The Boston Bruins gave a lackluster performance in Tuesday night's game against the Nashville Predators at TD Garden, and they paid the price as a result.
They trailed 1-0 late in the third period when the Predators doubled their lead with an empty-net goal. David Pastrnak scored his 52nd goal of the season with one second remaining. It was too little, too late.
Bruins left wing Brad Marchand did not hold back in his assessment of the team's performance and approach.
"This is probably the toughest schedule I've ever seen or been part of, but we obviously took them lightly," Marchand told reporters after the 2-1 loss. "We seem to get up for the games that -- the teams we could potentially face down the road, and I think we just were a little disrespectful of the game tonight against this team.
"Definitely fatigue comes into it, but we're going to run into situations where we're tired moving forward, and we've still got to be able to show up, but it is what it is. Learn from it and move on."
The loss snapped the Bruins' seven-game win streak, a run that included back-to-back wins against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes over the weekend.
March has been a tough month for the Bruins from a schedule perspective. They have 15 games and three back-to-backs in 30 days.
That said, there's no excuse for playing down to your opponent. The Bruins are a veteran team and they should know better. They also should have expected the Predators to bring their A-game since Nashville still has a good shot at securing a wild card playoff berth in the Western Conference.
The Bruins will be back in action against the Columbus Blue Jackets at home Thursday night. A victory for the B's will secure the Presidents' Trophy and home ice advantage throughout the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.