Share this article

print logo

Bruins-Caps Game Seven a battle of wills

Bruins forward Brad Marchand seems to have the answer as to why the Boston-Washington series has been so tight.

Really, it's pretty simple.

"Both teams are just really resilient and I think both teams have a lot of character," Marchand said after practice Tuesday. "And when you have guys like that in the room and on the ice, a little momentum swing won't affect guys and they can bounce back fairly quickly from it."

Indeed, this Eastern Conference, first-round pairing has been historically close. Not only is it knotted, 3-3, it is the first NHL series to ever have its first six games decided by one goal.

"That just seems," Marchand said, "to be the case so far."

Game Seven is tonight at TD Garden (7:30, NBCSN, Ch. 5).

The Bruins staved off elimination with a 4-3 overtime win in Game Six Sunday. They won two of the three games played in Washington. But the Capitals have also won two road games in the series, and they also triumphed in both visits to Boston during the regular season.

So, who knows, maybe the hostile environment plays to the Capitals' strengths.

"Obviously, Boston's a tough rink to play in, but I think it suits our team well because it brings us down to a level where we don't try to do too much," Washington goaltender Braden Holtby said. "We don't try to be too fancy. I think we've been guilty of that in front of our home crowd a bit, letting our emotions get to us with the noise of the crowd and whatnot. And I think playing on the road really helps us."

The Capitals are staying level-headed though, knowing that past success in Boston might not continue in a Game Seven atmosphere.

Boston knows the Garden might not have a large impact on the game. Although the Bruins won two Game Sevens at home during their run to the Stanley Cup championship last year, their ultimate victory came on Vancouver's ice in Game Seven of the Cup finals.

Without question, though, the Bruins will draw on that win over the Canucks.

"It matters a bit. We know we have to battle for 60 minutes right down to the last buzzer," Marchand said. "But in Game Seven, anything can happen. It's usually a lucky bounce or a minor mistake that will decide the game.

"So we have to be prepared to play our best game yet in this series."

"Everyone knows it's Game Seven, it's do or die, it is different," Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said. "It is its own unique beast."

Boston center Patrice Bergeron should help. He has had two days to rest his undisclosed injury. The Selke Trophy finalist was injured in the second period of Game Five. He returned to that game and then played in Game Six, but the league's second-place finisher in faceoff percentage during the season took only one draw.

There are no comments - be the first to comment