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Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Former Bruins get last laugh

By Joe McDonald

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have more important things to worry about than playing against former teammates Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley.

But each of those former Bruins scored in the shootout to lead the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Tyler Seguin
Bruins fans jeered Tyler Seguin every time he touched the puck, but they went home disappointed.

Both Seguin and Peverley admitted after the win that it felt strange playing against the Bruins on their home ice. Peverley went as far as to say he was more nervous for this game than he was for any of the games in the two Stanley Cup finals he played in for the Bruins.

Seguin entered Tuesday's game with six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 14 games. Against the Bruins, he was held off the scoreboard during regulation and overtime before he scored during the shootout. Peverley entered the game with two goals and five assists for seven points in 13 games for Dallas.

After the trade that sent him, Peverley and Ryan Button to Dallas in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow, Seguin said he circled Nov. 5 on his calendar, knowing his return to Boston would be a special night no matter how he was received by Bruins fans.

"The win -- not only for me, personally, but for this team -- it was a great identity win for us," Seguin said. "They're one of the best third-period teams in the league, they've been for a while -- at least when I was there -- and we found a way [to win]."

When Seguin's teammates asked him for some inside knowledge on how to beat Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, the Dallas centerman didn't have an answer.

"If you want me to be really honest, when anyone asked me, I said, 'I honestly don't know what to tell you.' Tuukka's that good of a goalie, and I can say the thing about our guy [goaltender Kari Lehtonen]; I wouldn't know where to shoot on him.

"In my head, it was do something that you've never done before, and I haven't really gone right, then gone left on Tuukka before and shot high blocker. I just tried to go where it was open."

During a TV timeout in the first period, the Bruins recognized Seguin and Peverley on the video board by showing each of them hoisting the 2011 Stanley Cup.

"It was nice," Seguin said. "Definitely very classy of the organization."

But almost every time Seguin touched the puck, the majority of the 17,565 in attendance showed their displeasure for Boston's No. 1 pick (second overall) in the 2010 draft.

"I heard it a couple of times, and going into the game I said I didn't know what to expect," Seguin said. "I heard some cheers, some boos. It was a good hockey game, great win."

When pressed further on the booing, Seguin admitted he wasn't surprised by the reaction.

"I've seen a lot of players come back here, popular athletes, which I was in this city, and I'm sure there are mixed feelings out there. I can only go out there and play hockey," he said.

Since so much of the focus was on Seguin's return to Boston, he was asked if he missed playing here.

"I've been asked that question a few times, if I got a contract or a trade to come back here, or was asked, I don't think I would come back," he said. "In the end, you want to play where you're wanted. I have great relationships with our coach and GM here, and I know how much they want me. It feels good to play here, and that's all I'm going to say about that."

Seguin's comments were no doubt directed at Bruins coach Claude Julien and general manager Peter Chiarelli, probably for the way Seguin believes he was treated after the trade, when it became known the organization had concerns about Seguin's development and maturity. Now that his return to the place where he should have thrived but failed to do so is over, he can walk out of the Garden feeling good about beating his former team.

"Obviously, it was a great game to win," Seguin said. "It's going to be nice to move on. It's been in my head a little bit. You try to put it away when you're playing the game, but it's still there and you still think about it when you come to this town. The win felt great."

The loss felt worse for the Bruins.

Rich Peverley
The "other guy" in July's blockbuster trade, Rich Peverley, beat Tuukka Rask to end the shootout.

Boston is 1-3-1 in its past five games, with the only win during that stretch a 3-2 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks last Thursday. The Bruins are in a bit of a funk, and the last thing coach Claude Julien wanted to be asked about was Seguin and Peverley scoring the goals in the shootout that led Dallas to victory.

"I don't care about that," an agitated Julien said. "Give it a break. I'm mad because we lost. Next."

With the exception of the first 10 minutes of the game, there wasn't much for Julien to be happy with, and he expressed as much after the loss.

"We're a better team than what we showed tonight," he said. "First 10 minutes were good, and then we got back to some of our old habits, and eventually when you play that way, you find ways to lose hockey games, and that's what we're doing right now; we're finding ways to lose versus ways to win."

With the loss, Boston is 8-5-1 on the season.

"Every point right now is huge for us, and we're not playing our best hockey right now," Brad Marchand said. "We definitely have to make sure we put everything else aside and worry about what's going on in this room and get back to playing the way we can.

"We know we're a really good team, and we've shown that. But we've gotten off track a little bit, so hopefully we can put it all together, regroup and play a really good game next game."

Next game, former Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and the Florida Panthers come to town. A two-time Vezina Trophy winner, Conn Smythe winner and Stanley Cup champion, Thomas has been sidelined with a groin injury but is expected to make the trip to Boston.

Without focusing on all these reunions, the Bruins need to start winning games.

"Every team goes through these all year because of the number of games that you have," Julien said. "Basically, it's one of those things that we're going through right now, and the only thing that you can take is I know we've worked our way out of it.

"Sometimes when you get tired enough of losing, you react, and that's what you hope the guys are going to do very soon."