TAMPA -- The Bruins have a chance to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1990 tonight in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at St. Pete’s Times Forum. The Bruins know how hard it can be to win elimination games and that the Lightning will play hard and leave it all on the ice. That’s why the Bruins must match that intensity and play with the same determination the Lightning will have.
“We definitely have to match it, if not even compete harder and battle harder than them,” defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said when asked how the Bruins will approach the first period. “That’s been our goal the whole series and everyone knows they’re a hard-working team and our goal is just to be more determined and focused for tonight.”
As winger Shawn Thornton pointed out, he and his teammates must treat this game just as they have treated every other playoff game.
“It shouldn’t be,” Thornton said when asked if preparation for tonight’s game was any different than others. “We know that elimination games are definitely the toughest ones to win. So the focus is going to have to be a lot a lot better to be able to pull it off. They’re an unbelievable hockey team and they’re going to come out with everything and we’re going to have to do the same.”
Thornton has been in this position before. He was part of the 2007 Anaheim Ducks squad that beat the Detroit Red Wings in six games to win the Western Conference and then went on to win Stanley Cup over Ottawa in five games. This series with Tampa Bay has reminded him a lot of that series with Detroit.
“I was actually in the same exact type of position, I was up in the press box watching,” Thornton said with a laugh recalling how he was a healthy scratch for that game just as he will be tonight. “No, it was a really tough series, same type of thing. I think Teemu [Selanne] scored the game-winner the game before in Detroit and that gave us momentum going in. It was same type of series with too good teams and a tough series.”
Thornton feels the attitude of the Bruins dressing room is similar to what it was when he was with Anaheim. He said it is upbeat and that he and his teammates are happy to be in a position to advance with a win tonight.
“Feel pretty good,” Thornton said. “The position we’re in, we probably would’ve bought that at the start of the series so we embrace it and go out and try and make the most of it.”