By all accounts, this had the grounds of being a heartbreaking loss. 10-game win streak ended via a 3-2 shootout loss on the cusp of game two of a back-to-back weekend.
But as the media braced for the disappointment speech, instead what came out was much different.
"I don’t know guys, you’re pretty critical for a game I thought we played pretty well," head coach Claude Julien said. "Maybe you guys have to do like us and look at the tape."
For the first time in November, the Bruins came out with just one point, but knew the streak had to end at some point, and were pleased that it ended the way it did--against a very skilled team that they measured up well against.
The Bruins are now 0-3-1 against Detroit since 2008, but unlike the other blowouts, this one was different and left the team feeling good about what they didn't despite the loss.
The game was one for the record books. First, two original six teams playing against each other is always entertaining, but this one had the feel of a playoff game. The crowd was into it, the players were into it, and it blew the top off any of the previous afternoon games the Bruins managed to squeeze out.
"For whatever reason, I think it had a little bit of a playoff atmosphere," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said. "Before the game, Soupy [Gregory Campbell] said on the bench actually it kind of felt that way. Obviously they’re a good team, they have been for a lot of years, and we’re coming off a pretty good season, so it was a pretty fun game to play in on both sides. Everyone seemed to be up for it."
After 65 minutes of entertaining and talented hockey, the game had to have a winner, and so the shootout began. Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley were both denied by Howard and Red Wings star Pavel Dutsyuk netted one against Tuukka Rask, while Rask stuffed Jiri Hudler on the second shot. Bruins forward Nathan Horton managed to give Bruins hope going into Detroit's final shooter. Unfortunately for them, it was Todd Bertuzzi, and he wristed one through to give Motown their first shootout victory of the year.
"Yeah the first three guys [in the shootout]…pretty good guys," Rask said. "They’ve got some talented [players] behind that too. So do we. Today we got a chance to move to extra rounds and that happened and they won. Different from last week when we went to shootout when I played. As I told you, it’s awesome when you win and sucks when you lose."
That was kind of the attitude in the whole locker room. There were no hung heads or grim faces. They were just looking forward to taking a well-played game and using that energy for tomorrow where they will play Winnipeg in their first back-to-back games this season.
Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron netted the goals in regulation--Bergeron's coming midway through the third period, and slamming it past Jimmy Howard for his fifth goal of the season. Daniel Paille's goal was in the second period, finding the hole past Howard four minutes into the second frame.
Both of those goals were tying goals in the game. The Bruins never had the lead, but still managed to take one point away to reassure their efforts.
"We took a point tonight," Thornton said with a laugh when asked what the Bruins can take from the 10-game win streak. "Things are going well, and like I said, we still played well tonight, so hopefully we can continue to bring that tomorrow and get another win tomorrow. Honestly, we got a point tonight, that’s points in eleven straight games. That’s pretty good as far as I’m concerned."
Julien agreed, but said though their game was good tonight, it has to be that much better tomorrow against the Jets.
"For us, we got a point out of this game and you move on and tomorrow is an important tilt again against a team in our conference," Julien said. "You really have to turn the page. Hopefully our guys didn’t get too high on that that it deflates them. I liked our game tonight and think it’s important that we carry that into tomorrow."