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Bruins' focus: defensive awareness, more physicality

Monday, 06.24.2013 / 12:36 PM

By Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent / Stanley Cup Final series blog

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Stanley Cup Final series blog
Bruins' focus: defensive awareness, more physicality

BOSTON -- With nine goals allowed in the past two games, eight with a goaltender in the crease, the Boston Bruins defense has been much leakier than it had been previously in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

So as they try to avoid elimination Monday in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), the Bruins are going to have to do a better job of containing some of the Chicago Blackhawks' best players, including Patrick Kane.

Kane has scored three goals in the past two games.

"Well, it takes an extreme amount of awareness of everybody on the ice," Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference said after his team's morning skate. "Our defensive game relies on a five-man unit picking up their assignments and just being ultra-aware of positioning and where the threats are. So like I said, you're not asking anybody to do anything that they've never done before. Everybody knows what it takes. We've played against some pretty amazing offensive players and teams, and I think you're asking everybody to play defensively to the potential that they've shown."

Defenseman Torey Krug said he thinks slowing down the Blackhawks also could require an extra dose of Bruins toughness.

"I think just play with more physical contact," he said. "I think we're a team, obviously, that likes to play more physical and I think [the Blackhawks would] rather have it an easier way. So for us, it's more about making body contact, and blocking shots obviously plays a huge role as well."

The Bruins shuffled their usual defense pairs in the third period of Game 5. For their morning skate Monday the three pairs were back where they were at the start of that game.

Here's a look at the Bruins' projected lineup assuming coach Claude Julien's confidence is correct and center Patrice Bergeron is able to play:

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Jaromir Jagr

Daniel Paille - Chris Kelly - Tyler Seguin

Carl Soderberg - Rich Peverley - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Dennis Seidenberg

Andrew Ference - Johnny Boychuk

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Jay Pandolfo, Jordan Caron, Kaspars Daugavins, Wade Redden, Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski, Aaron Johnson, Niklas Svedberg

Injured: Gregory Campbell

Quote of the Day

I first met him when I was 19 years old and he coached me for 13 consecutive years. I don't know how many athletes who have had that pleasure. Al Arbour was a man that left us not only feeling like champions, but left us with a lot of great memories that we can carry on through life.

— Islanders Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin on former coach Al Arbour, who passed away Friday at the age of 82