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Bruins hope to change trend of losing and losing control of emotions in Montreal

11/12/2014 03:09 EST | Updated 01/12/2015 05:59 EST
TORONTO - The last time the Boston Bruins went into Montreal, Milan Lucic came unglued. In the penalty box in the final minutes, Lucic made an obscene gesture toward Canadiens fans that earned him a fine from the NHL.

On Thursday night the Bruins return to Bell Centre, the place that doesn't exactly bring out their best. Boston is 3-5 in its past eight games there, including last year's playoff series loss to the Canadiens.

"I think you could say sometimes we get caught up in all that stuff that goes on around the game," defenceman Dennis Seidenberg said. "We let them get under our skin and we don't play our game. I think if we stick to our game plan and play for 60 minutes, we should be fine. But in the past we haven't really been able to do that, there have been breakdowns on the ice and mental setbacks and that's been costing us."

Lucic, who apologized to his own organization, the Habs and their fans after getting fined US$5,000, said he and his teammates did a better job of controlling their emotions for much of that Oct. 16 game. He blamed a bad five-minute stretch of the second period for the 6-4 loss.

"It was a big reason why we didn't get that win," Lucic said. "I think we have to just not worry about the things that don't matter, just focus on just playing our game and doing what it takes to win. If we do that, that'll give us the best chance to win in that building."

Coach Claude Julien was reluctant Wednesday morning at Air Canada Centre to even address the potential emotion of Thursday night's game. His Bruins still had a game to play against the Toronto Maple Leafs, which they lost in a 6-1 rout.

Suddenly Julien wanted to turn the page.

"Right now it's a matter of moving on here and start getting ready for tomorrow because there's nothing great to talk about today," he said without revealing whether Tuukka Rask or backup Niklas Svedberg would get the start. "I'm not even thinking about that right now."

Recent history between the Habs and Bruins meant it would be human nature to think ahead. Seidenberg just doesn't want to look back at what has happened in La Belle Province of late.

"We all know the history, we don't need to talk about it too much," the veteran said. "We try to look forward. Let's just stick to our game plan."

Lucic, no stranger to the role of the villain in opposing arenas, expects "some kind of reaction from the fans." He's not trying to focus on it or take too much pressure on his shoulders.

Enough of that already exists for the Bruins.

"Obviously it's been a tough building for us to play in," Lucic said. "It's not about me against Montreal or anything like that, it's about playing the right way and trying to keep moving our way up the standings."

Losing to the Leafs didn't help that effort. The only silver lining for Boston was a chance to play again quickly.

"That's what you want when you play a bad hockey game," centre Chris Kelly said. "You want to get right back at it, so it's good that we play tomorrow night. We get an opportunity to go out and redeem ourselves."

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