BOSTON -- Most players in the Boston Bruins' dressing room were part of the 2011 team that avoided elimination in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final then won the Cup on the road two nights later.
But few in black and gold know what it's like to be in the Chicago Blackhawks' position, which is leading the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 Monday at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
Defenseman Andrew Ference is one who's been on each side.
In addition to helping the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, Ference played for the Calgary Flames in 2004. That season, the Flames were at home for Game 6 and did not finish off the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning won Game 7 as well.
"It's a tough one, for sure," Ference said Monday after the Bruins' morning skate. "I've been on both sides, where I had a chance to win in Game 6 and didn't and ended up losing, and then vice versa. It's a difficult game to win. At this point of the series, there's no secrets between each other. Everybody knows the stakes and what you're going to get out of each other, and it's just a matter of that razor-thin line of success or defeat. It just depends on individual performances and small little details, that if you're showing up for your first hockey game tonight you wouldn't be able to see. But everybody in the room knows what they have to do and you hope that's enough to put you over the edge."
Ference said the key for the Bruins' survival will be to take what he and his teammates have been talking about since their loss in Game 5 and actually do those things on the ice in Game 6.
"I think everybody has the same outlook, which is great," he said. "That's obviously a first step. But I think there's a realization that it's what you do on the ice. We can sit here and tell you everything we want and have the right words to say and this and that. But it's on the ice, what matters. I think we have a group that's fairly demanding of each other and knows what it takes and can tell each other what it takes. So I think that's obviously the test that's there."
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