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After lackluster loss to Hurricanes, Bruins aim to ramp up effort vs. Capitals

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) gets a pat on the back from Linus Ullmark (35) at the end of the first period of Tuesday's 7-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

From bruiser to snoozer, the Bruins followed up their heaviest hitting game of the season on Saturday with a listless, low-compete effort that resulted in a 7-1 shellacking by the Hurricanes Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Not surprisingly, the tale of the two efforts could be detected in the training room after each game.

The combined 91 hits with Nashville led a number of Bruins to tend wounds after Saturday’s 4-3 OT win. Tuesday’s no-show, on the other hand, ended up with no one seeking care in the training room, according to coach Bruce Cassidy.

“That’s a little bit of how it worked, right?” said the coach, noting the obvious difference, the Hurricanes and Bruins splitting a total 52 hits. “We didn’t block enough shots. We didn’t take enough hits, give enough hits. As a result, I don’t think we had any bumps and bruises from [Tuesday night], probably a little bit directly [related] to how we played.”

Bruce Cassidy and the Bruins were on the short end of a blowout Tuesday night at TD Garden.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Could the grinder three days earlier have worn down his charges, who had gone 8-1-0 in their previous nine games?


“No, I don’t think it did,” Cassidy said, following Wednesday’s workout in Brighton. “We just weren’t good enough.”

In hopes of shaking the lethargy, the off-day workout at Warrior Ice Arena stressed pace and execution, two of the key elements lacking against the Hurricanes. The Capitals, picked apart by the Bruins, 7-3, in D.C. last week, will be at the Garden Thursday night, which will necessitate a far greater effort than the one Tuesday that saw the Black and Gold fall into a 5-1 hole by late in the first period.

“Obviously, you have to make sure you have the energy up,” said team captain Patrice Bergeron, whose power-play strike was the lone goal vs. the Hurricanes. “As I’ve said many times before, at times you have to flush it out, look at what you can do better. It was execution and pace that was missing a lot.”


Makeup dates set

The Bruins on Wednesday learned the makeup dates for all their recent postponed games, including the three home dates that were called off in December because of COVID-19 concerns. The first of the Causeway Street makeups will be Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. vs. the Penguins, who were originally slated to play here on Dec. 27.

Two days later, the Hurricanes will be back in town, making up a Dec. 21 tilt that had to be called off.

On Monday, Feb. 21, the Colorado Avalanche will be in Boston for a 1 p.m. President’s Day matinee, the makeup date for a game wiped off the board on Dec. 23.

Tickets designated for the original three dates at the Garden will serve as admission for each of the three respective makeup games. For example, if you’re holding a ticket for the Dec. 27 game vs. Pittsburgh, that will be your way through the ticket turnstiles on Feb. 8.

Also, the March 21 game that was originally to be played here vs. the Canadiens has been shifted to Montreal for that same date. The March 21 tickets already were used for the game played here vs. the Habs on Jan. 12.

Also, the Bruins announced five new dates for road games, including makeup dates for three games that were postponed in Ottawa (2) and Montreal (1).


Here is the full schedule of makeup games: Feb. 8: vs. Penguins, 7 p.m.; Feb. 10: vs. Hurricanes, 7 p.m.; Feb. 12: at Senators, 12:30 p.m.; Feb. 15: at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.; Feb. 17: at NY Islanders, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 19: at Senators, 7 p.m.; Feb 21: vs. Avalanche, 1 p.m.; March 21: at Canadiens, 7 p.m.; April 24: at Canadiens, 7 p.m.

Ullmark to start Thursday

The only lineup change that appears certain for Thursday is Linus Ullmark getting the start in net, immediately on the heels of his 40-minute relief appearance spelling starter Tuukka Rask (12 shots, 7 saves) on Tuesday.

Linus Ullmark figures to get the start between the pipes for the Bruins on Thursday.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

However, Cassidy hinted that veteran winger Nick Foligno, his energy and size dearly missed vs. Carolina, could draw back into the rotation after nearly two weeks on the sidelines with a leg injury.

Foligno, only 1-5—6 in 23 games, exited midway through the first period of a 5-2 win at Tampa Bay on Jan. 8. Based on the amount of pain he appeared to be under when leaving the ice surface, it looked as if the 34-year-old winger could be out for a while.

“He’ll be a game time decision tomorrow,” said Cassidy, following the morning workout. “He felt good today after practice. Let’s see how he does. Obviously, someone would have to come out.”

If called in, Foligno would be back on a third line, be it left or right wing, centered by Charlie Coyle. The odd man out likely would be Jake DeBrusk or Oskar Steen.


Slap shots

Until Tuesday, the Bruins hadn’t been denied a five-on-five goal since their 3-2 loss to the Wild on Jan. 6, when Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand each scored on the power play. Through 36 games, the Bruins have 111 goals, 72 of them (64.9 percent) at five on five. The five teams with the most goals this season as of Wednesday morning had connected 485 times at five on five, accounting for 67 percent of their haul . . . With Mike Reilly still on the COVID list, look for Urho Vaakanainen to make his seventh straight start among the backliners. He has chipped in with four assists and averaged a stout 19:49 in ice time, often riding with Charlie McAvoy.

Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com.