BOSTON – Many within the Bruins’ leadership group made a specific point to draw the parallels between this year’s first round series against the Red Wings and last year’s series versus the Maple Leafs after taking Game 4 on the road in overtime. The Bruins squandered a 3-1 lead to the Leafs last year amid their “Jekyll and Hyde” phase, and were hell-bent not to repeat those mistakes. This was a different year, a different team and a group of Bruins players that have learned their lessons well.
The Bruins were also an amazingly consistent team during their President’s Trophy regular season where they never lost more than two games in a row, and brought that cool, poised professional approach in dispatching the Wings by a 4-2 score in Game 5 at TD Garden.
The victory officially eliminated the Red Wings from the Stanley Cup playoffs, and gives the Bruins an extended rest before their second round match with the hated Montreal Canadiens. For the Bruins, taking care of business against Detroit on Saturday afternoon in their first opportunity was of paramount importance.
“It was real important. Obviously Game 5’s are always huge and we wanted to come out, and establish a lead, and start playing our game. We were able to get that first goal that was big for us. Obviously you lose this game, and the other team is able to create some momentum heading back to their own building,” said Milan Lucic, who ended up with the game-winning goal in the third period. “We didn’t want that to happen. We stepped up and made the most of our opportunity in Game Four, and we said the same thing here today.
“It was an opportunity for us to look forward to and finish off the series. It’s a great feeling that we were able to do that.”
Now the Bruins get that period of rest between series that every Stanley Cup winner must have within the two month postseason grind, and then focus on their next victim in a run that seems destined for great things.