Bruins get their third-period groove back

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Bruins get their third-period groove back

NEWARK The third-period letdowns were the first sign that the recent road trip through the NHL sunshine belt didnt represent the real Bruins.
The B's dropped two of the first three games and were outscored 6-2 in the final period, which has been winning time for the Black and Gold this year. They looked tired and resigned to their fate while dropping games to the Hurricanes and Lightning.
But all that changed after Andrew Ference rattled home a howitzer from the left point minutes into the third period against the New Jersey Devils Thursday night. It was the first of four consecutive goals in a 4-1 win at the Prudential Center.
We had competed a lot harder in the first two periods than we had in a while, but I thought we needed more shots and opportunities in the third period, said coach Claude Julien. The Devils were making it hard on us, but once we got that Ference goal in the third period, breakouts were cleaner and things seemed to be a lot better.
Our execution was better, we got our second wind and that goal really lifted us.
Was it case of enough is enough after the emotionally skimpy first 40 minutes against New Jersey?
A little bit . . . we were also trying not to get frustrated and start pointing fingers, said Shawn Thornton, whose line accounted for two of the goals. We werent getting the calls, but sometimes you need to play through that stuff and do it together. Its in this room. You cant put it on anybody else.
I think that was the biggest thing: Going out and playing our game as a team without getting frustrated. We wanted to try and put a good 20 together. We knew that we had a chance if we could do that, and we did.
The Bruins are still outscoring opponents 67-30 in the final period this season, and it speaks volumes about the teams depth that it immediately reverts back to form when its whole forward lineup is intact.
The Red Wings rank as the only team higher than the Bs plus-37 goal differential over the final 20 minutes, but it appears its only a matter of time before it's the Bruins' domain again now that they have their third-period groove back.

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