BOSTON – The Boston Bruins enter tonight’s Game 3 match-up with the Vancouver Canucks with a perfect 3-0 record in Game 3s this postseason.
|Marchand holds off Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa in the first period during Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 4, 2011, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) |
The situations have been different in each Game 3. In the opening round against Montreal, the Bruins entered Game 3 down 2-0 in the series. The difference between that series in this one, besides the obvious fact that the teams are different, is that the B’s lost those opening two games to Montreal at home, then went on the road to even the series. Tonight, the Bruins return home with the same goal in mind.
“You want to look back at lessons that you’ve learned throughout the season, throughout the playoffs and look back on experiences that you’ve had. And I think it’s good that we have experienced this situation before. We’re used to it. It’s nothing new,” said Bruins forward Chris Kelly.
“Obviously it’s not a situation we want to be in, but we are.”
In the Bruins second round series against Philadelphia, the Bruins returned home for Game 3 and found themselves up 2-0. Boston went on to sweep the Flyers in four games.
The Eastern Conference Final once again put the B’s in unfamiliar territory. With home-ice advantage back on their side, the Bruins traveled to Tampa Bay with the series knotted at one game each. Boston picked up the Game 3 win, and then went on to win the Eastern Conference Championship in seven games.
Whether it’s a sign, superstition or prophecy, the Bruins aren’t putting much stock in the Game 3.
“I always say that the past is the past and you can look at good things you’ve done in the past and you can look at bad things you’ve done in the past,” said Kelly.
“But each series is a new series and yeah we’ve done well in games threes but this is a new challenge, a new task. And we have to come out and play our best game in order to win tonight.”
Despite not taking their game three record too seriously, the Bruins are well aware of the importance of Game 3 and the implications it can bring to this Stanley Cup Final series specifically.
A game that is often the turning point in series, Game 3 is the first game in the second team’s venue. It often also comes a day after travel, in this case a five-hour cross-continent flight, and a day off the ice for most teams. Neither the Bruins nor Canucks skated yesterday.
“Game there is such a big game. Especially today, going up three nothing or being down two-one, it’s such a big difference. So obviously it’s the do or die factor for us tonight,” forward Brad Marchand said.
“And we just have to make sure we’re prepared for it. Maybe the past, we can look at that and build off it. But for the most part we just have to make sure we’re focused.”