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The Hub Gears Up for Game 7

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien talks to his players during a timeout late in the third period of Game 6 of a second-round NHL playoff hockey series with the Philadelphia Flyers, Wednesday, May 12, 2010, in Philadelphia. The Flyers won 2-1. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
Boston, MA -- Game 7. Need more be said?

Unfortunately, yes.

The Bruins were up 3-0 and the Hub of Hockey is looking for an explanation for three straight losses to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Last night, after the B’s gut wrenching Game 6 loss to the Flyers, Shawn Thornton, who played wing on Boston’s best line of the evening, attempted to put things in perspective.

"It’s a pretty stressful situation, it’s Game 7, but I enjoy it," said Thornton from his stall in the visiting locker room. "So just come and leave it all out there and see what happens."

Boston has been doing that since the Olympics. It's what got the B's to the playoffs. It's what got the Black & Gold through Buffalo. Leaving it all out there had gotten the B's a 3-0 lead in the second round.

But then the wheels fell off the Hub.

"Yeah I thought that we worked hard enough to create chances and I was hoping the bounces would start coming our way," said Thornton of Game 6. "We didn’t get enough of them tonight."

The B's hadn't gotten enough of them since Mark Recchi scored in the waning moments of Game 4. Six periods later, Milan Lucic capitalized in the third and put the B's within a shot of tying the game and sending Game 6 to OT.

The puck luck may not have been there, but the hard work and determination were.

"You hope that you can carry that momentum from the second and third and the last five of the first into our home game," said Thornton, who could not put a finger on what had been different in the second trio of games.

"Every game’s been a little different, so it’s not the first three, last three," explained Thornton. "Tonight we played well enough that it could have went either way, but it went their way, so now we’ll get ready for Game 7."

Thornton, who earned a Stanley Cup with Anaheim prior to joining the B's, talked about Game 7's and how they differ so much from the regular season and other playoff games.

Philadelphia Flyers' Daniel Carcillo, left, and Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton wrestle with each other in the second period of Game 3 of a second-round NHL playoff hockey series, Wednesday, May 5, 2010, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
"It’s a lot of every time you step on the ice could be the difference, whether you’re going home or staying and playing," said the B's beat cop. "So, they’ve had that for the last few games, the desperation, and now we have to have it too because we’re in the same situation."

The desperation finally showed up in Boston's play during the second half of Game 6.

"I think in the third we had some good momentum and a lot of good shifts," said Shawn. "Obviously, penalties take a little bit away, so that hurts when you’re grinding it out and all of a sudden somebody embellishes a bit and we get called.

"It takes a little momentum away. It’s nothing we can do about it now. We just have to focus on the positives and take it to the next one."

The main positive was the late goal by Milan Lucic at 19:00 of the third period.

"It gave us a chance," said Thornton. "It would have been nice if we could have tied it up, but we didn’t.

"I think the silver lining is the battle and compete level the last 45 minutes of that game."

Now, desperation will be evident on both sides of Friday's puck.

"I hope so," said Thornton. "Most of the guys in here have been through this before and I think that’ll help with a Game 7 situation.

"So there’s nothing we can do [until Friday]. We’ll just come Game 7 and leave it all out there.

"We’ll let the chips fall where they may."

Notes: The Bruins will play their 19th lifetime game seven and this is the 15th of these games played on home ice ... This is just the second time that they have been taken to a game seven after leading in a series by a three games to none margin (1939 vs. NY Rangers) and just the fourth when they have held a three games to one advantage (1939 vs. NY Rangers, 1992 vs. Buffalo, 2004 vs. Montreal) ... They are 9-9 overall in game sevens and are 9-5 at home ... They are 2-2 lifetime in game sevens decided in overtime ... They have lost their last three game sevens after winning their previous six ... This is their first lifetime game seven vs. the Flyers...Players looking to play in first career game sevens (15): Andrew Bodnarchuk, Johnny Boychuk, Zach Hamill, Matt Hunwick, Drew Larman, Mikko Lehtonen, Brad Marchand, Adam McQuaid, Daniel Paille, Jeff Penner, Tuukka Rask, Dany Sabourin, Blake Wheeler, Trent Whitfield and Andy Wozniewski.
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