Hungry to Close it Out
BOSTON, MA – Move on. That’s what the Bruins will be trying to do when they take the ice at Air Canada Centre for a meeting with the Maple Leafs in Game 6 on Sunday night.
The Black & Gold had a chance to close things out on Friday in Game 5, but a slow start, in an eventual 2-1 loss, hampered their attempt at sending the Leafs home for the summer. Only after they fell down, 2-0, in the second period did the Bruins begin to play with the energy that helped them build a 3-1 series lead.
When the puck drops in Toronto Sunday night, the B’s, now holding a 3-2 advantage, will be looking to build off their strong third period from Friday night and play with desperation from the start.
“Plain and simple - that we’ve got to play for the whole game,” said Patrice Bergeron, when asked what the Bruins learned from Game 5. “We’ve obviously got to carry the momentum that we had in the third period if we want to have a great start.
“We’re ready for a big game. We know they’re a good team. We know what they’re all about, so we need to go out there and outwork them if we want to have success."
The Bruins won’t get down after their Game 5 loss. Instead, they are thankful to have another chance at winning the series and moving on to the second round.
“It definitely was unfortunate that we weren’t able to get the job done yesterday,” said Milan Lucic following an optional skate at TD Garden on Saturday morning. “But I think it definitely makes you more hungry going into Game 6, and we’re looking forward to this challenge again.
“I think it was evident that we didn’t have the best start that we wanted and when we did turn it on it was a little bit too late, so hopefully we’ve learned from Game 5 and we can have a good start in Game 6.”
Over the past few seasons, the Bruins have had similar troubles closing out series. Julien believes, however, that the team can rebound.
“The one thing that has been a challenge for us in the past has been closing out series,” Julien acknowledged. “And we know that, we’re aware of that. But at the same time, the strength of our team has also been to bounce back from adversity and situations like that.
“As much as yesterday was proof of it, hopefully tomorrow’s the proof of the other side that we are capable of bouncing back and playing the type of game we need to to close the series off.”
Having won both games of the series so far in Toronto, the B’s are also confident that they can go into enemy territory and win again.
“It definitely gives you confidence that you know you can win in their building,” said Lucic. “But in saying that, as the series progress, every game gets tougher and tougher and I think every team will tell you that the hardest win to get is that fourth one.
“It’ll be no different, but it’s a good feeling knowing that you know you can win in that building, but once again you can’t take it for granted.”
Wade Redden did not play in Game 5 due to an undisclosed injury and isn’t sure if he will suit up tomorrow, but that isn’t hampering his excitement for Game 6.
“Even after a game like last night when we had the chance to close them out and don't do it, you still come to the rink today excited,” he said.
“We've still got another opportunity, so that's all you can ask for.”