BOSTON -- Defenseman Andrew Ference had one of the better games for the Boston Bruins in their 4-0 loss Monday night in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Ference had one shot on net -- one of only two by the Bruins defense in the whole game. He had another shot blocked and two that missed the net. His three hits tied left wing Steve Begin and defense partner Mark Stuart for the team lead. Playing with Ference, Stuart looked much better in his second game back from a hand infection than he did Friday in his first game.
But Ference took a cross-checking penalty against Ville Leino near the end of the second period that forced the Bruins to come out shorthanded at the start of the third period, when the score was already 3-0.
Ference talked about the disappointing game that the Bruins played in their own building when they had a chance to eliminate the Flyers:
Q: The Flyers were able to limit the Bruins' defensemen's shots on goal tonight. How are they doing that?
Ference: They played a really good hockey game, but they’ve been playing fairly good defense. We haven’t had any real huge shot games, so I think that we definitely didn’t have one of our better games, as a group, at being proactive. There was a little too much hesitation probably, so a combination of their continued good defense and us not being proactive enough, I guess.
Q: Did you feel the defense lacked energy tonight?
Ference: No, I think that the game started decently. It started like most of the other games. Both teams had some early chances and had some back and forth hockey and you know, I think after they scored and after a couple of our penalties, you know, right from our back end all the way up to the forwards, it looked like we got frustrated and stopped making some decent plays. We started whacking the puck instead of making good passes. It was a combination of things.
Q: What do the Bruins have to do Wednesday to win this series in six games?
Ference: It's buckling down and playing good hockey. Both games that they’ve won now have been very deserved wins. That’s what you’re going to get this time of this year. You’re not just going to show up, sneak by anybody, and get an easy win. I mean, the team that plays the best hockey will most of the time end up with a win, and that’s what’s happened.
Q: There were some surprising breakdowns by the Bruins tonight.
Ference: Yeah, I think a lot of the breakdowns, going back early, was not making good plays, good breakouts and good passes, just calming down and making good plays. It’s something that when you do it well from us to the forwards, it makes us a much better team. We started turning over a lot of pucks and creating a lot of problems for ourselves on top of what they were creating themselves. So they played well and we also hurt ourselves by some of the stuff we did.
Q: Simon Gagne has created a lot of problems since he returned in Game 4, scoring three goals, one Friday and two tonight.
Ference: He's another good player added to the lineup. We know that. There’s a lot of good players and a lot of people that played their roles very well, so he’s just an added piece, but he’s definitely not -- I mean, it’s not like some of the other guys weren’t pulling their weight without him in the lineup, so he’s done well and he’s just another person to worry about.
Q: The Bruins look like they really miss David Krejci.
Ference: Of course we miss him. He's a great player -- just as much as we missed Savvy [Marc Savard], and just as much as we missed Marco [Sturm] and Bergy [Patrice Bergeron]. You know, we’ve had great players for extended periods before and he's left out of the lineup, but tough luck. That’s just the way it works and some other guys have to step up. The good teams that have won in the past, that’s always a storyline -- you know, guys step into increased ice time and increased roles and make the most of it.
That has to be a storyline for us if we’re going to have any success, is somebody or a few guys stepping up and trying to fill some of those points and fill some of those plays and that energy that he brings.