The Boston Bruins look to clinch their second round series with the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 at the Bell Centre. Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily
Itís simple. If the Boston Bruins take care of business at the Bell Centre tonight, they will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. If they lose, there will be a Game 7 at TD Garden Wednesday night.
The Bruins hold a 3-2 series lead after beating the Canadiens 4-2 Saturday night, but now itís time for the Habs to try and hold serve at home. If the Bruins want to end it tonight, they will need to follow the same blue print as Saturday night: Scoring first, capitalizing on their power-play and strong goaltender play.
When the Bruins score first in the 2014 post season, they hold a 6-0 record. The Black and Gold can ill afford for the Canadiens to build a lead on home ice. The Bís must take the crowd out of it early and often if they do not want to play on Wednesday night.
Series Details: Bruins lead 3-2
Puck drop: 7:30 p.m.
Networks: NBCSN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Location: Bell Centre
Bruinsí projected lines:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Matt Fraser-Carl Soderberg- Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller
Canadiensí projected lines:
Max Pacioretty-David Desharnais-Thomas Vanek
Rene Bourque-Lars Eller-Brian Gionta
Danny Briere-Tomas Plekanec-Brendan Gallagher
Michael Bournival-Travis Moen-Dale Weise
Josh Gorges-P.K. Subban
Andrei Markov-Alexei Emelin
Douglas Murray- Mike Weaver
Morning skate update:
It was a full optional practice for the Canadiens today. Everybody was accounted for except Carey Price and Alex Galchenyuk. Nathan Beaulieu was on the ice getting some work in for the Habs as well as Dustin Tokarski.
It is possible we could see Beaulieu in for Douglas Murray tonight in Game 6. Also, Daniel Briere may be back in for Travis Moen.
For the Bruins, David Krejci was the first one on the ice for the Black and Gold this morning. Krejci has struggled this post season yet to light the lamp so the extra work can't hurt.
Everybody was accounted for on the Bruins side. That does not include Chris Kelly who is still not skating or Adam McQuaid who is on crutches after having surgery.
There was some breaking news this morning as Dennis Seidenberg was seen taking light contact after the skate ended-an important step for his chance to return if the Bruins move on.
Claude Julien did have fun again with the line combinations during his morning skate, but again, don't read too much into it. Look for the Bruins' lines to remain the same.
Who to watch for in Game 6: Jarome Iginla and P.K. Subban
Iginla had a tremendous first year with the Black and Gold netting 30 goals and assisting on 31 others. In the Red Wings series, we saw Iginla net two goals. In this series versus the Canadiens, we have seen his line struggle, but lately he and his line mates are turning a corner. Iginla netted a late goal in Game 3 and scored a power-play goal in Game 5 to give the Bruins a three goal lead. Itís a great sign for the Bruins as we saw Iginla hit post after post early on against Carey Price. He is finally burying his chances and it could not come at a better time for a team that is one win away from moving on in the post season.
We know how dangerous P.K. Subban is. In this series alone, we have seen how lethal his quickness and shot from the blue-line are. Mix those two attributes with the fact Shawn Thornton got caught spraying water at his visor toward the end of Game 5 and the Bruins could be in trouble.
Itís never a good thing when you fire up a teamís best player especially Subban who feeds off the energy at the Bell Centre. Subban has four goals and eight assists in the playoffs in nine games. In the five games against the Bruins, Subban has four goals and three assists. So, all of his goals have come against Tuukka Rask.†The Bís must contain Subban along the blue line or else we could be heading back to Boston for a Game 7.
Gameday edge: Bruins scoring first
Early on in the series we saw the Canadiens build a two to three goal lead each game. The Black and Gold had led for only 12 minutes before heading into Game 5. That needed to change-and it did. Carl Soderberg netted the first goal for the Bís as they built a three goal lead and never looked back. They were in complete control. The Bís must score that all important first goal tonight at the Bell Centre to take the crowd out of it.
When the Bís score first and build a lead, they are very tough to beat because their system becomes tougher to break and their physicality becomes greater. The Canadiens are 5-0-0 when they score first in the playoffs and the Bís are 6-0-0, so each team knows how to hold on to a lead-mainly because the goaltenders on each side are very good.
If the Bís bring the same energy to start as they did on Saturday night at TD Garden, the Canadiens could be in trouble. The Black and Gold were relentless. They had good breakouts from their own end, they were hitting hard, scoring on the power-play and most importantly they scored first engaging their crowd even more.
Tonight, as the Bruins invade enemy territory, it is extremely important to get off to that fast start and quiet that electric Bell Centre atmosphere.
A look back at Game 5:
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