8 a.m. ET: The Bruins will be in a familiar position when the puck drops for Game 4 at Madison Square Garden, and they can call on examples of both the right way and the wrong way to handle the situation.
The B’s will take on the Rangers on Thursday night, and they’ll have a chance to end the Rangers’ season. Boston enters Game 4 holding the 3-0 series lead after the 2-1 win over the Blueshirts on Tuesday night. Only a few teams have blown a 3-0 series lead, including this Bruins team, under Claude Julien, just three years ago against the Flyers. Of course, the Bruins bounced back a year later to win the Stanley Cup, and sweeping the Flyers in the process.
Boston got another reminder of how important it is to close a series in the first round of this year’s playoffs, too. Toronto pushed the B’s to the brink after the Bruins had a 3-1 series lead before hanging on to win the series with a Game 7 overtime win.
So if anyone knows the importance of closing things out with a big series lead, it should be the Bruins. The Rangers aren’t necessarily inspiring any confidence right now, either. New York has been outplayed in all three games of the series, and even with Henrik Lundqvist standing on his head in Game 3, it just wasn’t quite enough. Making matters worse for John Tortorella’s bunch is that they’re a little banged up following a physical, bloody Game 3. Both defenseman Anton Stralman and forward Chris Kreider both left games with injuries Tuesday night that will bear keeping an eye on in Game 4.
Other than that, Game 4 will be all about which team is the more desperate team. The Rangers’ desperation is obvious. The Bruins, meanwhile, would probably love nothing more than to end the series now and get some rest in advance of the Eastern Conference finals.
Puck drop for Game 4 is set for just after 7:30 in New York.