period and trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes.
“We were just a little bit off the mark there,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “Typical, I guess, start from a team that comes back from a road trip and plays its first game at home. Took us a while to get going.”
The Bruins didn’t really help themselves, at least not for the first two periods. The Canadiens, as they’ve been known to do, did a masterful job of getting under the Bruins’ skin. The result was six power plays in the first two periods, one of which led to an Alexei Emelin power-play goal in the first period. The lack of discipline didn’t hurt the Bruins too badly, but it didn’t help, either.
“It’s an emotional game any time we play them,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. “They know that, and they poke at us a bit and try to get us to take penalties and push them back, and it worked a little bit tonight. So we have to make sure that we have a little more discipline next time.”
The roles were reversed some in the third period, though. The Canadiens gave the Bruins four power plays, but the Bruins didn’t break through until the final man-advantage. Patrice Bergeron tipped home a Dougie Hamilton shot from the point that ultimately would send the game to overtime and the shootout.
Once again, however, extra time would become another point of frustration. The Bruins had chances in the overtime period, but they just couldn’t capitalize. Then, in the shootout, Montreal goalie Peter Budaj stood tall and ensured the Canadiens would leave Boston with the win. Alex Galchenyuk scored the shootout’s lone goal, sending the Montreal bench into jubilation. The Bruins, meanwhile, were left with a disappointing outcome.
But on a night that felt like the playoffs, Julien and the Bruins still kept everything in perspective.
“We managed to get that point, and I guess, you know, if we have a weakness, it’s pretty obvious — it’s in the shootout,” Julien said. “We don’t do well. So I don’t care about that because, that doesn’t happen in playoffs.”