BOSTON – It’s all on the line for the Bruins tonight as they face elimination in Game 6 against the Vancouver Canucks.
|Boston Bruins center Krejci reacts after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks in the second period during Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Monday, June 6, 2011, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) |
The Canucks lead the Stanley Cup Final series 3-2. With a win tonight they could lift the Cup on Boston’s territory. The Bruins have no intention of letting that happen.
But in order for the B’s to stave off elimination and force a Game 7 in Vancouver on Wednesday, Boston must come out with a victory tonight. The key to winning tonight is simple: play better than they did in Game 5.
“We have to play just like we did in the [two] games at home. It’s not going to be easy, we know that,” Bruins forward David Krejci said. “But we are going to have our fans behind us and we have to play just like it’s our last game.”
The fans could play a pivotal role in the outcome of tonight’s game. All the Bruins players are in agreement that the fans have given them the energy for the extra boost in their home games thus far this postseason.
The TD Garden crowd has broken decibel records in each of the two Bruins home games during the Stanley Cup Final and Krejci expects them to be on an entire other level tonight.
“They give us so much energy, and you can feel it after each hit or quality shot, they let us know, and they are behind us,” he said. “They give us so much energy and I expect the same thing tonight.”
In terms of what the Bruins have to do on the ice, Krejci is focused on getting good scoring opportunities and taking advantage of them.
Krejci has been a silent sniper for the B’s all season, but with the absence of Nathan Horton on his line with Milan Lucic throughout the majority of the last three games, the Bruins top line has had some trouble adjusting.
“Well as a line, me and Luch have basically played every time with a different guy and it’s hard to get the chemistry going,” Krejci explained.
Rich Peverley has filled in at Horton’s spot, while Tyler Seguin has also taken some shifts with the top trio.
Krejci has 11-11-12 totals throughout the postseason, while Lucic has contributed four goals and seven assists for 11 playoff points. While no one can be Horton, Peverley is a suitable replacement with 4-7-11 totals in the playoffs thus far.
The key for the line to be effective, according to Krejci, is to get players in front of Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo. Luongo has a .919 save percentage in the postseason, but at home, the Bruins have put 12 shots past him.
“We have to do [that], not just on the power play but five-on-five. We have to score goals so we have to put bodies in front of Luongo,” said Krejci.
The power play is another issue for Boston that Krejci is all too familiar with. The Bruins are just eight for 82 on the power play this postseason. The Bruins were 0-5 on the power play in Friday night’s Game 5. Krejci skated for 4:30 of power play time, second to only linemate Milan Lucic with 4:45.
But for the B’s first line center, the power play isn’t worth worrying about at this point in the season.
“It is what it is. We’re in the Final, I don’t care if the power play is good or not,” Krejci said. "We are in the Final and all that matters is tonight.”
With the power play still a question mark, the roaring TD Garden crowd can count on one thing tonight -- that Krejci will be ready to play.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I can’t wait.”