NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning, and following the Bruins’ 4-3 triple-overtime loss to the Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup  finals, Pederson pegged defenseman Torey Krug‘s third-period turnover that led to Chicago’s second goal as a turning point.
Krug’s cross-ice pass got intercepted by Andrew Shaw , who assisted Dave Bolland‘s goal to cut the Bruins’ lead to 3-2 midway through the third period.
‘The Bruins had complete control of this hockey game early in the third with that 3-1 lead. People I think are talking about the deflection, the bad break they got. But to me the turning point of the hockey game was the giveaway by Krug in his own end,’ Pederson said. ‘That’s one of those plays that’s a rookie mistake under pressure. You have the near-side wall is wide open. You either have to carry it up or make that play. As we’re taught as youngsters throughout your hockey career, there’s one play you don’t make in your own end, and that’s cross ice. That to me was the one that really changed things.”
It was that turnover ‘ and the ensuing ‘emotional letdown’ ‘ that did in the Bruins more than potential complacency up by two goals with about half a period to go, Pederson noted.
Despite the error, Pederson said he doesn’t think Claude Julien  will bench Krug for Game 2 Saturday, nor does he think the rookie defenseman should be benched. Pederson noted that Krug’s ice time was lessened for much of the rest of the game, but he doesn’t expect that to carry over.
‘I would hope not,’ Pederson said, ‘because they really need him. He brings that element of speed and offense to the lineup, and I think he helps their power play as well.”
When the hosts expressed concern that the Bruins, particularly the older players, might be lagging come Saturday, Pederson said not to worry ‘ the Blackhawks are in the same position, after all.
The bigger concern should be replacing Nathan Horton , if needed, after the forward left with an upper-body injury  in the first overtime. Pederson suggested moving Tyler Seguin  up to replace Horton on the first line, as Julien played it the rest of Game 1.
The problem then is finding someone who could provide the bottom two lines with a little more offense, particularly with Gregory Campbell  out. Jordan Caron and Carl Soderberg could be two potential answers to that dilemma, because of both their offensive abilities and fresher legs.
‘Normally when Claude looks at these situations I think he says, ‘All right, the third and fourth line I have to look at defensively first. You can’t hurt me,’ ‘ Pederson said. ‘He may have to go a little bit outside his boundary and try to find some offense.
‘The top two lines will be fine. The question Claude will have to answer is how can he get some life out of the third line. If you say that [Daniel] Paille, [Chris] Kelly and [Shawn] Thornton are solid defensively, the way Chicago was playing ‘¦ they have four very competent lines.’
On how the Bruins might bounce back: ‘One of the strengths of this team, ever since Claude Julien  has been here, has been their resiliency. Just when you think things aren’t going their way throughout the season, they go on the road, they get themselves collectively focused again, they play good, solid team defense. One of the things they can always draw on ‘¦ for this team it’s very simple. You go back to your game plan, which is play solid team defense, protect the puck, don’t worry about the offensive stuff because it’ll look after itself.
‘That’s easier said than done, especially in the Stanley Cup  finals when intensity and pressure is at its highest.’
On both teams’ goaltending: ‘I thought [Tuukka Rask ] looked solid throughout. I thought [Corey] Crawford as various times looked like he was fighting the puck a little bit. I thought Tuukka looked like he was totally under control emotionally. I can’t fault him on any goals. I think maybe Crawford probably wishes he had [Milan] Lucic‘s second one that went off him on that slap shot.
‘I thought both goaltenders for the most part were solid and did what they were supposed to do, which is give their team a chance to win.’
On what Julien’s message to the Bruins will be betefore Game 2: ‘The biggest thing for him is what the strength has been of this club, which is put the game behind you and let’s worry about what we can control.
‘We know we can play with these guys, that was pretty obvious. We went into their building, into a pretty hostile environment. He handled it, we had the game. We now have to get production from the third and fourth line somehow, and we can compete with these guys.’