Bruins ready for Game 6 challenge

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Bruins ready for Game 6 challenge

BOSTON -- The Bruins became the first Stanley Cup champ to win three Game 7 appearances en route to raising the ultimate hockey hardware over their heads last June.

In each of those seven-game series the Bruins also were victorious in Game 5 an important swing game when it comes to gathering momentum and seizing control in a long series. That didnt happen this year with a 4-3 loss in Game 5 at TD Garden to the Washington Capitals, and now the Bruins are forced into winning each of their last two games in the series.

Thats hockey, right? Its not . . . theres a lot of things that happen over the course of the series that change the outcome in the end . .. that was one of them, said Tim Thomas, who finished with 28 saves in defeat. But the outcome of this series isnt over, so well see if it ends up making a difference or not.

The first challenge arrives less than 24 hours after shaking off the home playoff loss and crumbling third period effort, and will prove Bostons championship mettle all over again this season. Just like Adrienne in the Rocky movies, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara had a pretty simple mantra when it comes to focusing on the do-or-die mission in the nations capital on Sunday afternoon.

Its to win. It is as simple as that, said Chara. We cant be thinking about anything else. We have to win.

There are plenty of areas where the Bruins can improve. Tim Thomas has a pedestrian .922 save percentage it ranks 11th among playoff goaltenders this season and crumbled with a pair of soft goals in the third period on Saturday afternoon. David Krejci has a total of five shots on net and one assist in five playoff games, and Tyler Seguin has gone 16 straight playoff games without a goal.

Milan Lucic has had some influence in setting the emotional edge and creating some offensive plays, but hes not nearly where he needs to be. The Bruins will need to play their best game of the series simply to get a chance to play in another Game 7 this season.

We obviously dont want to be here, but we have been here before and the experience should help, said Shawn Thornton, who was kicking himself postgame for failing to beat Mike Knuble to a loose puck on Washingtons first goal of the third period. We know we have to focus on one game and not the big picture. Were looking forward to coming back here.

The Bruins know their work is cut out for them to pull out a road playoff win with their Washington opponent poised to close out their season, but Boston has always played their best when their backs are against the wall. The Black and Gold will get another chance to prove their postseason mettle on Sunday.

Brady, Harbaugh found common ground on plane ride back from Michigan

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Brady, Harbaugh found common ground on plane ride back from Michigan

FOXBORO -- What could have been an awkward plane ride for Tom Brady and John Harbaugh was made less so thanks to a high school lacrosse player. 

Brady and Harbaugh shared a private plane back from Michigan where Jim Harbaugh and his University of Michigan program put on an event for National Signing Day. About a year earlier, Brady told a room full of reporters that Harbaugh and his coaching staff should study the rule book and "figure it out" after hearing that they were pretty upset about the unusual formations the Patriots ran during their AFC Divisional Round win over Baltimore. 

They may not have been on the best of terms.

"I was pissed off," he told ESPN's Ian O'Connor before the start of this season. "It was uncalled for. And the rules are deeper than that, and I know the rules, and I stand by why that play shouldn't have been allowed. ... So yeah, that should never have been said."

But on the flight was Harbaugh's daughter Alison, a high school lacrosse player. When Brady took some time to share a few thoughts on competitiveness with her, he and Harbaugh found common ground.

"We had a lot of fun," Harbaugh said of the flight. "I don't know if he's talked about that at all, but we ended up sharing a plane ride along with my daughter and a couple of his people, friends of his. We just had a chance to just talk for a couple hours. And really more than anything, Alison got a chance to listen to Tom Brady talk about competing and what it takes to be great at what you do.

"And one of the funny things about it was, he was so nice to her. He gets off and they go, and we get back on the plane and we're talking, and she says something like, 'Boy, Tom really is a nice guy.' And I look at here and go, 'Tom?' I'm thinking 'Mr. Brady' would have been more appropriate. She said, 'He said to call me Tom.' I got a kick out of that.

"It was good. Lot of respect for him and a lot of respect for what he's accomplished. He's very tough to compete against. The best quarterback that's played, certainly in this era, without question in my mind. That's how I would rank him. And it's just another tough challenge to have to play against him."

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.