Bruins

Notes: Bruins need the killer instinct in Game 6

191545.jpg

Notes: Bruins need the killer instinct in Game 6

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

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 jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

pastrnak_102117.jpg

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.