BOSTON -- At the conclusion of the regular season, the Boston Bruins had the second-best home record in the Eastern Conference, and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Bruins were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in road record.
So it's not a surprise that home-ice advantage has meant little to the teams in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals through five games. The Bruins, who lead the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS), won the two games played in Toronto. The Maple Leafs are 2-1 on Boston's home ice.
"I guess you often think that it [home ice] should work to your advantage, but somehow it hasn't in this series and it's really hard to explain why," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after his team's optional practice Saturday. "I think both teams are playing hard, and besides talking about [Game 5] game again, we've played extremely well in Toronto and they've played pretty well in our building, as well. I don't know what it is as a coach, not the players, but we hope that trend continues [Sunday]."
The Bruins won one of their two games played in Toronto during the regular season, and had a four-game winning streak dating to March 2011 at Air Canada Centre before a 3-2 Maple Leafs win this March.
However, Boston has to guard against leaning on past success in this potential elimination game.
"It definitely gives you confidence that you know you can win in their building," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "But in saying that, it's definitely, as the series progresses, every game gets tougher and tougher. I think every team will tell you that the hardest win to get is that fourth one and it'll be no different. But definitely, it's a good feeling knowing that you can win in that building. But once again, you can't take it for granted."
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