April 25, 2011

B's in for a fight against desperate Habs in Game 6

Montreal's Tom Pyatt tries to reach past Bruins defenseman Tomas Kaberle for the puck. (Getty)

BOSTON -- When asked to prognosticate exactly what to expect from the Canadiens on Tuesday night, the general consensus throughout the Bruins dressing room was desperation. Plenty of it, in fact.

While Boston hasn't gone into any tilt facing elimination, as the Habs will at the Bell Centre in Game 6, they've certainly had their backs against the wall in this series. After falling behind 0-2, the Bruins clawed back to take a 3-2 lead and will now look to close out the Canadiens.

"It's just like we were when we were down 2-0," Nathan Horton, who scored the double-overtime goal that Boston in this position, said of the Habs current mentality. "They know they have to win, as do we. It's going to be another entertaining game and it's going to be exciting to play in it."

As the series has gone along, as is custom with most playoff matchups, the intensity has continuously climbed between the two historic rivals, as has the animosity.

"I think we were probably under each other's skin right from the start," defenseman Adam McQuaid said. "As things go on, things get more heated. You just have to walk that fine line and be disciplined."

Doing so at the Bell Centre hasn't always been the easiest thing to do, especially for the Black and Gold. Given Montreal's plethora of talent up front and their dangerous power play, Boston will have to do everything they can if they hope to repeat their stellar defensive performance in Game 5.

"They have a lot of speed throughout the neutral zone and a lot of skilled guys, so we just have to keep doing what we're doing," said defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who logged a team-high in ice time with over 38 minutes of action on Saturday. "We have to try to smother them and limit their chances."

Fellow blueliner Johnny Boychuk believes a little off-ice analysis might help the Bruins in their effort to stymie the Habs attack.

"Probably everything and anything," Boychuk said when asked what to expect from Montreal. "They have had their chances and we just have to eliminate those and kind of go over some video to find a way to deter them from doing that."

Of course, if Tim Thomas can even come close to replicating his 44-save performance from Game 5 up at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens will have an extremely hard time forcing a Game 7.  

"We play confident with Timmy behind us," said Tomas Kaberle. "He's been playing well every game and, when we keep the score low, they get frustrated and it opens up some plays. We want to play the same, hard game, keep it simple and go to the net."

Kaberle continued to preach simplicity, noting how the Bruins must focus on each and every shift, not punching their ticket to the second round.

"You always have to look at the next game," he said. "You're not looking at the big picture. You look at the first period and try to win the first period, and just take the little steps toward winning the hockey game."

Kaberle and the Bruins hope those little steps help complete a giant comeback in this series on Tuesday night.