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Posted at 01:43 PM ET, 04/17/2012

Bruins coach challenged his team before Game 3

The Bruins did not practice Tuesday, but Coach Claude Julien and a handful of players met with reporters at the team’s hotel. Here are a few highlights from the news conference:

* After his team got outmuscled in Game 2, Julien challenged the Bruins before Monday’s contest to play with an edge. And they responded by winning puck battles in the clutch and out-hitting the Capitals 58-36, according to the score sheet.
(Nick Wass - AP)

“The emotional level of [the] series wasn’t where I wanted it to be,” Julien said of the pep talk. “We had to elevate that and get more involved. When we’re emotional, when we’re more involved, we win battles and we create more things.”

* Julien also defended the play of first line left wing Milan Lucic, who has yet to record a point in the series but was more involved emotionally in Game 3.

“I liked Luc’s game,” Julien said. “He was skating, he was physical, he was making things happen. If he continues to play that way, the production is going to follow soon.”

* Asked about a third period scrum in which Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner directed a crybaby gesture at Lucic, Bruins defenseman Greg Zanon issued this warning to Washington: Don’t poke the bear.

“If you poke a bear, he’s eventually going to get at you,” Zanon said, referring to Lucic. “In that whole scrum he never threw a punch, he just showed how strong he was. Maybe you don’t want to wake him up. But in my eyes, he’s always awake.”

Overall, the Bruins said they were pleased with their improved level of effort and execution and hope to build on that momentum Thursday.

“Our battle was a lot better in the O-zone, along the boards and everyone on the ice actually,” Julien said. “That’s what is important for us –to win more [battles] than you lose. We were better at that.”

More from Washington Post Sports:

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Wise: Let Backstrom play Game 4

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Lucic responds to Alzner crybaby taunt

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By  |  01:43 PM ET, 04/17/2012

 
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