BOSTON – Judging by the goal totals, one can tell that the Bruins have been a better team at home then they have on the road during the Stanley Cup Finals.
Returning to the TD Garden Monday – where they have outscored the Canucks 17-3 (including Monday’s result from Game 6) – the Bruins wasted little time getting their offense in rhythm. In a span of 4:14, Boston received tallies from Brad Marchand (3:31 of the first period), Milan Lucic (6:06), Andrew Ference (a power play tally at 8:35) and Michael Ryder (9:45) to get out to a quick 4-0 first period lead.
When it was all said and done, the Bruins – on a night where they chased starter Roberto Luongo at 8:35 of the opening stanza – earned a 5-2 victory and forced a Game 7 at the Rogers Arena Wednesday night.
“We needed to come out hard tonight and I thought our guys responded,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “Our guys have responded well and now we have to make sure we don’t get too comfortable with our game. We’re willing to bring it to Vancouver with us, because that’s what it’s going to take to win.”
Getting off to a quick start was part of the Bruins M.O. in Game 6.
“We came in with the game plan that we wanted to execute and we wanted to have a good start,” said Bruins rookie forward Tyler Seguin “Everyone rose to the occasion and we had a good five minutes where we popped four goals and stayed consistent throughout the entire 60 [minutes].”
Many pundits thought the Bruins would bow out by now after dropping the first two games in heartbreaking fashion out in Vancouver. Much like they have all postseason, however, the Bruins handled that adversity and evened the series up in Boston.
After dropping Game 5 in Vancouver, many thought it was only a matter of time before the Canucks would hoist Lord’s Stanley. The Bruins made sure that this opportunity would wait for one more game.
This time, however, the Bruins have set themselves up for an opportunity of their own Wednesday night in another do or die situation for Game 7.
But in order to capitalize, the Black and Gold will need to get a few goals past Luongo, who has only given up two goals up north, and in the process, give Tim Thomas, the clear favorite for the Conn Smythe Trophy, some breathing room.
A start like Monday in a hostile environment should help the cause.
“I think we have to make sure we get off to a good start,” said Marchand, who became the Bruins all-time leader in goals scored in a single playoff among rookies. “They seem to get so much momentum and energy from their crowd and we just have to find a way to counter that and come out strong.”
The Bruins are all too familiar with seventh games. They vanished recent ghosts when Nathan Horton – given a standing ovation by the crowd tonight after being shown on the jumbotron – scored both Game 7 winners against the Canadiens and Lightning.
While Horton won’t suit up Wednesday due to his concussion suffered in Game 3 courtesy of Aaron Rome, one can bet the Bruins will once again put it all on the line, especially with a much bigger prize at stake.
“It’s the most important game for both teams,” said captain Zdeno Chara. “That’s [going to be] the game of the year.”
This post also appeared on The Hub of Hockey