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Stanley Cup Final

McAvoy, Bruins fired up to be home for Game 5 of Cup Final against Blues

Look to take series lead by shooting more, getting in front of net

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BEDFORD, Massachusetts -- Charlie McAvoy looks at what's left of the Stanley Cup Final and sees only positives.

The Bruins have two days off before they host Game 5 against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS) and the best-of-7 series is tied. The Bruins hold home-ice advantage.

"It's good to be home, it feels good to get back here and just have an easy morning, just the flight and get back this afternoon," the Bruins defenseman said after landing at Hanscom Field on Tuesday. "I'm excited to just go home and relax, do what I need to do to get my body right. And we've already spoken as a group on where we are mentally and just really embracing this for what it is, I mean it's a best-of-3 now for the Stanley Cup. What an opportunity, it's unbelievable.


[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Blues Stanley Cup Final series coverage]


"How we got here, I don't think really we need to focus on that. It's just really where we are now and just knowing that the game that's in front of us, Game 5, is the most important thing right now. And we respond well. We know that we need to take care of ourselves, show up tomorrow, have a great practice and do what we need to do to be ready to go."

The Bruins, who have lost two games in a row once in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (Game 2 and 3 against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference Second Round), are coming off a 4-2 loss in Game 4 on Monday; Boston won Game 1 and 3.

The Bruins didn't go on the ice Tuesday but will have videos sessions and an on-ice practice Wednesday. For the most part the Bruins know what they need to do better.

Video: Melrose and Hradek wrap up Game 4 from St. Louis

"Well obviously we would like to shoot more," forward David Pastrnak said. "I don't think we had enough shots. And get bodies in front of the goalie and get the second opportunities. I think we gave up a lot of shots last game and I think that's the biggest mindset for us. Anytime we do these things and get in front of the goalie, we always score a bunch."

The Bruins were outshot 38-23 in Game 4. There's a chance they'll be missing captain Zdeno Chara, who was hit in the face with a deflected shot in the second period of Game 4 and didn't return, on defense, in addition to Matt Grzelcyk, who hasn't played since he sustained a concussion in Game 2.

Regardless of who's available for Game 5, there are things the Bruins want to change.

"I think just we need to play our game. It's noticeable that when [the Blues] have success, they're imposing their game, which is forechecking and getting on the puck and then they cycle, they go low to high, they get shots, they get opportunities," McAvoy said. "You know we play a little bit of that system as well, and I think we play a creative brand down low and our forwards especially are able to show their skill. But we can easily possess the puck a lot more in the offensive zone. And when we have had success against this team, we've been able to do that.

"So that's something we need to get back to. We need to find our way out of the zone quickly to eliminate those 30-second, 40-second shifts where they're just forechecking and hanging onto it. So our breakouts need to be smoother, we need to be crisp.

"And just play hockey, just have fun."


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