After dropping Thursday's opener of their first-round series with the Canadiens 1-0 at the Garden, Boston went through a short but brisk practice at Ristuccia Arena on Friday.
On the ice, the focus was on generating more traffic in front to try to take Montreal goalie Carey Price out of his comfort zone. Off the ice, the Bruins were focused on the big picture and were determined not to let Thursday's loss rattle their confidence.
"We're not going to panic," Bruins forward Michael Ryder said. "We have lots of experience in here. We've been through it before. It's a seven-game series and we don't need to panic. We come in [Saturday] and win the game and we're right back in it and we don't need to worry about anything."
But the Bruins do need to worry. They threw everything they had at Price in the second period on Thursday and came away without a goal. They put 31 shots on him overall, 18 coming in that dominant second period, but Price handled the onslaught easily despite having not won a playoff game in the previous two years and coming into the game with just a 5-11 postseason record.
There was a chance to get into the young netminder's head after he took all four losses in the Bruins' opening-round sweep of the Habs two years ago, then lost his starting spot to Jaroslav Halak last spring. The Canadiens chose to stick with Price last summer, trading Halak to St. Louis, and Price rewarded their faith with a stellar regular season.
But Price still had to exorcise some postseason demons, and the Bruins allowed him to take a big step toward that on Thursday. Montreal scored on the first shot of the game, giving the Habs the crucial early lead and allowing them to sit back in a defensive shell and protect Price.
The Bruins didn't do enough to crash the crease and get Price out of his comfort zone. Now that task will be even harder in Game 2 on Saturday with his confidence soaring, but the Bruins remain steadfast in their belief that they can get to him.
"Obviously a key for us is to score first," Bruins forward Daniel Paille said. "But if [Montreal scoring first] happens again I'm very confident in us that if we play the way we played [Thursday] in the second period pucks are going to go in eventually. I think if we continue that we'll be OK."
The Bruins have been in this position before. They dropped Game 1 of the opening round last year as well, losing 2-1 in Buffalo. Boston bounced back with three straight wins and eventually eliminated the Sabres in six games.
"That 's why they're best out of seven here," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It's one loss here. It's not the end of the world, but we have to understand that we have to bounce back next game. It's as simple as that. In the playoffs sometimes you have to have a short memory and turn the page quickly, bounce back and be ready and focused for the next game. That's what we're trying to do here."
The Bruins are trying to do something a little different than last year. That Game 1 loss to Buffalo was on the road. Thursday's defeat was the first time in six playoff series under Julien that the Bruins have lost the first home game of a series.
The Canadiens now have home-ice advantage, and the Bell Centre has always been an imposing venue for the Bruins. The Habs can take a commanding lead in the series if they win both games in Boston before heading back to Montreal, but the Bruins are determined to make sure that doesn't happen.
"It's one game," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. "We're not going to dwell on it. It's tough when you run into a hot goalie, but that stuff happens. You have to find a way around it. You have to overcome adversity in the playoffs. All great teams do it. No one wins the Stanley Cup in the first game or the first series. We're not frustrated at all. It's one game. We have to put it behind us."
Instead, the Bruins will look forward to what has become a must-win game on Saturday. And that's the only focus right now. The bigger picture can wait until after they get that first playoff win on the board.
"We just got to think about [Saturday] night," Ryder said. "We can't think too far ahead. We've just got to try to win the game and go to Montreal back even."
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