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First Round

Bruins plan to keep it simple against Maple Leafs in Game 7

Looking to repeat Game 6 success to reach second round

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins know what they have to do to prevail in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NESN).

Duplicate what they did in Game 6 on Sunday at Toronto when they played more to their identity as a straight-line, physical team to win 4-2 and extend this best-of-7 series.


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


"I think we have to. To me, that's the recipe that has been successful for us for most of the year, and even in this playoff series," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said after practice Monday. "You know they're a good team that doesn't give you much, the space [isn't there], it's very tight on the ice. And when we simplify our game and when we bring it into their zone, that's where you want to play, obviously. I think it's about of doing a lot of what we did in Game 6 for sure."

The Bruins practiced Monday in order to stay in a routine. They didn't practice at home prior to Game 5 and lost the next night 2-1. They practiced before leaving for Toronto on Saturday and then won Game 6 with what coach Bruce Cassidy called their best game of the series.

Center David Krejci didn't practice Monday, but Cassidy said it was just a "maintenance day" and Krejci will play in Game 7. The coach said he's inclined to go with the same lineup from Game 6, and the practice lines reflected that.

Bergeron said practice Monday helped the Bruins physically and mentally.

Video: The Bruins surge back to take Game 6 in Toronto

"To stay sharp I think, stay focused and you know, I think when you get on the ice it just avoids thinking too much, overthinking stuff," he said. "I think you get out there, you breathe and you execute and then I guess your instincts take over, and that's what we need [Tuesday]."

Cassidy said, "We addressed the guys a little today. I think [Tuesday], to me, it's about we went out there and had a quick buzz [Monday]. I think we've responded better when we've gone on the ice. Rest is important so tomorrow will be an optional skate. Hopefully the guys that need to go out will, otherwise just be ready to play. Don't get in your own way tomorrow. Enjoy the moment. It is a Game 7, worked hard to be here, two good teams going at it, and then prepare to execute well. And that's it."

The Bruins are hoping to snap the pattern of this series where the teams have alternated wins. The Maple Leafs started it with a win in Game 1. Each team has gone 1-2 on home ice; the Bruins went 29-9-3 at home during the regular season.

"Maybe because teams think it is going to do something for them," Bruins forward Sean Kuraly said about home-ice advantage. "It's really, we love our crowd and stuff, but no one else is on the ice. It's still 12 guys on the ice, so you can't bank on it scoring you a goal or anything because it's not going to."

Cassidy said it may also have to do with focusing too much on matchups.

"When you're on the road, you just put out there who [you want] and they have to react to it," he said. "So sometimes it's almost easier, as far as coaches, to coach on the road. Pick your players and trust them to get the job done."


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