During the most important seven-game stretch of their 2015-16 schedule to date, the Boston Bruins have managed a grand total of 10 goals. Take away one empty-netter, and that total drops to nine.
It’s no wonder, then, that the Bruins have been able to win just one of those games, turning what should have been a relatively pain-freeÂ path to the postseason into an all-out brawl.
At no pointÂ have those goal-scoring woes been more pronounced than they were Tuesday night, when Boston pelted New Jersey Devils reserveÂ goaltender Keith Kinkaid with 40 shots but beat him with just one in a 2-1 loss at Prudential Center.
The Bruins surrendered a season-low 15 shots against in the game, but two power-play goals by the Devils did them in as Boston failed to light the lamp multiple timesÂ for the fourth time in six games.
After the game, the players’ reactions to the latest low-scoring loss were mixed.
âYou want to find ways to win and get out of it,” center Patrice Bergeron told reporters, as aired on “Bruins Overtime LIVE.” “You donât want to start banging your heads and getting frustrated. Itâs about getting results and putting your chins up and going out there and finding a way. Thatâs the only way right now, and weâre aware of the standings. We know how tight it is. We know how big (Tuesday nightâs) game was, and somehow, we couldnât get the job done. So now, again, the desperation level has got to increase, and (we have to) find ways to win some games.”
Winger Brad Marchand, meanwhile, chose to look on the bright side.
âI thought we had a really good game (Tuesday night),” Marchand told reporters. “I thought we outplayed them a lot of the game. We just didnât capitalize on opportunities. If we play like that every game, then weâre going to win a lot more than we lose.”
Marchand was the only Bruin who did capitalize on a scoring chance, pottingÂ his 35th goal of the season early in the second period to snap an eight-game goal-less drought. Apart from that, Kinkaid, who’d given upÂ 13 total goals over his previous three starts, was flawless, stopping a career-high 39 shots for the Devils.
Kinkaid’s performance included turning aside multiple odd-man rushes early in the contest, which Bruins coach Claude Julien viewed as a massive missed opportunity for his team.
âThat game could have been put away in the first period,” Julien said in a postgame interview with NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley. “I think we had about three 2-on-1s, a power play and a breakaway, and nothing to show for it. The opportunities were there, and we didnât bury them. So, we can look whichever way we want, but we can only look at ourselves, because definitely, itâs our own fault.
â… Sometimes, youâve got to take the onus and put it on your own shoulders and find ways to finish. Youâve got to grind it out. Youâve got to bear down. Youâve got to do something. But certainly, (Tuesday night) wasnât good enough.”
The Bruins failed to gain any ground in the Atlantic Division standings Tuesday night, but they did not lose any, either. They can thank their most hated rivals for that: The Montreal Canadiens knocked off the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 on Tuesday to keep the Wings one point back of the B’s for the Atlantic’s third and final guaranteed playoff spot.
Boston and Detroit each have five games remaining on their respective regular-season schedules, including a head-to-head matchup next Thursday night at TD Garden.
Thumbnail photo viaÂ Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports Images