"It was tight-checking game, but nonetheless I think everybody's got to find a way to create more and that's going to be the challenge in this series with two teams playing really tight, so it's about everybody working a little harder, gaining your space and doing what you have to do here," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "It's a long series, we predict, and if you look at tonight it's a good indication of that."
Since the Bruins couldn't create any sustained pressure, they tried to rely on the dump-and-chase game. They lost too many battles to the puck, and Detroit took control more times than not in its own zone.
"The one issue for tonight was we didn't have the puck enough," Julien said. "When we had it, we've got to start putting pucks in areas that we can get it back. We've got to get pucks in areas where once we get it we can hang onto it. Tonight, we didn't play with the puck as much as we normally do."
The Bruins were able to create better chances in the third period, but it simply wasn't good enough.
The Bruins are at their best when Julien has the ability to roll all four lines and stay with consistent defensive pairings. It didn't help that they began this series missing four important players. Forwards Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly and defensemen Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller were sidelined.
"Injuries are a part of the game and we kind of had to wait the whole day to find out who was in, and who was out," explained Julien. "We've had surprises all week long with the flu bug going around, so it was nice we were able to get 20 guys in the lineup. But at the same time, the guys that stepped in certainly did a good job."
The reinforcements did do their jobs given the situation, but the Bruins will need more of a normal lineup by the time Game 2 arrives on Sunday. Even after the game Julien said it was too early to know which of his injured/sick players will be ready to go.
"I wish I could tell you, honestly," he said. "With this thing going around, we really don't know. Matt Bartkowski was here today, so he's on the mend, but to what extent before Sunday hopefully he's good enough but we'll have to find out as days go on."
The Bruins completed the regular season as the Presidents' Trophy winners with the best record in the league. Their reward turned out to be perhaps the toughest opponent in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings proved in Game 1 they can match anything the Bruins have in their arsenal.
"We just have to figure out the offense," Krejci said. "They have a good team. They have fast, skilled forwards. We did a pretty good job of playing good defense against those guys, but on the other hand, we are a pretty good team as well. We couldn't put the puck in the net."