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Pregame Notebook: Game 5 vs. Tampa Bay

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins – After relinquishing a three-goal lead in Game 4 on Saturday afternoon, the Boston Bruins will look to rebound and regain the Eastern Conference Finals series lead win a win in tonight’s Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The series has gone back and forth between the two squads, as have many of the games. Both teams have had an unusual knack for capitalizing on the other’s turnovers and diminishing those mistakes could be the key to the series moving forward.

“Why I see teams come back and have the ability to come back or erase deficits whether it’s in a series or in a single game,” Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference said.

“We’ve done it, we’ve had it done against us. Every other team in the playoffs can say the same thing. So that’s why it’s a game, that’s why it’s a sport.”

After the team’s split the opening two games in Boston and the following two match-ups in Tampa, the series has become a best-of-three contest. The Bruins will look to go on a roll starting tonight and finish the series up with two wins.

“So we won one game over there and now we’re back where we want to be. We can control our game having home advantage,” forward David Krejci said.

“So we can go from there.”

Boston looks for a 60-minute effort
It was all Bruins early in Game 4, as Boston had taken a three-goal lead into the first intermission. But Boston couldn’t keep the momentum going throughout the entire sixty minutes, as Tampa quickly struck back with two quick goals and a game-tying third in the second period.

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Simon Gagne (12) celebrates after scoring a goal against Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (30) in the third period of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference final, Saturday, May 21, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
“It’s like losing a game except a smaller picture. You just have to move on the next shift and go out there, there’s a big responsibility,” Ference said of allowing multiple goals in a short period of time.

“Obviously it’s no secret, after they score a goal the next shift is pretty important. So there’s a responsibility just to erase any negativity and just go out there and play the way you’re supposed to.”

Turning the page from a single shift is something the Bruins struggled with not only in Game 4, but throughout the entire series and the regular season. Consistency is the key, and that’s what the Bruins are zeroing in on come game time Monday.

“It’s concentration for 60 minutes,” Ference said. “That’s something you have to have.”

Ference isn’t the only Bruins who echoed the long-repeated sentiment of executing the game plan for a full game.

“We had a good first period and we sat back after that. We weren't playing on the forecheck like we were in the first period,” feisty forward Brad Marchand said.

“I think we just have to limit their time and space. Everyone needs to come back a little bit harder than we did last game.”

Bruins confident after Game 4 loss
While loosing the series lead and a three-goal lead in a single afternoon, it wouldn’t be unheard of to assume the Bruins came back to Boston with a dent in their confidence.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Nate Thompson and Recchi vie for control of the puck in the first period of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference final, Saturday, May 21, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
But the determined B’s were back in TD Garden yesterday morning ready to bounce back from the Game 4 loss and regain control in the series. Game 5 is set for Monday in Boston and the B’s have their confidence intact.

“We’re fine. It’s best of three now. We went down there, we kept home ice, we did the job we had to do. You take a loss like yesterday and you can’t worry about it,” assistant captain Mark Recchi said.

“If you dwell on it, it’s going to [mess] you up. You have to take the positives from it and get ready for tomorrow.”

Recchi states the Bruins are “fine,” but the feelings go deeper than that. Boston isn’t happy with the way they played in the final forty minutes of Game 4, and the frustration with themselves is something the feel they can build off.

“Absolutely,” rookie Tyler Seguin said when asked if being angry will benefit the Bruins in Game 5. “I think everyone in this room, and I’m guessing everyone too, knows that we’re two wins away from the Stanley Cup Finals.

“That’s what everyone in here wants, everyone has dreamed of, and we all want to go out and get it and it starts tomorrow night.”

While the young Seguin may have a dreamer's view of the situation, the well versed Milan Lucic, who won a Memorial Cup with his junior hockey team, the Vancouver Giants, has a bit more grounded view of what the B’s need to do the rest of the series.

“Obviously, we’re not happy with what ended up happening yesterday. But whatever is done is done. We have bigger things to worry about going into Game 5,” Lucic said.

'It’s back to even and we’ve regained that home ice advantage and we’re excited for tomorrow and the challenge ahead.”

Bolts have goaltending question marks
Perhaps the most intriguing question surrounding the Tampa Bay Lightning entering Game 5 tomorrow night is who will be in net to begin the game.

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson celebrates with fellow goalie Mike Smith, who took over for Roloson in the first period, after Tampa Bay's 5-3 win against Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Saturday, May 21, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Dwayne Roloson has been a solid netminder for the Bolts since they acquired him midseason and is a large part of the reason Tampa has made it this far in the postseason.

But after the Bruins chased him from the Game 4 for the second time this series, and back up Mike Smith came in for three perfect periods of play (over two games), it’s not unreasonable to consider a goalie change come puck drop.

“We've got a goaltender that came in relief and he's done really well.  So every time we ask him to come in, he's played well, and we've got a goaltender that has taken us here that knows how to win and knows how to bounce back,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said this afternoon.

When asked if Roloson would get the nod, Boucher answered simply, “Roloson is getting ready for tomorrow.”

With Boucher unsure, or just not telling, of who his starting goaltender will be tonight, the Bruins are preparing for whatever situation may arise.

“I think you just obviously get ready for the guy that’s starting. I mean, in saying that too, it’s not like you’re whole game plan changes based around who is in net,” Ference said.

“There’s little things here and there but for the most part, you’re not switching things up that much.”

While the Bruins chased Roloson for the second time in Game 4, Smith is a netminder they’ve had less success against in the postseason.

“Obviously he’s a bigger guy that handles the puck extremely well so he’s obviously done a good job so far when he came into this series,” Ference said.

“He’s another good goalie.”
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