Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Bruins facing do-or-die scenario

Categories: VAN vs. BOS

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Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas makes a save as defenceman Johnny Boychuk looks on during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins are on home ice for Game 6 tonight against the Canucks (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET). (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press) Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas makes a save as defenceman Johnny Boychuk looks on during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins are on home ice for Game 6 tonight against the Canucks (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET). (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press)

Home sweet home

The Bruins are hoping to make one last flight West tomorrow. But their minds aren't considering a possible Game 7. For that to happen, they'll have to take care of business tonight.

"It's been pretty clear to the players that all the focus should be about tonight," Claude Julien said. "If you want to create a Game 7, you have to focus on tonight's game, not on Game 7. We're going to be ready. I think our guys understand that. I don't think we're looking any further than tonight's game. Let the rest of the stuff take care of itself."

Julien will have the upper hand in the matchup game tonight. It will be easier for the Bruins to deploy Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg against Vancouver's No. 1 line of Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Alex Burrows. If Alain Vigneault rolls out his third defensive pairing of Andrew Alberts and Chris Tanev for a faceoff, Julien can counter with one of his top two lines.

"I think it's smoother when you have the last change," Julien said. "There's less changing on the fly. You get the better matchups, that's for sure. Except for a couple of certain matchups that both teams are trying to stay away from or get, I think we've been more or less content with what they want against us and what we want against them.

"The back end is something that's been a bit of a challenge for both teams to try and get away from or get as a matchup. It hasn't been that big of an issue. But nonetheless, to start with the matchup you want is always better than having to change on the fly. That's the advantage we have at home."

Bruins hope PK success continues

The Vancouver power play entered the series with a 28.3 per cent success rate in the playoffs. But after five games, the Canucks have netted just one power-play goal in 25 opportunities.

"We have to be better on our power play," Vigneault said. "I know I said that for Game 3 and 4. But tonight, I really, really, really mean that we're going to have to be better on our power play."

The Bruins will look to ramp up their physical game tonight. They believed Vancouver got the best of the muscle matchup in Game 5. If the Bruins come out hitting, they'll have to be disciplined and stay out of the penalty box.

Horton visits teammates

Nathan Horton, knocked out of the Stanley Cup Final by Aaron Rome in Game 3, stopped by the dressing room this morning to wish his teammates good luck. Horton is still experiencing post-concussion syndrome symptoms, said Claude Julien. Horton is expected to attend Game 6.

"I have the impression he's going to be coming to the game tonight as long as he feels good," Julien said. "That can vary as the day goes on. But I think right now his plan is to hopefully be here tonight."

Fatigue non-issue for Bruins

Tonight will mark the 106th game of 2010-11 for the Bruins, not including pre-season or exhibition matches. It is the 24th post-season game. Fatigue, however, is not entering the Bruins' minds.

"No such thing this time of year," Shawn Thornton said. "I'll be tired a week from now."

Possible exit for Recchi?

Tonight could mark the final game of Mark Recchi's career. The future Hall of Famer said before the start of the series that he will retire if the Bruins win the Cup. Recchi didn't say what he planned to do if the Bruins lost. However, it's doubtful the 43-year-old will stretch out his playing career another season. Recchi will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Recchi plans to stay in hockey after he retires. Recchi hopes to become part of an NHL management team. He is currently a part owner of the WHL's Kamloops Blazers.

Expected lineup

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Rich Peverley
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Tyler Seguin-Chris Kelly-Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask