DALLAS – The Bruins thought they’d turned the corner away from their recent funk after posting a shutout win over the San Jose Sharks on the road last weekend. Now they once again hope the tough times are behind them after Thursday night’s 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The victory was only their fourth win in the last nine games, but featured a power play goal, a PK performance that kept a talented Stars bunch to 1-for-6 on the power play and significant slump-enders for Milan Lucic and David Krejci.
“I thought this was a really hard-fought game,” said Zdeno Chara. “We found a way to score some at the right time of the game, and that gave us a huge win.”
It also saw some pretty good two-way play from guys like Matt Bartkowski, who finished even in 22:07 of ice time and set up David Krejci’s opening goal with a confidence, aggressive entry into the offensive zone. Claude Julien brushed aside plaudits for the performance of the special teams, and instead said the team is snapping out of a temporary collapse in all their fundamentals.
“We did a pretty good job on the power play and the penalty kill, so that was good,” said Claude Julien. “Our first period was a pretty good battle in a road game, so that was good. The second period we got a goal, and we were really strong in the third.
“It’s like I talked about the other day: our whole game had collapsed. We seem to be focusing on special teams because we’re giving up a lot of goals, and we haven’t been scoring on the other end. But overall in the whole game with both special teams and five-on-five, we were good all around.”
Now that they’ve taken the first big step, it’s up to the Bruins to build on it against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon like they couldn’t earlier this week in a very winnable game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Right now one game isn’t enough to be over a “collapse.”