The frustration had already been building, and Tuesday night, the Carolina Hurricanes popped the Bruins’ balloon.

Seeking to find a proper emotional pitch to shake early-season doldrums, the Bruins overflowed with anger in third period, taking four misconducts that allowed the Hurricanes to use the power play to salt away a 4-1 victory.

“We’re not focused for 60 minutes,” said coach Claude Julien, who was ejected Tuesday night during the chaotic third period. “We’re a frustrated team. We get away from our game.

“All of a sudden the passes, the forecheck, the everything, were out of sync because we’re a frustrated team. We’re not focused for the rest of the game. So the frustration is getting the better of us.”

 

In practice yesterday, Julien switched up his top line, putting Chris Kelly between Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic.

Nathan Horton, who drew a double-minor and misconduct penalty midway through the third period Tuesday, was bumped to the second line, alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.

“I wish I could stand here and pretend I’m a genius, but I don't know what I’m going to get,” Julien said. “I just know what I was getting wasn’t good enough.”

Kelly was one of the combatants Tuesday night, as the Bruins tried to jump-start their 2-4 season. The B’s return to the Garden tonight to take on the Maple Leafs.

“We want that controlled emotion,” Kelly said. “I think we’re at our best when we’re playing at a bit of an edge — but a controlled edge. Going out there, working hard, finishing our checks, getting the puck in, sticking up for one another, but not to the point where we’re in the box for the majority of the third period.”

Krejci could return tonight

David Krejci might make his return to the Bruins lineup tonight against the Maple Leafs.

Krejci yesterday told reporters he’s “50-50” to participate in the game.

The center, who’s missed three games with what’s been termed a core injury, practiced with the third line yesterday.

Krejci is in his sixth year with the Bruins after being drafted by the team in 2004. He has 215 career points, and one goal this year.

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