Notes: Bruins need the killer instinct in Game 6


Notes: Bruins need the killer instinct in Game 6

By JoeHaggerty

BOSTON The Bruins know they need to show a little killer instinct.

The Bs have been up in playoff series before, and theyve finished off the Montreal Canadiens before. But there have been times when theyve been poised to close out teams when it really matters and stumbled badly. They haven't always been able to step on another teams throat and finish them off.

We all realize the importance of that game, and we all have to bring the same mental approach that the Canadiens are going to bring, said Zdeno Chara.

Does the Bruins captain want to avoid a Game 7 situation? He has yet to win a Game 7 in his NHL career.

We have it in our hands, said Chara. The further you go, you know every game is so important. Weve been showing heart all season. We fell behind in the first two games and werent at our best. But we showed some desperation, and most of all youve got to be focused and work very hard.

The Bruins will get their opportunity on Tuesday in Game 6 at the Bell Centre thanks to the Lady Gaga tour barnstorming through Montreal on Monday. The B's know theyll be facing a Habs team backed into a corner fighting for its life. Once again itll be all about getting a quick lead on Montreal early in the game and taking the passionate crowd out of the proceedings.

I think thats been something weve had to really adjust to in this series, is making sure we dont give them an early lead, said coach Claude Julien. But when they are in that situation I think they are playing out of desperation, they are playing for their lives, you have to play that game with determination and thats the difference.

For us its about determination, for them its about desperation and you have to hope that the determination is better than their desperation. Its as simple as that.

The Bruins should be prepared for a team in desperate straits after they were in that position during the first two games of the series, and now one squad is facing elimination for the first time in an entertaining series.

The Bruins continue to be the only team in the playoffs that has yet to scratch out a power-play goal, and they sit 0-for-15 on the man advantage through the first five games while looking for something, anything to build on. Julien and assistant coach Geoff Ward made some adjustments on the PP between Games 3 and 4 when they pushed Patrice Bergeron up close to the net on the first power-play team, but that still hasnt yielded results in the last two games.

At this point the power play is clearly pressing, but theres also a setting reality that the Bs might have to soldier throughout much of the playoffs without a fully functioning special teams. So far there hasnt been much evidence that things will be any different in the immediate future.

The one thing I could tell you about the power play right now is its really, really about our guys are so tense right now, said Julien. They know just as much as you guys know. We know as coaches that our power play has not been up to par this year. The longer it goes, the tougher it gets. Somehow weve got to overcome that.

Weve got to somehow do the simple things and have the confidence to do it. When you see your best players having trouble executing, its pretty clear whats going on. Our job right now has really been to try and get them to relax and play with confidence. You got to play with confidence but you also have to outwork the PK. Somehow we got to create that situation. We are desperately working on that and trying to rectify it because we know its a major issue that we have to overcome.

Julien was asked if hes feeling any sympathy for the Western Conference's top seed Vancouver Canucks as they are will play a do-or-die Game 7 with the No. 8 seed Blackhawks.

Thats a real tough question, sympathy," said Julien. "I think I understand what theyre going through. We lived through it. You watch those games and you see how another team can grab momentum pretty quick and confidence and belief. Its there again this year. Theres an opportunity again to create what happened last year to our team for another team. Whether thats a trend thats going that way now, I dont know. But it certainly shows theres parity in this league and nothing is over until its over.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bergeron 'feeling good' in return, plays role of third period hero

Bergeron 'feeling good' in return, plays role of third period hero

BOSTON – It certainly feels appropriate that Patrice Bergeron would author a clutch game-winning goal late in the third period of his first game back after missing a week of games with a lower body injury. That Bergeron’s game-winner also arrived in the home opener at TD Garden was an added bonus once No. 37 hammered a shot from the high slot with 1:15 to go in the third period to give the Bruins their first lead of the game in a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden.

The goal arrived courtesy of a nifty setup from linemate Brad Marchand working behind the New Jersey net, and also thanks to David Pastrnak winning a battle in the corner thanks to newfound grit in his game. But the hero of the day again turned out to be No. 37, who went from missing an entire week of action to reclaiming his center role on the top line, playing 16:49 of ice time and winning 13-of-24 face-offs while generating five shot attempts.

“I think it’s pretty obvious with what he did [against the Devils]. After being off for over a week and to come back and have one practice with us then back into the game, he scores a clutch goal for us. That’s what he has always been, a clutch player for us,” said Claude Julien. “I think the third period we gave it a really good push there and I like seeing that from our team that you come out and you don’t play on your heels and you push hard and we went down by a goal but we got our game going like I said and we got a couple goals to win this for us.”

Bergeron modestly said postgame that he was just trying to get into the flow of the game after missing a healthy chunk of time with injury. But he certainly looked like he was vintage form once it crunch time. The timing was perfect as he stepped into the one-timer shot off Marchand’s pass, and beat Cory Schneider amid a strong 34-save performance by the kid from Marblehead.

“I mean I was just trying to, I guess, get my feet wet right away and use the first few shifts to kind of just get, feel good about my positioning and my skating,” said Bergeron. “As the game went on I just felt better. Of course you want to start on a good note, especially at home, and we talked about our home record in the last few years. We wanted to do the job early, especially in the first game, and it’s one step but we’re happy with it.”

It was like Bergeron didn’t miss a single beat after missing the first three games of the season with a lower body injury, and those kinds of instincts and natural ability are things worth marveling about when it comes to the Bruins.

“I was feeling good [on the ice],” said Bergeron. “It would have been nice to ride the wave of the World Cup, but that being said I thought in the first I was trying to be good position ally and kind of get myself going with the first few shifts, and just kind of go from there. Overall I thought that happened.”

While the comeback win was certainly good news for the Bruins, the best news of all is that Bergeron has returned to the lineup with no signs of an injury that surprised everybody right before the start of the regular season.