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First Round

Bruins back at 'square one' for Game 5 against Maple Leafs

Return to TD Garden with series tied after winning once on road

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Brad Marchand and the Boston Bruins know how fleeting momentum can be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs have alternated wins during the Eastern Conference First Round. They head into Game 5 at TD Garden on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NESN) with the best-of-7 series tied 2-2.

"You got to park every game, regardless if you win or lose," the first-line left wing said Thursday. "You know we're not going to look at that and expect it to project us into winning next game. We're just going to have to start from square one again tomorrow, and hopefully we're ready."

 

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

 

Boston tied the series with a 6-4 win in Game 4 at Toronto on Wednesday.

"It was a good win, but we've been there before," Bruins center David Krejci said. "We had a good game and then the next one we lost. We've been in this situation before, new day today. Get ready, have a good morning skate tomorrow and another good one tomorrow night."

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said he struggled with the decision to either give players a day off Thursday or have them practice and hold an optional morning skate before Game 5. In the past, he's liked how they've performed after practicing the day before.

Rest and relaxation won out.

"The right thing to do to me is give them the day off," Cassidy said. "We've been away for three, four days, we've had a lot of travel, reintroduce yourself to your kids again. Get a breather and come in tomorrow.

"We've just got to … find the right buttons to push tomorrow to make sure we're on time [at the] start."

Video: Bruins' top line better in Game 4, McAvoy stays calm

Health has given the Bruins a boost in the series, and they might get healthier. After getting forward Marcus Johansson and defenseman John Moore back in Game 4, center Sean Kuraly could return for Game 5.

Kuraly has been out since March 21 because of a surgically repaired fracture in his hand. He'll be a game-time decision Friday.

"Sean's biggest strength is his ability to transport the puck out of our zone," Cassidy said. "He's strong, a real good skater, so he can get the puck out of our zone. I think that line has done a good job in terms of structurally being in lanes, blocking shots, willing to battle, but they miss that element, a guy that can get it and go and separate.

"And then in the offensive zone, you've seen it. He can be a puck possessor and be a one-man cycle, specifically against teams that are man-to-man."

Despite the roller-coaster nature of the series, Marchand said the Bruins are right where they expected to be when it began.

"I think we're in a good place," he said. "You know we expected a very tough series. They're a very good team and I think we kind of expected to be where we're at right now. A hard-fought battle, we expected it to go to the distance and so we're in a good spot. We're excited to be back home again and looking forward to tomorrow."

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