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Bruins understand fourth win will be the hardest

by Mike G. Morreale

NEW YORK -- There is no need to remind the players and coaching staff of the Boston Bruins that winning the fourth game of a best-of-7 series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is never easy.

The Bruins failed to secure that fourth win in 2010 after gaining a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, losing in seven games. This year's team almost blew a 3-1 series lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the conference quarterfinals but rallied for a 5-4 overtime victory in Game 7 on May 13 at TD Garden.

Boston now finds itself in familiar territory against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Bruins, who hold a 3-0 series lead over the Rangers, are hoping to seal the deal Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS).

"You learn from the past and live in the moment, but you don't live in the past," Bruins coach Claude Julien said following his team's optional practice Wednesday at MSG. "So right now, we're living in the moment and I like where our team is -- the attitude and approach.

"If we don't take the same attitude we did [Tuesday in a 2-1 victory], we shouldn't expect to win the hockey game."

Rookie defenseman Torey Krug said there's no need to give the Rangers any motivation at this stage.

"It's important to win this game," he said. "We don't want to give them any amount of momentum, so it's important to get out there, especially in the first period, settle the crowd down and kind of go from there."

Forward David Krejci, who leads all playoff scorers with 16 points and is second behind teammate Nathan Horton (plus-14) with a plus-11 rating, knows the mindset his team must take.

"The last one is the hardest, so we just have to get ready and play just like it's a Game 1," Krejci said. "We know they're probably going to change their game around a bit after losing, but we just need to focus on our game."

Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who hasn't played in the series due to injury but is close to returning, preached having a killer instinct.

"We didn't have that [against Toronto]. We let them back in it and almost gave it away at the end," he said. "We just don't want to take it for granted that we're up 3-0 and play just as hard as in the first three games."


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