The Bruins fell behind by two goals. They lost David Krejci, their second-line center, in the first period. And they had a goal - the potential winner - wiped off the board in the first overtime.
But as they have all year, the Black & Gold showed an impressive level of resiliency. The Bruins were not deterred. Not by the deficit, not by the loss of Krejci, and not by the questionable call.
Instead, they used all of it as the impetus for a thrilling double-overtime victory - courtesy of Sean Kuraly - over the Senators to force Game 6 Sunday afternoon.
"It says a lot about the group of guys we've got in here," Joe Morrow, who assisted on Kuraly's tying goal in the second period, said Saturday morning at Warrior Ice Arena.
"I feel like we've kind of been dealing with that the whole playoff series. Everybody was used to losing a guy [to injury]. Our team definitely pulls through. Everyone fights for each other in the dressing room. I think it's a huge positive to see the guys come out like that."
Video: Miller, Morrow, Vatrano speak after Game 5 win
Boston had a particular rallying point earlier in Game 5 after Krejci, who missed the first two games of the series with an injury, exited the game following a knee-on-knee hit from Chris Wideman in the neutral zone. The Bruins were not pleased with the hit or the response from the Senators.
"Krech is a huge part of our team. It was great to have him back in the lineup for a bit. You kind of see a questionable play happen on that," said Brad Marchand. "Krech is a pretty tough player and will pretty much play through anything. I guess that's part of the game, it happens a lot out there. Got to play through it.
"You don't ever want to see guys get hurt in a game. We're playing for a lot here. Guys going down is never a good thing to see, especially when it's your teammate. You want to have his back."
The Bruins picked up their alternate captain by overcoming a two-goal deficit to force overtime, thanks to tallies from David Pastrnak and Kuraly in the second period.
"That's the sign of a good team," said Frank Vatrano. "I think we've been like that all year, we've been down, we've always fought our way back.
"The Hockey Gods were with us last night, we had a couple calls that didn't go our way and we found a way to win. It's a great feeling in this room."
No lead - on either side - has been safe through the first five games of the series. The Bruins overcame deficits of one goal and three goals in Game 1 and 3, respectively, while Ottawa erased Boston's two-goal lead in Game 2. All five games have been decided by one goal, leaving little margin for error.
"I think it's just everyone playing for moving on to the next round," said Vatrano. "You're playing for something much more than just two points, you're playing for a Stanley Cup. Obviously there's much more will than there is in the regular season, everyone's playing for their season.
"I think that's why there's been so many lead changes. Nobody wants to lose, that's what makes the playoffs so fun. Credit to us for coming back in that game [Friday night]."
Video: Marchand speaks to Boston media after Game 5 win
Now, the Bruins will attempt to carry that energy into Game 6 Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.
"I'd say it's a huge momentum lift for tomorrow," said Morrow. "Playing at 3 [p.m.] you're right back at it, take care of your bumps and bruises today. You wake up tomorrow ready to play another game and you're still kind of coming off the high of winning that game in overtime and seeing some guys make some huge plays and be super excited about that. That's what we're going to carry into tomorrow."
Krejci Day-to-Day; Krug Skates
Cassidy termed Krejci day-to-day with a lower-body injury on Saturday morning.
"He's getting treatment this morning," said Cassidy. "He'll be looked at further. But obviously, he'll be a day-to-day situation right now. That's the best I've got going forward. We'll have a clearer idea tomorrow when we get to the rink if he'll be able to play or not."
The bench boss was not yet sure of who would replace Krejci if he were unable to play.
"We've put a lot of thought into it, but we're not 100 percent sure yet who that player would be," said Cassidy. "We have our choices and you know who they are. They're the guys that are available to us…that'll be decisions that we make tomorrow, especially with the way the timeline has turned out, not skating today."
Torey Krug, who has not played in the series because of a lower-body injury, skated on his own Saturday. Brandon Carlo, who also has been sidelined for the series, did not.
"Krug is [skating]," said Cassidy. "He started that process of his rehab. So, he's on the ice. I don't believe Carlo went on today."
Video: Cassidy speaks to Boston media after Game 5 win
The excitement of both goals was hard for Kuraly to contain. After his first tally, the 24-year-old could be seen hopping up and down as he was swarmed by his teammates. And on the winner in double OT, Kuraly launched himself into the air as he skated to the rest of the Bruins, who were pouring off the bench.
The "cellys" did not go unnoticed.
"We got a good kick out of it on the bus," said Kevan Miller. "At the same time, how do you celebrate that? It's cool to see, it's pure enjoyment, that's all it really was. He was just so stoked for himself and his team that we were able to make that happen.
"It was really cool to see. He looked a little bit like 1980 Miracle, running around the ice."
"He got some air there," added Marchand. "When you score a goal that big, you don't really know what to do, your emotions kind of take over. You could see the emotions in him last night and he did a phenomenal job."
Video: BOS@OTT, Gm5: Kuraly nets two, keeps Bruins alive
A Strong Kill
Boston's penalty kill, the top-ranked unit during the regular season, was immense in Game 5, producing a perfect 5-for-5 night, despite several of the penalties coming at some inopportune times.
The Bruins were called for two delay of game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass, including one on Dominic Moore in the final five minutes of regulation. Not even three minutes later, Boston was called for too many men on the ice.
Tuukka Rask made several Grade-A saves to keep the Senators off the board, while Zdeno Chara (7:55) and Kevan Miller (7:36) logged heavy minutes.