8 a.m.: The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens have gone back and forth all series long, and they’ll play a pivotal Game 5 on Saturday night at TD Garden.
The B’s tied the series in dramatic fashion on Thursday night in Game 4. Recently called-up forward Matt Fraser played the hero for a night at least, as he jammed home the game’s lone goal in Boston’s 1-0 win that evened the series at two games apiece. It’s now a best-of-three series with two of those games in Boston, starting on Saturday night.
It can’t be overstated how important winning Game 5 is for either team. For the Bruins, a win in Game 5 means they would head back to Montreal for Game 6 with a home game in their back pocket. At best, they win the series. At worst, they come home and try to win it in a Game 7. If the Canadiens win Saturday night, they obviously get to go home and try to wrap up the series in Game 6.
The Bruins know that they’ve yet to play their best hockey through four games. Boston has been out of sorts all series long, and their dominant regular-season play seems like a long time ago. But it’s not like they’re playing bad, either.
“We’ve been better, I think there’s no doubt,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said Friday afternoon. “I don’t think our team is playing badly at all. I know that our team is capable of playing a little better than we have and have show so far. That’s not even close to saying we’re not playing well. We are playing well, but I think there’s some potential in our team to be even better.”
One line the Bruins really want to see be better has to be the top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla. That line has been virtually nonexistent the entire series, and they were virtual non-factors in both games in Montreal. Perhaps a return home will spark them. That line is at its best when the wingers are getting in deep on the forecheck and taking the body. Getting back in a positive environment in front of the Garden crowd might spark them and lead to a better effort.
Any sort of production from that line — or any others — would be huge given the way this series is playing out. Both teams tightened up defensively in Game 4, and while there were plenty of shots, many of those came from the outside. That usually makes work easy for the goalies Tuukka Rask and Carey Price, as evidenced by just the one goal on Thursday night. It probably wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the series continue to head in that direction, which makes cashing in on opportunities even more important.
Puck drop from the Garden is set for 7 p.m. We’ll have updates throughout the day with the Bruins live blog brought to you by Berkshire Bank.Filed under: Boston Bruins, Live Blog, Mike Cole, Montreal Canadiens, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Top Stories