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Game 5 Preview; Bruins look for first home win of the series

April 23, 2011

After dropping the first two games at home, the Bruins rallied off two wins in Montreal to draw the series with the Canadiens even at two games to regain home ice advantage. Neither team has had any luck at home but the advantage still remains, especially with the series now being best out of three.

The Bruins came away with a 5-4 overtime victory in Game 4, battling back from an early deficit before trading goals throughout. Game 4 was the first time the team who didn’t score first won, breaking a dominating tide in this years playoffs where the team who scores first is 29-6. The Bruins showed a ton of poise in Game 4, battling a raucous crowd and sticking to their game plan despite being down early on. The Bruins seemed to feast on the Montreal crowds energy after coming out very flat at home. That’s obviously something that will need to change if they want to win this series.

The Bruins are the only team in the playoffs who haven’t scored a power-play goal and are tied with Washington for the least amount of power-plays with just 12 in the first four games. A lot of fans would like to think that the Bruins have had to battle some tough calls in Montreal but they need to be better on the power-play. I doubt many teams have won a playoff series without scoring a power-play goal. On the other hand, the Bruins have managed the dangerous Montreal power-play fairly well. Montreal depended on their power-play for goals much more than the Bruins in the regular season so it’s no surprise that discipline has been a key to this series.

We’ll see if the Canadiens return to playing a simpler, less pressured game like they did in the first two games. They seem to feed off being the road team, forechecking hard and then shutting down the neutral zone. As usual, the first lead will be huge in this series, but no longer insurmountable.

Andrew Ference will suit up after being fined but not suspended for his bird-flipping incident after his goal in Game 4. Expect him to get a hero’s welcome in Boston.

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