BOSTON -- Zdeno Chara is the captain of the Boston Bruins, and he often sets the tone for this team.
On Monday night, with Boston's season on life support, Chara once again led the way.
He set the tone even before the game and then went out and played a near-flawless game. Late in the second period, on the penalty kill, Chara went into the corner in the offensive zone and killed off precious seconds, setting an example for his team.
When it was all over, Boston had a season-saving 5-2 win at TD Garden in Game 6. Now, the Bruins will play the first Stanley Cup final Game 7 in the long and storied history of the franchise.
Here is some of what Chara had to say after the game, which featured four goals in less than five minutes in the first period, the early exit of Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo and an inspirational visit by the injured Nathan Horton.
Q: What did tonight feel like for you guys?
A: We knew what we were up against, so I guess the last time I talked to you guys it was do-or-die for us, so we approached it that way. We were pretty sharp and we played, obviously, the games are our lives. It was such an important game for us.
Q: Can you talk about the explosive first period?
A: We tried to focus on having a good start, our first, you know, first 20 (minutes) and we did things that we said before the game we were going to do. Eventually it turned out to be plays that ended up in the net.
Q: Did you guys get a morale boost by seeing Nathan Horton?
A: Of course. We miss him a lot. For him to come to the games and showing the support just tells you what a great teammate and a friend of ours he is. Obviously, we like what we see, that he's getting better and better.
Q: Did Tim Thomas answer Roberto Luongo's comments tonight?
A: It doesn't bother me, it doesn't bother him. You know, we know Timmy's very competitive, he always picks up these challenges in the right way and reacts well.
Q: What about Game 7 now?
A: Biggest game again, for both teams, so you know, we've got to get ready for that.
Q: Can you carry the momentum from Game 6 into Game 7?
A: Of course, that's the goal. We know we did some things right and we did some things wrong, and we have to get better at it. Obviously we want to have our best game of the series in the last game.
Q: Can you explain the home-ice advantage in this series?
A: That's the way, in the playoffs. Sometimes you see that the home ice is not really a big difference in the series and, obviously, in this one, it seems that both teams took advantage of it. So now it's going to be interesting to see what's going to happen in Game 7.