BOSTON -- The Bruins know they’re going to be in for the ultimate challenge tonight as they attempt to close out their playoff series against the Canadiens in Game 6 at the Bell Centre. Winning the game is difficult enough, but doing so at the Habs' raucous, intimidating home building just ratchets up the degree of difficulty.
Many of the veteran Bruins have been in this position before: up 3-2 in a series, looking to avoid an anything-can-happen Game 7. So they know just how important it is to step on an opponent’s throat before something goes wrong.
Clearly the Bruins are trending toward their best hockey of the series after a complete effort in their Game 5 win, and they’ll need a repeat performance tonight.
“It’s basically a must-win game,” said Johnny Boychuk. “I mean, you can’t sugarcoat it . . . it’s going to be a tough game. We have to battle hard, and they’re a great team. We have to be prepared for everything. They’re going to be putting everything on the line, and we shouldn’t be expecting anything less because they're a good team. We better be prepared.”
There are many factors going in Boston's favor. The Bruins have an advantage in the experience column, they have a defense that’s allowed just two goals in the last two games (after allowing 11 in the first three games of the series), and many of their offensive players are starting to come alive.
Still, the Habs' desperation could lift them to heights they haven't yet achieved in the series, and the Bruins say they're prepared for Montreal’s best.
“It’s going to be a tough one,” said Claude Julien. “We have to rely on our experience, and know we haven’t won the series yet. We need to bring our best game because they’re going to bring their best game. If we don’t bring ours, then we’re looking at a Game 7. We can’t take those chances. We need to play the best hockey we can.”
Easier said than done in the belly of the beast against a Canadiens backed into a corner . But that’s the challenge for the Black and Gold as they strive for a series-clinching moment.