WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Bruins played arguably one of their most complete games of the season Saturday in a 3-0 win over the Flyers and have bounced back with two straight wins after blowing third-period leads to Montreal and Washington in back-to-back games. But things won't get any easier as the team heads on the road for back-to-back games against Eastern Conference contenders Ottawa and Pittsburgh on Monday and Tuesday.
For some reason, many media members and fans tend to look past Ottawa, and that was the case Sunday as reporters asked about how the Bruins were going to handle the high-powered Penguins. While the Bruins respect Pittsburgh and the weapons they have offensively, they weren’t about to overlook a team that gave them one of their most grinding games of the season when Boston squeezed out a 2-1 overtime win Feb. 28 in Boston.
“Those are two teams that are playing well,” center Chris Kelly said. “I watched the Pittsburgh-Toronto game (Saturday) and Pittsburgh, it seems every line they put out is a great line. But we want to look at Ottawa first. If we start looking at Pittsburgh and not focus on Ottawa, it will be a long night in that arena. They’re playing well. We won in overtime but they played a great system. Everyone has bought into the way the coach wants them to play and they work hard and they play all three zones.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien has no problem giving Ottawa its dues and made sure to discuss the Senators first.
“Both teams are playing really well,” Julien said. “Ottawa, they just keep finding ways to win. No matter who's in their lineup, I just find them to be a hard working team, they compete hard all over the ice. It gives them a chance. They're getting solid goaltending and, when you compete hard all over the ice, you don't give other teams much. Like I said, I give them a lot of credit.”
As for the high-powered Penguins, Julien knows what he and his team are in for there as well.
"Pittsburgh is Pittsburgh," he said. "They've got the power to do some damage if you're not ready to play them hard. This will be an interesting back-to-back."