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Bruins seek more urgency, improved play to avoid elimination in Game 6

Lament inconsistent effort during playoff series against Maple Leafs

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins will try to avoid elimination from the Eastern Conference First Round by winning Game 6 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVAS, SN).

The Bruins lost Game 5 on home ice 2-1 and trail the best-of-7 series 3-2. The teams have alternated wins throughout the series.

"We went back today and we looked at a lot of stuff and we can be much better, much better, like leaps and bounds better than we were [Friday] night, no question," Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy said after practice Saturday. "So, we need to figure it out, we need to look in the mirror, all of us, and we've got to be bring our A game tomorrow because if we don't, that's it."


[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Maple Leafs series coverage]


Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy has been disturbed by Boston's inability to consistently play with urgency, and he's hoping a renewed determination shines through in Game 6. More than anything, he wants the Bruins to be the aggressors.

"I'd rather much rather see us be on our toes, play assertive, play with urgency and it not go our way. That's what we've done all year," Cassidy said. "We've been pretty much a team that plays on our toes. You win some and you lose some. We won a lot more than we lost, but that's typically how we play, and I'd like to see us go back to our identity in that regard.

"Now some of that has been, 'Well, Toronto stretches the zone, we've got to be [aware],' so maybe there's just too much thinking and not enough ... playing, and that's kind of what we're up against now."

Video: Maple Leafs win Game 5 to take series lead

After shortening the bench and shuffling several forwards on and off his third line in Game 5, the Bruins are considering lineup changes for Game 6. Rookie Karson Kuhlman, who has played three games in this series, could return to the lineup along with Joakim Nordstrom, who was scratched for Game 5. David Backes and Noel Acciari are candidates to sit out based on Boston's line combinations in practice.

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron agreed with Cassidy's assessment that the Bruins haven't played to their potential. 

"It goes back to that, it goes back to simplifying our game and playing hard, winning the puck and getting to the areas that are not always the most fun, but that's what it is," Bergeron said. "So I think there's many things that can be said right now, but bottom line, our backs are against the wall, we've got to do the job tomorrow."

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