Barry Chin/Globe Staff
It was only their fifth game of the season, but make no mistake: The Bruins wanted this one.
They were playing their home opener. Of a season filled with the highest expectations. Before a sellout crowd of 17,565. They certainly didn't want to get off on the wrong foot.
"It was very important. We fell into a pattern last year of something was wrong with our game when we played at home, and I thought it was important to correct that as early as possible this year," said goalie Tim Thomas after a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. "This was a good start. We've got to continue it on Saturday."
Thomas admitted he sensed nervousness in the locker room before the game.
"I personally sensed just a little bit of nervousness, which is understandable, and I actually felt a little bit of it myself when we got out there for warmups," Thomas said. "We know, being home is a good thing, but there's also a certain type of pressure. The good thing is we had that nervousness, but we were able to overcome it, and played the game we wanted to."
More from the locker room and interview room:
Michael Ryder, who scored the Bruins' first goal, on Thomas, who won his fourth straight game:
"He played well, he made a lot of big saves you didn't think he was going to get to. When he made those, I think it gave us a little boost, and it's good that we have two goalies that we know we have confidence in back there."
Defenseman Zdeno Chara on the fan support:
"It just shows that we have such passionate fans and it is such good supporters that we really appreciate that. For sure, thanks to the fans. Thanks for coming, it was an awesome opening night and I am sure they enjoyed the hockey game. They were loud and cheering us on. You know we could tell that they created a lot of great moments for us. for sure, we want to give it to them back, you know? The best way to give them something back is winning the game."
Ryder, on his first period goal that was set up by Patrice Bergeron:
"I was looking at Bergy and I just seen the lane open up, and he seen me there, just stepped back a little bit and he made a great pass, I think I caught the goalie a little off-guard there."
Coach Claude Julien, on the Bruins' success on the power play (three goals):
"We shot the puck a lot more, and we created those shooting opportunities. I thought the guys moved the puck a lot quicker, and seemed to move around a lot better, so it's a little bit of intensity there and the guys took the shots when they were available."
Jordan Caron, on his second-period goal, which was also set up by Bergeron:
"It was a great pass by Bergy. I was by myself in the slot so I took a good shot, but I think Bergy made a good pass."
Julien, on the team's fast start in the second period:
"Most of all, I liked the way we came out in the second period. Our first three lines, starting with (Gregory) Campbell's line, kept them hemmed in there for long bits of time and cycling the puck well, and we had a tired crew out there and we got our second goal. That was a huge start for us in the second period."
Bergeron, on the victory:
"It was awesome. You know, the emotion, the atmosphere was unbelievable. You know, we were expecting that our fans are great, especially opening night, we were all very excited and it seemed the fans were as well. So it was up to us to give them a big effort."