With top center Patrice Bergeron sidelined indefinitely by another concussion, the Boston Bruins were thrilled to get speedy center Chris Kelly back in the lineup.
He had been sidelined with a broken tibia since March 11. Kelly returned to center a line with Tyler Seguin and Daniel Paille to balance Boston’s forward lines.
His return left Gregory Campbell at center with Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley playing center with Shawn Thornton and Jordan Caron. The other scoring line, David Krejci centering wide bodies Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic, remained intact.
That lineup clicked during a 6-2 victory over the reeling Carolina Hurricanes.
Coach Claude Julien had tried Seguin at center between Jagr and Marchand, but that line faltered during the 2-1 loss to Montreal.
“It wasn't working,” Seguin told the Boston Herald. “We were out there for the first goal and it just wasn't good work in our own zone. We were kind of running around a bit. I can't say I was shocked that it got changed.”
Injuries prompted the failed experiment.
“(Seguin) couldn't have gone against a worse team, who is really good down low in the Montreal team,” Julien told the Herald. “The change was made for the right reasons and it wasn't pointing the finger at him as much as we needed some experienced guys in the middle.”
“Teams aren’t beating us, we’re beating ourselves,” Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters after his team lost at Florida 6-2. “That’s what’s disappointing right now, we’re beating ourselves. That’s not taking any credit from their team , that played well. But we know our team better, and our team is much better than it played. It was basically a whole team collapse.”
Tim Thomas told the Boston Herald that his team just cannot catch a break right now. Every mishap ends up in their net.
“It’s Twilight Zone-ish,” he sad. “I don’t know what we did, but we did something to put luck not in our favor. A lot of times you get the luck that you work for. It’s not that we’re not working, but I haven’t seen a run of bounces like this in a long time.
“We’ve done a good job of sticking together and keeping as positive as we can, but that’s not working. I don’t know what we can do, you know? We’ve got to do something, I know that.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been part of a run quite like this. Generally you just put them behind you and move on to the next one, but we’ve been doing that and we’re still stuck in the same place. I don’t have the answers.”
Here are some of the grim facts:
The defending Stanley Cup champions are 16-18-2 in their last 36 games.
The Bruins have trailed entering the third period in 25 of the last 30 games, going 7-16-2 in those 25.
Thomas is 3-5-0 in goal for the Bruins this month with a 4.06 goals-against average and an .842 save percentage.
They have allowed 21 goals in the last four games.
They have lost four in a row in regulation for the first time since Jan. 18-29, 2010.
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