BOSTON -- The Bruins are starting to take on the role of a playoff team you simply don’t want to see in overtime.
The B’s improved to 3-0 in playoff games that go to overtime after taking down the New York Rangers in Game 1 on Thursday night, and dominated the extra session en route to out-shooting the Blueshirts by a 16-5 margin before Brad Marchand finally potted the game-winner. Many of the players in the Bruins dressing room believed the OT victory against the Rangers was a direct result of the momentum that had already been built during the comeback against the Maple Leafs in Game 7.
“Coming off a do-or-die situation in [Game 7] helped us tremendously,” said Bruins center Gregory Campbell. “We also had that situation in Game 4 where we had to win overtime. I think the approach in overtime is that you have to put your best foot forward right off the bat, and you can’t sit back and wait to see what they’re going to bring.
“The next goal is going to win, obviously, in overtime, so you go right after them. So far we’ve done a good job at that. We saw [Game 1] as an opportunity, and we took it.”
The Bruins have out-shot their opponents by a 30-18 margin in the three overtime games during their current Stanley Cup run, and it’s pretty clear that the urgency of the extra session is bringing out the best in the Black and Gold. It helps even more when defenseman like Dion Phaneuf or Ryan McDonagh make ill-timed choices on jumping up into the offensive play, but credit the Bruins for being aggressive enough to capitalize on them over the last few weeks.
Part of it is the simple counter-attack nature of the Bruins system, which is built largely on a sound defensive base that instead relies on missteps from opponents to create offensive chances for Claude Julien’s crew. The Bruins have also lost some overtime heartbreakers in the playoffs: their Stanley Cup playoff lives ended last season in Game 7 against the Washington Capitals in overtime, and the same thing in the 2008-09 season against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“"I'm not going to stand here and say I've got miracle words, because I don't," said Julien. "You play to win, and I think that’s what we’ve done.
"We’ve been involved in Game 7 [overtime] losses, just like last year against Washington, and against Carolina here at home. I don’t think you have any explanation more than you need a little bit of luck.
“But you also need the right attitude. I think we’ve just gone out there with no fear, and we’re willing to live with the consequences. If we go out there to win, then we’ll live with the consequences. If we’re playing on our heels, then you’ll have a lot of regrets at the end of the night.”
It also might be a good idea for opponents to avoid getting into an overtime battle with the B’s in the playoffs, as the Black and Gold are 11-4 during extra sessions in the postseason over the last four years.