The Boston Bruins came out flat from the moment the puck dropped in their matchup against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

Generating just five shots on goal in the first period, Bruins’ head coach Jim Montgomery took responsibility for the team’s lack of energy from the get-go.

“We just didn’t have any energy or life to us,” Montgomery said, per team-provided video. “I gotta take responsibility for the lack of us having that. The preparation clearly wasn’t correct.”

Montgomery said the team’s practice on Wednesday wasn’t as energetic as it has been in the past so he was concerned coming into the game but was hopeful the Bruins would bounce back in the second and third periods.

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“I don’t have an intelligent answer for why it didn’t happen. I expected us to get better every period,” Montgomery told reporters. “I think we went from awful to poor and never really got to average for our game.”

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Brandon Carlo and the rest of the defensemen had to step up after Charlie McAvoy left the game at the beginning of the third period when he took a reverse hit from Sabres forward JJ Peterka in the defensive zone. The 27-year-old registered 18:59 minutes of ice time in the 3-1 Bruins’ loss and noted the echoed Montgomery’s sentiment regarding the previous day’s practice.

“I think not having (Brad Marchand) there yesterday, it’s going to be a little bit of a difference maker. He brings a lot of energy to this group,” Carlo said, per team-provided video. “It falls on us to step up when he’s not there for sure. I think that’s a good lesson to be learned and we’re gonna come tomorrow and I guarantee we’ll bring it to practice tomorrow and look towards the game on Saturday.”

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Marchand was not at practice on Wednesday because of personal reasons, but the Bruins captain scored the lone goal for Boston making it five straight for the forward.

“I can’t really speak on practice yesterday, I wasn’t there but sometimes if you don’t … it’s that saying, ‘You practice how you play.’ You compete hard and you play with a very high intensity in practice and it usually translates to the game, and vice versa,” Marchand said, per the team. “If you’re moving slow and you don’t have that high intensity, sometimes it can carry over in our game. Something I’m sure we will rectify tomorrow during practice, bring the intensity that we need.”

Marchand added: “But that’s part of being a good pro, is showing up every day. Bring that intensity even when you’re tired. It’s one of the things we’ve talked about before, the best teams are able to play tired and still bring that high pace and be focused when they are. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that tonight.”

The Bruins will get back to work Friday morning at practice before hosting the red-hot Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden on Saturday afternoon for matinee hockey.

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The Coyotes were winners of five straight before dropping a 4-1 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. Both teams will look to get back into the win column when the puck drops on their tilt at 1 p.m. ET.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images