Lucic: Bruins top lines need to 'kick it into gear'

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Lucic: Bruins top lines need to 'kick it into gear'

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Bruins big-name forwards know they need to be better. The entire team needs to lift up its game, but those forwards have a lot of work to do.

After managing just one goal in each of the first two playoffs games against the Washington Capitals and making Washington rookie Braden Holtby look like the next Ken Dryden in the process the focus is on big names like Milan Lucic. And rightfully so.

Maybe right now theyre trying to be a little too cute and forcing some passes where either its a forced play or the guys not expecting it. Theyve just got to simplify a little bit more, said Claude Julien. Weve got some guys on that line Rich Peverley can shoot the puck, Dave Krejci is certainly a good playmaker, and Looch Milan Lucic can drive to net as good as anybody.

So theyve got some strength that we know can be extremely useful to our hockey club.

Theres a reason the Bs were the only team with six 20-goal scorers in the NHL this season. They have plenty of offensive skill, but it hasnt materialized during the first two games of the postseason.

After being second in the league in scoring, only getting two goals in two games is something were not happy with, said Lucic. Especially the top two lines. We need to be better . . . all of us. Especially me. We need to create opportunities in the offensive zone and we need to take it upon ourselves to be better.

Lucic and Seguin combined for the same number of shots as Shawn Thornton in Saturdays double-overtime 2-1 loss to the Caps. Lucic said that he knows he needs to be better.

Credit the Capitals for creating an unbreakable defensive front in the slot area and blocking 42 shots through the first two games.

But Lucic, at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, knows he needs to be more of a presence. Lucic should be among the first forwards crashing the net and unsettling the Caps' rookie netminder, and hes acutely aware of it.

Theyre doing a good job of making it tough on us, but its something we need to find a way to battle through it, said Lucic. Its up to us to kick it into gear and fight our way through their tight defensive checking to create offensive opportunities.

Its a mindset that we want to win those battles, we want to fight for the puck and when we get it well make good, strong plays to make the most of it.

In two games against Washington Lucic has appeared to play slowly and indecisively amid a stubborn Capitals defensive plan thats working to near perfection. While crediting Washington for a job well done, Lucic knows the Bs top two lines are better than what they've show: zero goals in two games.

While some might look at Nathan Hortons absence as a reason for the offensive no-show, there is a lot more going on than that. Its about a key piece of the Black and Gold thats given C performances at a time of the season when they need to be straight A students.

Its not like Im trying not to do anything. But youve got to put pressure on yourself to want to do better, said Lucic, who now has five goals in his last 27 playoff games after potting 10 goals in his first 30 postseason contests. I want to be better and Ill do everything I can to help this team win.

The Bruins get their first crack at doing better Monday night when they enter Washington D.C. for Game Three of a tightly-wound best-of-seven series.

OFFSEASON

Turner on Instagram: Leaving Celtics ‘one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made’

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Turner on Instagram: Leaving Celtics ‘one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made’

On Instagram, Evan Turner thanks the Boston fans after he leaves the Celtics for a four-year, $70 million free agent deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Friday’s Red Sox-Angels lineups: Ramirez out, Holt back

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Friday’s Red Sox-Angels lineups: Ramirez out, Holt back

Hanley Ramirez is out of the Red Sox starting lineup as they open a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park tonight against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. 

Ramirez is day-to-day after he hurt his right side on a swing and miss on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays and left that game in the eighth inning.

Travis Wright moves to first place in place of Ramirez and Marco Hernandez will play third. Brock Holt returns from the disabled list and will play left field.

Steven Wright (8-5, 2.18 ERA) looks to bounce back from a loss in Texas in his last start. Jhoulys Chacin (3-6, 5.64) starts for the Angels. 

The lineups: 

ANGELS
Kole Calhoun RF
Mike Trout CF
Albert Pujols DH
Jefry Marte 3B
Daniel Nava LF
C.J. Cron 1B
Johnny Giovotella 2B
Carlos Perez C
Andrelton Simmons SS

Jhoulys Chacin RHP 

RED SOX
Mookie Betts CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Brock Holt LF
Travis Shaw 1B
Christian Vazquez C
Marco Hernandez 3B

Steven Wright RHP 
 

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

David Backes on the Felger and Mazz show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and simulcast on CSN, tells fill-in hosts Jim Murray and Greg Dickerson there has also been some discussion with the Bruins of putting him on the wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

Watch the video above for more.