BOSTON - For the eighth time in six seasons under coach Claude Julien, the Boston Bruins will play a Game 7 when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night in the final game of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
The Bruins' record is 3-4 in their previous seven Stanley Cup Playoff series finales, but this year they're in a Game 7 because they failed to close out the Maple Leafs after taking a 3-1 series lead.
"Obviously we didn't want to be here," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said a couple of hours before the puck dropped at TD Garden. "But we are. So you turn the page and get for tonight and embrace it."
The Bruins' routine was thrown after kilter after they lost Game 6, 2-1 in Toronto Sunday night. Boston's plane had mechanical difficulties. The club decided to stay in Toronto overnight and return to Boston Monday morning.
"I think it was fine. We got to go eat and right to the hotel and right to bed. So it wasn't that bad," said defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who added the he and his teammates grabbed a nap after landing in Boston.
After winning two in a row and then losing two in a row, the Bruins are familiar with the back-and-forth nature of this series. So past results probably won't have an impact on Game 7.
"I think we kind of put the last game behind us and we're kind of coming here with a new attitude, and everyone being ready for this one game," forward Daniel Paille said. "It's a position that we put ourselves in and we have to understand that it's now or never."
Julien announced Monday that defenseman Andrew Ference will miss Game 7. Ference also missed Game 6 on Sunday. He was seen by several people wearing a boot over his left foot, which may have been injured blocking a shot in Game 5 on Friday. Veteran defenseman Wade Redden was also a late scratch; he was replaced by Matt Bartkowski. The Bruins gave no reason for the move, but Redden sat out Game 5 with an injury before playing in Game 6.
Here are the projected lineups for the Bruins and Maple Leafs:
Injured: Andrew Ference