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That honeymoon period from the incredible win on New Year’s Day in the Winter Classic…is already over, especially after the Bruins lost 3-2 to the Rangers on Monday night.
Down by two goals in the third period, the Bruins mustered only five shots on goal. For the game, they went 0-3 on the power play, which they had problems scoring on earlier this season. Claude Julien, normally an even-tempered coach, blasted his team after another mediocre effort.
“There were times in the past that they had their dressing room under control,” Julien said. “Right now, you have to coach, you have to be a cheerleader, you’ve got to wake them up. You’ve got to do too many things that a coach shouldn’t have to do at this level.
“These are professionals and they’ve got to take ownership of their dressing room at some point.”
Ales Kotalik got the scoring started for the Rangers with his goal in the first period. The Bruins found the penalty box four times in the first frame, with Vladimir Sobotka serving two of the penalties.
The Rangers then teed off on Tuukka Rask in the second period, launching 17 shots at the Bruins goaltender. Erik Christensen knocked home a goal seven minutes into the period, but that was all the Rangers could get.
Meanwhile, the Bruins were held scoreless in the first two periods on 22 shots against Henrik Lundqvist, who shut the Bruins out 1-0 earlier this season.
The Bruins somehow scored two goals on just five shots in the third, including a shorthanded goal from Matt Hunwick with less than six minutes to go. After Blake Wheeler tied up the game just a minute later, the Bruins had new life, and the Rangers were reeling.
Christopher Higgins saved the day, however, scoring his fifth goal of the year with less than two minutes to go, giving the Rangers a 3-2 win. Rask did all he could, but he could not hold the game going into overtime, which of course would have earned the Bruins at least a point. He finished with 32 saves on 35 chances.
It didn’t help the Bruins were without leading scorer Patrice Bergeron, who was hurt after being hit in the hand by a second-period shot from teammate Dennis Wideman. He’s returning home instead of playing when the Bruins next hit the ice on Tuesday against the Ottowa Senators.