BostonBruins.com – No one needed to remind Zdeno Chara what is still at stake for the Bruins. But after having just swept out the number one seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, someone did, asking the Bruins’ captain how good it felt, but still having one big goal left to accomplish.
“Well of course,” Chara said. “Just like I said, we have another round, and we have to get ready for that.”
There were plenty of happy Bruins in the locker room after Friday’s 1-0, Eastern Conference Finals clinching victory, but plenty of determined players as well, who know the job is not done yet.
“It means a lot,” said Head Coach Claude Julien on leading his team back to its second Stanley Cup Final appearance in three years. “We pride ourselves on our game. We work hard at it.
“As you saw, there was a lot of commitment in this game tonight.”
BostonBruins.com - With the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and a plethora of other perennial NHL superstars on the ice, it came as no surprise that Patrice Bergeron emerged once again as the hero.
With just under five minutes remaining in the second overtime of Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals, in what spilled into the wee hours of Thursday morning, Bergeron willed his team to victory. With Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik draped all over him, Bergeron still managed to redirect a Brad Marchand feed past Tomas Vokoun to put the Bruins one win away from making it back to the Stanley Cup Finals.
For Bergeron, playing the role of hero in a dramatic postseason setting has become something common for No. 37, almost as much as his dominance in the faceoff circle, or tenacity in the defensive zone. Here is a look at some of Patrice’s most iconic playoff moments.
BOSTON, MA – Milan Lucic may not have found his way onto the score sheet Saturday evening in Game Five versus the Rangers. But the 6-foot-3, imposing forward did undoubtedly have his hand in the result, as the Bruins knocked New York out of the playoffs with a 3-1 win.
Even when Boston trailed on Saturday night, it was clear the charge would be led by the team’s physical play. Lucic was at the forefront, registering a game-high six hits in his 20-plus minutes of ice time.
“When he picks up speed he is hard to stop,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien after Saturday’s game of Lucic. “I thought that Milan’s physical play, and also as you saw a few times in the third period, he just carried that puck and when he does picks up speed he is like a train."
“He is hard to stop and he is heavy.”
After suffering a 4-3 overtime loss in New York days earlier, Lucic said he wanted to have more of an impact in Game Five. On Saturday, he made good on that.
BOSTON, MA – Phil Kessel’s first shift of the night might have been one of his shortest. After the Toronto forward started the game with the opening puck drop, he soon after hopped over the boards for a shift change to avoid Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.
The adjustment was one of a few the Maple Leafs made in Game 2, as it is now the Bruins turn in the series to, after the Leafs dealt the B’s a 4-2 setback the even the series at a game apiece.
“They were better, there’s no doubt there, and they played a much better game than they did in Game 1 and we didn’t play quite as well as we did in the first game,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien after the game. “Certainly, they made some adjustments; we were prepared for those kinds of adjustments, but I think our execution wasn’t as good tonight.”
Both teams came out with high paced and high intensity hockey, leading to a back-and-forth first period that ended with neither team registering a goal. The Bruins took the lead in the second period, but Toronto rebounded as they used a transition game to create scoring chances.
BOSTON, MA – In the opening minutes of Wednesday night’s Game 1 match-up between the Bruins and the Maple Leafs, Toronto was in command of the action. The visiting Leafs showed no fear in playing the role of underdog in the raucous TD Garden, and even grabbed an early 1-0 advantage.
But the Bruins did not panic, flipping the proverbial switch, and taking it to the Maple Leafs, who admittedly did not play three complete periods, to the tune of a 4-1 Boston win.
“We started well, and then obviously we kind of sat back and they kept coming. That’s basically what happened,” said Dion Phaneuf in the postgame.
After James van Reimsdyk scored on the power play to give Toronto an early edge, the Leafs spent most of the period in the lead. But late in the first period, a Wade Redden shot crept through the equipment of goalie James Reimer to knot the score at one.
“My arm still hurts from it,” said Reimer. “It felt like I got 95 percent of it, but that wasn’t enough.
“It’s frustrating to let that in, it’s a tough bounce, but that’s what happens sometimes, and you have to battle through it.”