BEDFORD — The Bruins know what it’s like to be where the Penguins are now. They also know what it’s like to come back from that deficit.
The Bruins went down, two games to none, to Montreal in the first round of the playoffs in 2011, losing their home ice advantage. They desperately needed to win in Montreal to keep the series going — and they did, taking both games on the road. The Bruins, of course, went on to win the Stanley Cup that year.
So they know what it’s like. And they don’t want the Penguins to replicate their feat.
“We know what can happen,” said defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. “We know not to get too high.”
Not that they aren’t pleased to be up by two games heading home.
“Any time you can come back from a road trip like that having won both games, it’s encouraging,” said coach Claude Julien. “Our team is really playing good hockey right now, without a doubt the best we’ve had this year. And that will have to continue to beat these guys.
“I think we understand the situation here. We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves here. We understand these next games are crucial for us, just as much as it is for them.”
That was when Julien reminded reporters of that series against the Canadiens.
Asked if anyone on his team might take the situation for granted, the coach said, “I would think not. Not after everything we’ve been through, with the ups and downs of playoff hockey. We’ve had our share of downs, so we have to make sure we stay up.”
Added defenseman Andrew Ference added, “We have a group that’s been through a lot. Really good highs, and also some tough series where we’ve let teams back in. We have enough guys that know when’s the right time to get excited and when it’s time for business as normal.”
That doesn’t mean getting the next two wins will be easy, even back at TD Garden. This Penguins team has quite a bit of firepower — even if it’s been missing over the first two games — and the Bruins can hardly expect Pittsburgh to give up.
“You don’t have a choice but to respect that team that you’re playing against because they are, like I said, a pretty potent team,” Julien said. “Things can change pretty quickly in this game. We’ve seen it, we’ve experienced it.”
Knowing that, the Bruins must rely on that experience, he said. And they must realize that even a team that has looked as unimpressive and unfocused as this one can right itself in an instant.
“We haven’t lost faith in what we can do, but we also haven’t lost track of what they can do as well,” Julien said. “They’re a potent scoring team and we’ve got to make sure we stay on top of our game. It’s as simple as that.”
The Penguins come to Boston with many issues to correct. But there’s one decision that stands out: Who will be in goal Wednesday night? Given that neither Tomas Vokoun nor Marc-Andre Fleury has distinguished himself, will the Bruins attack the goal more? “I just think you’ve got to stay focused on your game,” Julien said. “If you attack more, it’s more about continuing to do what we’ve been doing because it’s worked for us, and trying to improve in those little areas.” . . . Of the goal that he scored in the first period — a work of art that included a between-the-legs pass from Milan Lucic to Nathan Horton — David Krejci said, “It was pretty cool. But I was just at the end of it. It was pretty easy for me.”
Room to improve
Asked what the Bruins did wrong over the first two games, Julien said, “There’s always some things we can improve. We look at those every game. No matter what the score was, we’re going to dissect our game and make sure we’re better here and there. They’re going to make adjustments, too. They’re going to see where the weaknesses are. And if you don’t fix your weaknesses, they’ll take advantage of it.” Julien, though, declined to elaborate on what the “here and there” was . . . Brad Marchand has looked significantly better than he did at the start of the playoffs, something that was evident in Monday night’s game, when he scored 28 seconds into the first period, and again with nine seconds left in the period. “He’s been better since, actually, the New York series,” Julien said. “This year he’s seemed to have fought the puck a little bit. But that’s all about confidence. He’s got that confidence right now.”Amalie Benjamin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.