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Bruins have no margin for error against Senators in Game 5

Failure to make plays at key times has Boston on brink of elimination

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins know that each of the first four games of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Ottawa Senators has been winnable. All four were one-goal games; the Bruins won the first and lost the next three, two in overtime.

So there is frustration there, sure. There is the sense that any or all of these games could have gone differently, that the Bruins could now be the team with a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

But they aren't. Instead, the Senators flew back to Ottawa on Thursday and could end the series at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports, NESN). 

"It's not like we don't have a chance to win or something," Bruins center David Krejci said. "We've been in it every game." 

The Bruins lost Game 4 at home, a 1-0 defeat that put them one loss away from the end of their season. There was disappointment but an understanding of just how close they had come to tying the series. 

"Guys realized that it's another game that could have gone either way," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "They made one more play than us." 

In Game 5, the Bruins have to be the ones to make that one more play, earn that one extra chance, get to the rebound or score on the breakaway. They will have to do the things they haven't done in losing seven of eight games to the Senators in the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Video: FLA@BOS: Krejci takes advantage of a turnover

"The way we've lost a lot of those games is we're right there," Cassidy said. "It's the difference in the game of a play or two. It's not like they've dominated. We don't feel that way. They may feel that way, but for us it's a play or two here or there that they've made that we haven't been able to make."

The Bruins have struggled with effort around the net, getting to rebounds and extra whacks at pucks. 

"That's where, as a whole, our team needs some second-chance opportunities," Cassidy said. "I think we've been lacking in that area, and it starts with our shot total. Sometimes we'll be down because of the way the team plays, but some of it's on us to hit the net and get some second chances. 

"I think that's where, as a team, we'll try to focus a little more on. It's shoot for rebounds from off-angles and hit the net first and let's get people there, force them to defend." 

As for their defense, the Bruins are not expecting any reinforcements for Game 5. That means no Torey Krug, no Brandon Carlo and no Adam McQuaid and taking on the Senators with the same defensemen who played Game 4. 

The Bruins were off the ice Thursday to give their players some rest, especially their defensemen. But with their season on the line, key players including Zdeno Chara will get a lot of ice time.

Video: TBL@BOS: Chara drills a blistering one-timer for PPG

"When your back's against the wall, you are desperate," Cassidy said. "So if we have to overplay guys, it is one game at a time now. We can't be worried about Sunday. … We've got to win the game Friday night. It's that simple." 

The Bruins' goal is to go into Ottawa and extend the series, something they have done six times in 21 chances in a Game 5 while they were down 3-1. 

"Now it's a full 60 minutes or 80 minutes or, I don't want to jinx it, a couple of overtimes, whatever it takes," Boston forward David Backes said. "We need to make sure that we're willing to go the distance for however long it takes to get a win in Game 5. That's got to be a focus and we'll worry about the next one after that. Four one-goal games, it's there. We need to push over that line so we're on the good side of that, rather than the last three, the way they've gone." 

They know they can win one game. And for now, they just need one.

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