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End of win streak doesn't faze Bruins

11/26/2011

BOSTON -- The Detroit Red Wings snapped the Bruins' 10-game win streak Friday afternoon with a 3-2 shootout victory, but the Bruins weren't lamenting their first loss since Oct. 29.

Their collective attitude seemed to be, "Oh, well, bring on the Winnipeg Jets" -- who will play the Bruins on Saturday night at TD Garden.

Sure, the Bruins would have liked to extend the streak, but they now have gotten points in 11 straight games, and are back jockeying for first place in the Northeast Division and for playoff seeding in the Eastern Conference.

"We took a point tonight," veteran winger Shawn Thornton said. "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, and that's points in 11 straight games. That's pretty good as far as I'm concerned."

Even more importantly, the Bruins are back to approaching and playing games the right way. They pride themselves on taking a game-by-game approach, not getting too high or too low, and playing their defensively based system that generates offense via an aggressive forecheck -- which was on display Friday, as both goals came off Detroit turnovers.

"Same as years past, I think we've taken it one game at a time," Thornton said of why the Bruins were able to turn around a 3-7-0 start. "I know it's cliche, but ... we didn't really give a crap if it's 10 in a row; it's just let's focus on tonight, let's focus on today ... just take the task at hand and try and make the most of it."

Alternate captain Patrice Bergeron agreed with Thornton, pointing out that the Bruins resemble the cohesive unit that moved from zone to zone by pressuring the opponent and staying within their game plan.

"Well, that's the way we've got to play in order to have success," Bergeron said of the hockey the Bruins played during the streak.

He was already looking forward to Saturday's game, calling it "a chance for us to get right back at it and start a new [streak]."

Bergeron thinks the Bruins can continue to get good results with the way they're playing.

"I think we're moving our feet a lot better. ... We're first on the puck, and we're more in sync as a line and we're also as a unit on the ice and on the forecheck and neutral zone and defensive zone as well," he said. "We're always kind of reading each other a lot more, a lot better. That's what's been giving us the success that we've been having right now."

The game-by-game approach was a key to the Bruins' playoff success in last season's Stanley Cup run, especially when they fell behind 2-0 in both the series with Montreal and with Vancouver, and yet won both in seven games.

As Daniel Paille -- who scored his third goal of the season Friday -- pointed out, that approach helped as the winning streak grew.

"I think once we get into the games, I think we completely forget about [the streak]," Paille said. "Approaching the games, it kind of sits in the back of your mind, but eventually [streaks] stop and unfortunately it stopped today."

However, the fact the Bruins still earned a point and played another solid game has their confidence building. They're hoping to start a new streak against Eastern Conference foe Winnipeg on Saturday.

Coach Claude Julien said it's time to move on and focus on the next game.

"I think that's been one of our qualities, is that we've managed to do that," Julien said of his team's ability to stay even-keeled. "With more experience and a group that's been together for a long time, you kind of learn to do that better. I think our team is at that stage now where we understand that we won 10 in a row, but at the same time we also understand that we had to because of what we did before in the month of October. I don't think there are any reasons here to get overly comfortable.

"I don't think that it's the end of the world first of all, that [the streak] ended tonight. I think that's what you've got to take out of it. Nothing wrong with the game we played tonight. I thought we were the better team out there, and it's unfortunate. Sometimes those games get decided by individuals, and that's what happened tonight. Having said that, we've won some games lately that maybe we didn't necessarily deserve. We found ways to win, and that's what [the Red Wings] did tonight; they found a way to win. For us, we got a point out of this game, and you move on. Tomorrow is an important tilt again against a team in our conference. You really have to turn the page."