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Jim Montgomery calls out Bruins for not having "right attitude" after team blows another third period lead

BOSTON -- The Bruins wrapped up their four-game road trip by picking up another point Monday night, giving them five of a possible eight on the West Coast swing. Usually, that would be a pretty solid trip for a team.

But the Bruins see the trip as a missed opportunity. A few of them, actually. 

Boston left at least a few points on the ice on the trip, and Monday night's 4-3 shootout loss against the Kraken in Seattle was just the latest example of Boston doing just that. The B's failed to protect another third-period lead on Monday, leading to their third straight defeat after regulation.

The road trip started with a 6-5 overtime win in Edmonton, which saw the Bruins let a 4-2 lead slip away in the third. They followed that up with a 3-2 overtime loss in Calgary, and a few nights later, Boston blew a 2-0 edge heading into the third in a discouraging overtime loss to the Cancucks in Vancouver. 

The Bruins have needed extra hockey in seven of their last eight games. They've won just two of those contests.

Boston held a 2-1 edge heading into the final period Monday night thanks to a pair of goals by David Pastrnak. But that lead was gone just 5:29 into the final frame, when Vince Dunn beat Linus Ullmark (24 saves) with a snap shot off a face-off. Seattle took a 3-2 lead at the 14:30 mark, but Charlie Coyle saved the night (at least momentarily) when he tied it for Boston by redirecting a Pastrnak shot on a Bruins power play.

That Coyle tally is the only reason Boston left Seattle with a point. Neither team scored in overtime, and the Kraken's Kailer Yamamoto was the only player to score in the shootout. Philipp Grubauer easily turned away Pastrnak's wrist shot to seal the shootout victory for Seattle. 

Closing time has been an issue for the Bruins this season. Monday night was the team's ninth loss of the season when leading after two periods, with Boston dropping to 25-1-8 when holding a lead entering the third. Last season, the Bruins were an NHL-best 47-1-2 when leading after two. 

Before the game, head coach Jim Montgomery said that Boston's focus would be hanging onto a lead and not playing tentatively to start the third. They failed to do either on Monday night, and now head home after a 1-0-3 trip.

"Sometimes when you're in that situation and things don't go well, you wait for things to happen instead of making things happen. I think we're waiting for things to happen," said Montgomery. "We don't have the right attitude to start the third with leads."

"We played a great game, but then in the third period we kind of let them push," said Pastrnak, who logged his 700th career point in the loss. "You must expect good teams will make a push and refocus. It took us until almost too late in the third period to make the push back."

The Bruins are still tied for the most points in the NHL at 82 points. And, again, most teams would take five of eight points on a four-game road trip, especially a team dealing with a number of injuries on the blue line like Boston. 

But it's how the Bruins have been losing these games that is worrisome. Boston can't afford to drop games they lead after 40 minutes.

"We should have done a much better job closing [games] out," said captain Brad Marchand. "It's a little disappointing because we had an opportunity to have a much better road trip. That is where the expectations are; if you're going into the third with the lead you expect to win the game. 

"We have to," Marchand added. "It's coming down the stretch into playoff time, you have to be able to win those games and close them out. We have to be able to do better there."

The Bruins, who have lost seven of their last nine, will look to shake off their troublesome road trip when they return to TD Garden against Bruce Cassidy and the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night. 

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