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With Leafs Facing Elimination, B's Know They Can't Let Up

Friday, 05.10.2013 / 3:23 PM ET / Features
By Eric Russo  - BostonBruins.com
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With Leafs Facing Elimination, B\'s Know They Can\'t Let Up

BOSTON, MA – The Bruins have been at both ends of the spectrum when it comes to closing out series over the last few seasons. The Black & Gold had success in that department during their run to the Stanley Cup in 2011, while in 2010 they struggled to put away the Philadelphia Flyers, losing a 3-0 series lead and eventually falling in Game 7.

As a result of their experiences, the B’s, who can advance to the second round with a win, expect to be facing the best the Toronto Maple Leafs have to offer in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at TD Garden tonight.

“I can only speak for us right now, we’re ready for this game,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien following the team’s morning skate. “There’s no excuses. We know they’re going to come out and give their best, we have to do the same thing from our end of it.

“I think it’s pretty important that we come out ready to play hard and understand that desperation does a lot of things for teams. We’ve been on the other side as well, so that’s the way I look at it tonight.

“They’ve been hard-fought games all along and I don’t see it being any different. There’s no reason in the world why we should take a different approach than to go out and leave it all out there.”

The B’s are 3-6 under Julien in non-Game 7 close-out situations. When asked about that record, the B’s bench boss answered swiftly.

“I’m trying to make it 4-6 tonight,” quipped a smiling Julien. “How’s that?”

The Leafs have other plans, of course. They are down 3-1, but have played well in the series and feel that if they can force a Game 6 and get back to Air Canada Centre they have a chance to come back and win the series.

“We’re at a point where we can’t lose again, our back are against the wall,” said Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul, who scored three goals against the Bruins in the series. “This is when everyone has to rally together. If we get the series back to Toronto, you never know what’s going to happen.”

“Everything is on the line,” added Leafs Head Coach Randy Carlyle. “Desperation is a word that people use in these situations and we’re no different. We have to continue to find ways to provide a higher level of hockey to get us a win.

“We’ve been a pretty resilient group all year and our expectations are that we’ll play the best possible game we can in this series.”

After the collapse against the Flyers in 2010, the Bruins learned the importance of not allowing a team a chance at extending the series. Giving the opposition any kind of hope can be dangerous.

“You don't want to give a team any life," said Bruins' winger Brad Marchand. "They battle so hard every night. I think we pretty much feel that way every game. So far, they've given us everything. We’ve got our hands full with them.

“It's a do-or-die game for us tonight, too. We’ve got to make sure that we leave everything out there tonight.”

Andrew Ference, now a veteran of 110 playoff games, understands just how hard one win is to earn in the playoffs, let alone four to close out a series.

“Every win is tough, [in the] playoffs the victories are earned," added Andrew Ference. "There's no freebies, regardless of the game or situation."

“I think that you have to have respect for your opponent and respect the fact that if you don't come out and play extremely hard and do all the right things, there's a chance you'll lose.

“Being there you see that the seventh game or the first game, there's not a whole lot of difference. If you make mistakes and don't prepare, things aren't going to go your way.”

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
2 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
3 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
4 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
5 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
6 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
7 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
8 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 53 19 26 7 45
L. Eriksson 53 16 24 10 40
D. Krejci 43 12 27 1 39
R. Spooner 53 11 27 -8 38
B. Marchand 48 25 12 11 37
Z. Chara 51 7 21 7 28
M. Beleskey 51 8 18 8 26
T. Krug 52 3 21 2 24
J. Hayes 51 11 12 -8 23
B. Connolly 50 7 9 -6 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 19 16 5 .916 2.56
J. Gustavsson 9 3 1 .911 2.58
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