BOSTON — A one-goal setback in an emotional clash with a bitter rival. A game marred by controversial calls and costly mistakes. And one that left the Bruins without one of their key offensive performers for the next five games.
Saturday's 4-3 setback to Vancouver was the kind of loss that could take some time to get past.
For the Bruins, it took roughly 40 minutes.
Boston came out flat for the first two periods of Tuesday's clash with Winnipeg, before finally getting back to their game and scoring three unanswered goals in the third for a 5-3 victory.
"We always want to play with a high energy level," Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said. "That's the key to our success. For whatever reason, we didn't do it in the first couple periods. There were a couple minutes here and there where we picked it up, but we couldn't sustain it."
The reason for Boston's slow start had a lot to do with the emotional toll that Saturday's loss to the Canucks in a rematch of last year's Stanley Cup Final took out of the Bruins.
"I think it took us 40 minutes really to get it behind us, but we found a way," forward Shawn Thornton said. "It's human nature. It's tough not to be wrapped up in those when games go that way and you feel maybe things could've went the other way. It's a little frustrating, but we found a way and we won again so well take it."
Thornton had a lot to do with getting Boston going as he brought the Garden alive with a shorthanded penalty shot goal followed by a fight with old friend Mark Stuart in the second, and the rest of the Bruins followed his cue in the third.
"You always look at the way you finish the game," Seidenberg said. "If you would have played well in the first two periods and played bad in the third, you would have been upset. I think it's better to get better toward the end and carry it over from there."
Seidenberg wasn't as sure as Thornton that Tuesday's slow start was a carryover form Saturday, but didn't dismiss the notion either.
"I don't know, that's tough to tell," Seidenberg said. "It could be. That was a very emotional game, but at the end it doesn't matter. We have to go game by game and it doesn't matter what happened last game or what's going to happen next game. We just have to be in the moment like we always talk about."
Bruins coach Claude Julien also wasn't sure if the Vancouver loss had left that big an impact, but definitely did notice a difference in his team going into Tuesday's game.
"I don't know if it was that [carryover]," Julien said. "All I can tell you is, I found our team to be very quiet tonight before the game. They weren't loosey-goosey. They weren't anything. They were just a quiet group, and I sensed that before the game, and we talked about it just before we went out there.
"I thought until [the Jets] got their penalty shot [at 5:57 of the first], we had come out the first five minutes or so pretty well," Julien added. "After that penalty shot, we seemed to kind of get into that nonchalant mode of trading chances and just kind of turning pucks over and giving them some quality chances as well. I thought some of the goals they scored, we gave them a lot of room. We didn't box them out on Blake Wheeler's goal. He just came out of a corner and went right to the front of the net with no battle and just tipped that one in. So we just needed to get a little better, and I think eventually we found our game, but I'm not quite sure whether I'd [attribute] that to Saturday. Maybe it is, but I felt we'd maybe kind of gotten over that hump with the two days of practice."
Whether it was the last couple days of practice or the wakeup call of Winnipeg's 3-2 lead through two periods, the important thing is that the Bruins did shake off any aftereffects of Saturday's loss and got themselves back on track with a dominant third period they will now try to take into Thursday's showdown with Montreal.
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