Disappointed Bruins ‘played one of our worst games at the worst time’

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FOXBOROUGH — For whatever reason, the Boston Bruins came out flat on one of the biggest stages in hockey.

Claude Julien couldn’t say why, exactly. The Bruins’ head coach didn’t want to use the suspension of Brad Marchand or the absence of injured center David Krejci as an excuse.

Sometimes, a team just doesn’t have it. And the Bruins definitely didn’t Friday, despite the energy they might have gained from almost 70,000 fans in the stands at Gillette Stadium. The B’s deservedly lost the Winter Classic, 5-1, to their rivals from Montreal.

“I think we just had a tough night, “Julien said. “The unfortunate part is that I think we played one of our worst games at the worst time.  I think it just seemed like it was one of those nights we couldn’t get anything going the first period. They were all over us. And it just didn’t matter what we tried to do here we just couldn’t get it going.”

The Bruins were outshot, 14-3, in the first period. They only gave up one goal, but their opponents were emboldened.

“I think that first period was one of our best periods of hockey this year,” said Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty.

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was equally flummoxed when asked why his team didn’t seem mentally prepared from the outset.

“I don’t know. Tough to say,” Rask said. “But when things go wrong you have to stick with the game plan and play your system and we didn’t do that. So then it just snowballs and it becomes 5-1.”

The Bruins have now lost four of their last five. They host one of the NHL’s best teams, the Washington Capitals, on Tuesday. Then they have to hit the road for five games in eight days.

“It’s disappointing tonight on a big stage like the Winter Classic to not show up like that,” said forward Patrice Bergeron. “But at the same time, you have to put it behind you and move forward. We’re playing some big teams coming up and it’s huge points for us.”

“Things aren’t going to get any easier right now,” added Julien. “I don’t know if we anticipate having anybody back for the next game yet or not. So we have to move on with what we have.”