BOSTON - Bruins head coach Claude Julien made it a point to note that without goaltender Tuukka Rask in net, the game would have been a lot worse than a 1-0 loss.
Colorado's Milan Hejduk was just the icing on the cake for the Avalanche.
After two periods of gridlocked hockey, Hejduk finally found a loose link in Rask's otherwise dominant play, and fired home a shot that gave his team the first win of the season, and the only goal so far this season.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ice, any sort of goal seemed to elude the Bruins.
"I thought they came in here and they outworked us for a lot of the game," Bruins forward Tyler Seguin said. "We could see it, they came in here ready to play and we couldn’t capitalize on some of the opportunities. There were definitely times where we were still outplaying them but they walked away with the win at the end"
Boston fired 30 shots on net without one hitting the back of it. Rask on the other hand stopped 35-of 36, but Hejduk pounded away at Rask while Bruins blueliner Johnny Boychuk got tangled up with his own teammate, 7:57 into the third period and ended yet another frustrating game for the young netminder.
"Yeah, [Rask] played great, you can’t ask for much more than how he played today," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "He kept us in it the whole night and gave us a chance to win it. And it sucks on the other end. As one of our players we weren’t able to do anything for him on the other end."
But the Bruins had their fair share of opportunities.
Bruins forward Brad Marchand saw the open net a number of times and still couldn't find a way to get the goal. He and Patrice Bergeron were finding each other all night both in front of the net and in the slot. One of the best chances came with five minutes left in the second period. Bergeron came careening down the ice through the defense, and left the puck for a crashing Marchand. Marchand took the puck and tried to backhand it past the left leg of Av's goaltender Semyon Varlamov, but it was stopped just by the edge of his pad.
Perhaps the bigger disappointment from the Bruins was in the first line's play. Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton haven't clicked yet this season. The line combined for six shots on net this afternoon, with Nathan Horton not accounting for a single one. According to Julien, the coach's are going to have to talk and take action to get them going.
"Whether it's through breaking them up or through having some meetings we need to get more out of them," Julien said. "We got outworked by a team that was a lot hungrier than we were."
The Bruins fall to 1-2-0 while the Avalanche improve to 1-1-0. Bruins will take a road trip out to Carolina on Wednesday where they hope some team bonding will help sort things out.
"Yeah, I think the road is a great time to get some bonding going. And everyone is looking forward to that. I guess we are leaving tomorrow so everyone is getting ready for that"