BOSTON (CBS) — Before this series started, we all should have known this is how it would end.
When it comes to Bruins-Canadiens, it’s only fitting that it would come down to a winner-takes-all Game 7.
That deciding game will be Wednesday night in Boston, thanks to the Bruins 4-0 loss to the Habs in Game 6 on Monday night.
But Claude Julien’s Bruins have plenty of experience in these types of games. Wednesday will be the ninth Game 7 of the Julien-led Bruins, and though they’re 4-4 in such battles, they have won four of their last five such games.
And Julien said confidently on Monday night that he expects that recent string of success in Game 7’s to continue.
“I expect us to win,” Julien said shortly after Monday night’s loss.
The Bruins won three Game 7’s en route to their Stanley Cup title in 2011, the first team to ever win three Game 7’s in a single playoff run. That season, they also lost a Game 6 in Montreal, 2-1, but returned home to capture a thrilling 4-3 victory in overtime.
“We’ve been there before. We know what we can do,” said assistant captain Patrice Bergeron. “It’s going to be a battle. It’s about who wants it more.”
“You can’t take anything for granted. You’ve got to bring your best game at the most important time,” said forward Milan Lucic, who has just a goal and two assists in the series. “When you get opportunities, you’ve got to make sure you bury them and you’ve got to play your best hockey when it matters the most.”
“You know it’s not going to be easy,” Lucic added. “You fought all season long to get the home-ice advantage in situations like this. You’ve got to go out there and get it.”
“We have to take that experience and use it,” said defenseman Johnny Boychuk. “We played these guys in Game 7 before and we have to be ready for it. We won in overtime a couple of years ago, but you have to put that aside. Anything can happen in Game 7, and we have to be prepared for anything.”
While the Bruins will draw on their Game 7 experiences from the past, they aren’t going to dwell on Monday night’s loss. Many had already put it behind them in the locker room, and were already focused on Wednesday night in Boston.
“For guys that have been around here for a couple of years, this is the ninth one since 2008, so it’s all we’re looking forward to right now,” said Lucic. “We’re putting everything else behind us. We know one game, winner moves on.”
As for the confidence their coach showed in the minutes following Monday night’s loss, it’s carried over into the players as well.
“We’re going to go home and get a job done,” said Bergeron. “We have to.”
“We’ve been through it so I have no doubts in my mind that we can get it done,” said goaltender Tuukka Rask. “But we have to play a good game – our best game so far.”
This will be Boston’s ninth Game 7 against the Canadiens in their historic rivalry, with Montreal holding a 5-3 advantage.
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