Four keys to a Game 4 victory

May, 7, 2014
May 7
6:52
PM ET


BROSSARD, Quebec -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien said that despite their disappointing Game 3 loss, his players are calm and still confident going into Game 4 against the Canadiens.

But they need to be more focused and eliminate the mental mistakes, he said.

“We’re a group that’s confident but we also have guys right now that are a little frustrated at themselves; they know they have to be better,” Julien said. “They’re going to be better tomorrow, that’s the confidence we have in our group and the way we’ve been in the past, and you’ve got to rely on those guys to come up tomorrow and play the kind of game they can. It’s a 2-1 series. It’s not the end of the world here. We’ve just got to battle back. There’s no reason to panic. We haven’t in the past and we’re not about to panic now.”

Julien was asked if Game 4 is a must-win for the Bruins.

"I think every game is important," he said. "If you ask L.A. that same question, what would they have answered? They came back and won four straight, so I think it’s game by game. Again, we look at it differently. We like to look at it game per game. Yesterday was a must-win for us, so they’re all must-wins, going one game at a time.”

Here are four things the Bruins need to do better to win Game 4:

SCORE FIRST: In the first three games, the Bruins have scored first only once and it resulted in a 5-3 win in Game 2. In that game, Boston still had to overcome a two-goal deficit in the third period, but the early momentum helped. The crowd at Bell Centre definitely makes it tough on visiting teams, so if the Bruins can silence the Montreal fans early, it will only help.

GOALTENDING: From the onset of this series, it was evident that goaltending would be the deciding factor. The Canadiens’ Carey Price has been outstanding and a much better goalie than the Bruins’ Tuukka Rask. In order for the Bruins to win Game 4, Rask needs to be the best player on the ice. At the other end of the ice, the Bruins need to create havoc in front of Price. Crashing the net, creating traffic and not allowing him to see the puck will be key. Boston also has to find better shooting lanes due to Montreal’s ability to block shots in front of its netminder.

PAGING THE TOP LINE: The Bruins’ top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla need to produce on the score sheet. Krejci has only three assists in eight playoff games this spring. Iginla has three goals and two assists, while Lucic has four goals and three assists this postseason. In this series, Krejci has one assist, Iginla has one goal and Lucic has one goal and two assists.

STOP P.K.: The Canadiens’ P.K. Subban has been the best player in this series. He has three goals and three assists in the first three games, and he’s been a threat in every aspect of the game. Boston needs to slow him down and make sure he’s on the receiving end of plenty of body contact. Because Subban is playing with such emotion, his teammates are feeding off that energy, which is another reason Montreal has a 2-1 series lead.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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