The Bruins were outshot 19-4 in the first period of Saturday night’s Game 2, but some inspiring words in the locker room got the B’s motivated and they responded with a 2-1 overtime win. Thornton wouldn’t reveal which players led the talk, but he said the feeling in the room was mutual.
“We knew we were not good enough,” he said. “But we also brought up the fact that even though we were terrible, that was probably as good as they were going to be be, and maybe as bad as we were going to be, that Tuukka [Rask] gave us a chance to only be down 1-0. If we could regroup, then we could get things going.”
Thornton said while the Bruins started slow, the Blackhawks deserve some credit for dominating the opening 20 minutes.
“I don’t have a reasoning for [the slow start]. All I can say is it wasn’t good enough, and we can’t let it happen again,” Thornton said. “Give them credit, though. They came out flying. They were ready from the drop of the puck. They really pushed the pace. We’re fortunate to have [Rask] in there backstopping. If it wasn’t for him, it would have been a lot different.”
Pressed as to why the Bruins came out so flat, Thornton said: “I have no idea. My only thought is maybe it took 20 minutes for guys to get their legs underneath them after the long game [Wednesday]. But I don’t want to sound like excuses, because there isn’t. I have no idea why everyone wasn’t ready to go right from the drop of the puck. There’s no excuse for it.”
Thornton said he expects a stronger start in Game 3.
“It better be,” he said. “We’re at home, we should be able to feed off our crowd and be ready to go for the drop of the puck. The good news is it’s an 8 o’clock game [the first two games started at 7 p.m. Chicago time]. Last time we didn’t show up ’til 8.”
Tyler Seguin , moved to a line with Daniel Paille  and Chris Kelly , broke through with a strong performance Saturday. His line scored both goals, and he picked up an assist on the game-winner.
“[Seguin] stepped up and he played his best game of the playoffs, probably,” Thornton said, adding: “They stepped up last game and played a great game. I’ve played with [Paille] for a long time, and he’s one of the fastest guys I’ve played with. He takes straight lines and direct routes to pucks. He’s not afraid to go to the net and get into the dirty areas. I think that definitely helps him.
“[Kelly] finally got the chip-in. I know he’s been wanting to help out as much as possible these whole playoffs, the puck just hasn’t been going in for him. So, it was nice to see him chip in, too. Hopefully the floodgates open for him now.”
Kelly also has been getting credit for his vocal leadership.
“He’s one a group of guys that’s definitely not afraid to speak their minds,” Thornton said. “Ever since he’s been here he’s been like that. When we won that Cup two years ago, his leadership came through from the time we had him until the finals. That hasn’t stopped since he’s gotten here.”