Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Bruins happy for home ice

Categories: BOS vs. TAM, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning

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Boston Bruins fans will be on the edge of their seats Friday for the team's 21st Game 7. The Bruins are 10-10 lifetime and 10-6 at home. (Elsa/Getty Images) Boston Bruins fans will be on the edge of their seats Friday for the team's 21st Game 7. The Bruins are 10-10 lifetime and 10-6 at home. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Home-ice advantage for Bruins

Friday will mark the second Game 7 of the playoffs for the Bruins. In the first round, the Bruins scored a 4-3 overtime win over Montreal in Game 7 to advance to a second-round rematch against Philadelphia.

All-time, tomorrow will be the 21st Game 7 for the Bruins. The Bruins are 10-10 lifetime and 10-6 at home.

It will be the Lightning's fourth Game 7. They are a perfect 3-0 all-time.

"People say you battle, you battle, and it doesn't really matter where you fit in as long as you make the playoffs," Claude Julien said. "That's partly true. But at the same time, I think what's more important is that the higher you finish, it's the advantages you get at the end of the year.

"I'd rather play at home right now than to play in Tampa."

Lightning look to carry PP success into Game 7

Until Martin St. Louis scored a power-play goal at 7:55 of the second period of Game 6, the Lightning had gone without a man-advantage tally for 240:07. Since Vincent Lecavalier netted a man-up goal in Game 2, the Lightning had gone 0 for 11 on the power play prior to Game 6.

St. Louis scored one of three power-play goals. At 13:35 of the second, Teddy Purcell scored a five-on-four goal. Then at 0:34 of the third, Steven Stamkos cranked a one-timer past Tim Thomas after a fake shot by Eric Brewer.

"It's tough," Stamkos said. "They've got a good PK. I thought the last couple games, we struggled on the power play. And that's where we usually excel and we beat teams. We made a few adjustments, but it was just about getting pucks to the net. Marty obviously made a great play not to interfere with Thomas, but Brew made a great play. He got the puck, he came, and he faked it. We made eye contact. I just tried to get the shot off as hard as I could, and luckily it went in."

For the Bruins, Thomas will have to be their best penalty-killer in Game 7. Thomas didn't get much help from his teammates in Game 6. But Thomas was overly aggressive and not as sharp positionally as he was in Game 5.

"I think we have a good idea of what they're going to do on the power play," Julien said. "The power play is about creating opportunities and a little bit of luck. And there were a couple of loose pucks that came out right on their sticks. That's the way it goes. Sometimes it ends up on yours and sometimes it ends up on theirs. We can make some adjustments and we will make adjustments. The penalty kill last night wasn't as good as it has been, but it will redeem itself, because I know these guys and know this team and they normally do that."

Purcell sets early tone

Just 36 seconds into Game 6, Teddy Purcell gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead and some quick momentum. The Lightning executed a perfect faceoff play in the offensive zone after Vincent Lecavalier beat Chris Kelly on the draw.

Lecavalier pulled the puck back to Purcell at the right circle. Before David Krejci could close the gap and challenge the shot, Purcell winged the puck into the net. Tim Thomas was partially screened by Krejci and Johnny Boychuk.

"That was just one of those key faceoffs and we lost," Julien said. "We had two centremen out there and it was an early goal. Somehow you'd like to prevent that. But at the same time, I don't think our team was rattled. We came back, scored a couple of goals and we outchanced them in that period by a lot. I don't think the first period was an issue for us. The early goal didn't rattle us and we were on the same page as far as what we needed to do. The second period, those power plays really hurt us and that's where the game kind of turned around a little bit."

Breather before final

The NHL announced that Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final will be next Wednesday in Vancouver (CBC, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET).

It would give either the Bruins or the Lightning four off days between Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final and the start of the Cup. The winning Eastern team would have to be in Vancouver on Tuesday to fulfil media obligations prior to the Cup.