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Bruins DieHard: Bruins Facing Elimination In Game 6

A Bruins Blog by Ric Duarte of BruinsDieHard
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BOSTON, MA - APRIL 21: Tim Thomas #30 and the Boston Bruins watch the closing minute of their 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 21, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – APRIL 21: Tim Thomas #30 and the Boston Bruins watch the closing minute of their 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 21, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – Well now what? It comes to an elimination game on Sunday afternoon, and we never know what can happen.

What we do know from past experiences is that the Bruins had three seven-games series last year on their way to winning the Stanley Cup. In each of those series, Game 5 seemed pivotal. They won two of the three, only losing Game 5 in the Finals.

Read: More From Bruins DieHard

Winners of the fifth game of a series after being tied at two a piece have gone on to win the series 80 percent of the time, which means it really doesn’t look good for the Boston Bruins after dropping Game 5 at home Saturday afternoon.

What this game came down to was Washington taking advantage of the breaks Boston gave them (while the Bruins couldn’t do the same). Zdeno Chara rang a shot off the goalpost in the first period with Boston on the power play and Daniel Paille on a shorthanded breakaway clanged one off the post. If those shots go in, it’s an entirely different hockey game.

The Capitals, meanwhile, made the most of what Boston gave them with a scramble in front and Jay Beagle putting a puck under Tim Thomas and a weak goal that went in off Thomas’s glove and Washington led 2-0 in the second period.

The Bruins finally got to young Braden Holtby as desperation was setting in. Dennis Seidenberg & Brad Marchand scored 27 seconds apart late in the second and the building had come alive and new hope that things in the Bruins world of hockey would be alright.

Ah, but old friend Mike Knuble would pick up a dandy rebound in the slot low left circle for a wide open shot and a 3-2 lead. Give Boston credit as the finally scored on the power play as Marchand backhanded a pass to Seidenberg who quickly laid it over to the left point for a Johnny Boychuk one-timer and the game was tied.

With just over two minutes left in the third, Benoit Pouliot was called for slashing and the Capitals converted on a wrister from Troy Brouwer from the top of the right circle that Thomas certainly should’ve had and with that, Washington can eliminate the defending Stanley Cup Champions from playoff contention at the Verizon Center Sunday Afternoon.

So, can the Bruins break that 80-percent fact and send this series to a Game 7 back in Boston, or will they have a “melting the ice” party at the TD Garden?

They’ve been down this road before. Last year, the Champs were 4-0 in elimination games. They need the kind of effort they had last year in those games to keep their season alive.

Ric Duarte has covered hockey and the Bruins for various media outlets since 1986. You can follow Ric at BruinsDieHard.com and at twitter @bruins_diehard.

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