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Game 7 setup, Bruins vs. Maple Leafs 05.13.13 at 12:43 am ET
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Will Patrice Bergeron and the Bruins be able to celebrate after Monday's win? (AP)

The Bruins, on Monday night, will be playing their 24th lifetime Game 7, and this is the 19th of those games played on their home ice.

Here, thanks to the Bruins media relations department, are some other nuggets to consider.

This is the 13th time that the Bruins have been taken to a Game 7 after leading in a series by a 3-2 margin. This is their sixth Game 7 in their last seven series played and is the ninth in their last 12 series.

They are 12-11 overall in Game 7s and are 11-7 on home ice. They are 3-3 lifetime in Game 7s decided in overtime. They became the first team in NHL history to win three Game 7s in one playoff year in 2011.

They have shut out their opponent in two of their last three Game 7s. This is their third lifetime Game 7 vs. Toronto, with each team winning one of the previous two.

As for the Maple Leafs, they are playing the 22nd lifetime Game 7 in their franchise history and this is the 14th of these games they will play on the road. This is the 11th time that they have forced a Game 7 after trailing in a series by a 3-2 margin. This is their sixth Game 7 in their last eight series played. They are 12-9 overall in Game 7 and are 5-8 on the road. They are 2-1 lifetime in Game 7s decided in overtime. This is their third lifetime Game 7 vs. the Bruins, with each team winning one of the previous two.

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Gregory Campbell on Game 7: ‘It’s where big players show up’ 04.24.12 at 11:20 am ET
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Big players show up in big games.

It’s one of the time-tested adages used to describe Game 7.

But early on in those winner-take-all contests, it can sometimes be a bit player, or two, or three, who give the stars time to get their legs under them.

Certainly, that was the case in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals last June when Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton all came out guns blazing in the opening minutes, taking the play to the Canucks and setting the tempo so that the Sedin twins couldn’t get going.

“I think it’s important to really play on your toes,” Campbell said. “With a line ours, that’s our job, is to provide that energy, so in situations like Game 7, if you’re a little bit tentative, it’s usually not going to serve you well. We’re a high energy line, high energy players. In situations like Game 7, every play matters so much, there’s so much pressure on every play, it’s best almost better not to think and just use your instincts and that’s what we try to do.”

That’s what they did in Game 5 against the Caps on Saturday, when Thornton threw his weight around in the offensive zone with a couple of heavy forechecks. Moments later, the Bruins had goals 28 seconds apart to tie the game.

“I think for Game 7s, what I’ve learned so far in my short playoff career, it’s got to be a balance,” Campbell said. “You have to be ready. Game 7s are usually the most intense game obviously, because everything’s on the line. You have to control your emotions. You have to walk that line where you’re ready to go, your energy and enthusiasm is high. But if you can make plays under pressure obviously, it’s a pressure-packed situation. It’s usually the team that can make those plays and perform under pressure is the team that wins.

“Execute the game plan. It’s one thing to be excited and rightfully so, it is an exciting time of year. It doesn’t get any better than Game 7, whether it’s the first round or the finals. It’s where big players show up and to be a big player in Game 7 you have to have that balance of energy and excitement mixed with poise and confidence and be able to execute plays.”

Now, the Bruins have Game 7 on their home ice for the third time in their last four winner-take-all contests. Does it matter to Campbell and the Bruins?

“It’s something we work hard for all year long and I think you have to put some importance on having home ice advantage and working hard for it,” Campbell said. “I guess Game 7s, they’re something we as a team like. We keep putting ourselves in that situation. They’re fun to play in. Obviously, the stakes are pretty high and it comes down to a one-game series. We have to be as prepared as possible. It’s been a close series so far and we expect nothing but the same for Game 7.”

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Garry Galley on D&C: ‘I like Boston’ in Game 7 05.27.11 at 11:10 am ET
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Garry Galley

Hockey Night in Canada analyst and former Bruins defenseman Garry Galley joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, hours before Game 7 between the Bruins and Lightning. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Galley said the Bruins have the edge because of home-ice advantage and Tim Thomas.

“I always like the team that is at home, and I like the team that’s got the best goaltender,” he said. “Dwayne Roloson just has not had the kind of series, and he’s not exuding the kind of confidence right now that I would have liked to have seen. Even though he won Game 6, I don’t think he looked as good as I thought he was going to, and it’s a very tough series for him.

“I do believe you go with Dwayne Roloson. You have to; he’s the one who got you to the dance. And he’s capable of having a Game 7-winning kind of game. But I just think Tim Thomas has always bounced back from games like this. He shown in this series in Game 5 that he can pretty much win a game on his own. I like Boston in this.”

Galley also said he won’t be surprised if the game is decided on an unpredictable bounce of the puck.

“This game may come down to late in the third and overtime,” he said. “And it comes down to a bounce, guys, it always has. … There’s always something that happens. It’s a game of mistakes, so there will be a mistake on the play, and someone will benefit from it. I don’t think it will be next to one team or another when that happens, it will just be the hockey gods that tip it one way or another.”

Here are some other highlights from the interview:

On the biggest factor for Game 7:

Listening to Claude Julien‘s comments, what matters the most is that you embrace the opportunity. You can’t go into this thing thinking of the “what ifs” and what can happen. You have to go in and you have to embrace the chance that you have the opportunity to win a hockey game and put yourself in the Stanley Cup finals. That’s it. If you come into this game thinking about losing and what’ll happen if you lose, then you’re already done.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Flyers help Bruins make dubious history 05.14.10 at 9:33 pm ET
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Summary — The Flyers became just the third team in the history of the National Hockey League to come back from a 3-0 series deficit and win a seven-game series, in the process coming back from a 3-0 first-period hole to score four straight goals to advance to the Eastern Conference finals with a 4-3 win over the Bruins at TD Garden on Friday night.

Tuukka Rask was the loser for Boston, allowing the four Flyers goals on 27 shots. Michael Leighton overcame a shaky first period to put the clamps down on the Bruins season with 25 saves. Simon Gagne scored the game-winner at 12:52 in the third period on the power play after the B’s were whistled for too many men on the ice.

The Bruins struck first (and, for that matter, second and third), jumping to an early lead eight seconds into a power play after Scott Hartnell went to the box for a high sticking call on Matt Hunwick in the neutral zone at 5:18 in the first period. Boston wasted no time, controlling the puck on the face off and getting a couple attempts on Leighton. The second — of the stick of Zdeno Chara — rebounded down to the right dot, where Michael Ryder sent it right back on the crease past a hopping Mark Recchi and the Bruins were off and running at 5:27.

Boston made it 2-0, again on the power play, at 9:02 when a broken rush through the neutral zone ended up in a reset by Dennis Wideman, who decided to take it all the way down the right wing into the corner and send it back towards the crease where Milan Lucic timed his crash perfectly to bang it past Leighton for the two-goal advantage before the first period was halfway over.

Leighton would let in a third straight Boston goal at at 14:10 as Lucic struck again when he turned a giveaway into a lamplighter when he rushed all the way down the right wing and let off a snap shot by the right faceoff dot that went five-hole and made TD Garden erupt.

But the Flyers, remarkably, refused to concede defeat. James Van Riemsdyk fought hard to the right of Rask, leveling Wideman and getting a broken-play dribbler under the net minder’s left pad for a soft goal that made it 3-1 at 17:12 in the first. It was Van Riemsdyk’s first career playoff goal in his second professional season (first in the NHL) coming out of the University of New Hampshire.

The Flyers made it a one-goal game early in the second period on an even strength play where Danny Briere was able to penetrate the Rask’s crease after Ville Leino put the puck deep. Briere did a spin-o-rama and put the puck across the crease, where Andrew Ference could not put a stick on it at the goal line and Scott Hartnell flipped it back over Rask at 2:49.

The comeback was complete when Briere struck on his own, this time with the assist from Hartnell at 8:39 of the second period. Briere came back down around the net and did a wrap-around on Rask that rattled through the net and back out the other side to tie the game at three. The play was reviewed but it was conclusive that Briere had put the puck in the net and Boston had relinquished another 3-0 lead in the series.

Three Stars

Simon Gagne — His Game 4 return from a broken toe made all the difference for the Flyers in this series as he scored his second game-winner of the series to complete the series comeback.

Danny Briere — Perpetual thorn in the Bruins side was instrumental in getting the Flyers back in the game as his goal and assist in the second period were the answer Philadelphia was looking for after it went down 3-0 in the first.

Milan Lucic — Two first period goals got TD Garden pumping as the Boston forward set the stage for the excitement that was to come.

Turning Point – When Briere and Hartnell teamed up to take over in the second period. The pair was able to bring the Flyers back from the brink as the Bruins went soft in front of Rask. The wily center and his large wingman were able to get deep into the crease twice to tie the game and give the Flyers a chance to win it in the third period.

Key Play — The Bruins took a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty at 11:10 of the third period, which set the Flyers up to score the go-ahead goal by Gagne when he found the puck on the right dot in front of Rask for the wrist shot top shelf to bury Boston and its Stanley Cup dreams once and for all.

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Laviolette: ‘The question remains the same’ at 12:50 pm ET
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The Flyers had a light, optional morning skate before Friday night’s Game 7 against the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette insisted that nothing changes for his team heading into the biggest game of the season and that they are used to the pressure that this point playing “our fifth Game 7,” referring to the string of elimination games the Flyers have faced in coming back from a three games to none series deficit to force the ultimate game at TD Garden.

“We are in a familiar spot. It really is our fifth time that we have been faced with elimination and we are ready for this. The message hasn’t changed since Day 1 since I have been here to right now,” Laviolette said. “Everything stays the same, the meetings stay the same, the message is the same. What is expected is the same. It is important that we go our and do what we have been doing because, since Christmas time is has brought us a lot of success.”

Laviolette stressed that to win Game 7 the Flyers will need to have a good team effort in addition to the continued solid play of their stars like Chris Pronger, Mike Richards and Danny Briere. Pronger is a +1 with six points for the series, Briere is +2 with four goals and four assists and Richards has three goals and five assists at a -1.

“I feel like we are still here today because of what is in our room. A guy like Chris Pronger, not only has he proven it in the past, like you are talking about, but he has proven it already here,” Laviolette said. “Our team has been in survival mode. Mike Richards, a guy like Danny Briere steps up. Chris Pronger has played all those minutes. Guys who have proven they can get there and handle the pressure of an elimination game and not only handle it but excel in it.”

Yet, through the last three games some of the “grittier” player on the Flyers have stepped up such as Ville Leino (two goals and an assist) and Scott Hartnell (goal and an assist) who are a combined +7 as Philadelphia has made its comeback in the last three games.

“This morning we talked about how our entire team needs to be successful,” Laviolette said. “We rely on each other and it will be a team effort. If we go out and play the way we need to play to be sucessful tonight then the thing we will be talking about tomorrow morning is ‘what a terrific team effort that was.’ That is how we will find success tonight. It won’t be because of one player. Somebody has to score the winning goal. Somebody has to make the big save or block a big shot but in the end our best chance of success is through our entire group, the gritty guys.”

In the end, the question remains the same for these Flyers and Laviolette summed it up best when talking about the approach that Philadelphia has taken  to force the deciding Game 7.

“We really methodically went very slow. One game. Game 4 and here we are at Game 7 and the question still remains the same ‘do we think we can beat the Boston Bruins tonight?’” Laviolette said. “And, there is a belief in our room that our team is a good hockey team and we can win.”

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Bruins choose to skip Game 7 morning skate at 11:43 am ET
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On the morning of the biggest game of the season, Bruins coach Claude Julien decided to let his players have the morning off as opposed to coming to TD Garden for a morning skate prior to Game 7 against the Flyers on Friday night. Julien said that since the Bruins had a late night in Philadelphia on Wednesday and practiced at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington on Thursday, that it was appropriate to give his players the day to rest.

“First thing that I think you have to remember is that we had a late game the other night and didn’t get in until the morning. We practiced yesterday and did all the things that we needed to do to prepare for tonight. So, give our guys an opportunity to get some rest, simple as that,” Julien said. “We have done it before, sometimes in back-to-backs. Stay home and come to the rink. That was our idea behind this is that our guys need to rest and basically we have played these guys or we are going to play these guys seven times in a row. There is not much we don’t already know about the other team. So, come ready to play.”

It is the first time of the playoffs that the Bruins have completely skipped the morning skate through they have had optional skates and days off between games where only players receiving treatment have been required to report.

“Both teams are going to be reay,” Julien said. “Anytime you play a Game 7 where the winner moves on you have to be ready. For us it is a matter of not bogging them down with what has happened the last few games but focus on what we have to do tonight. The bottom line is, if you win tonight you move on and that is forgotten. But that is what we have got to do here is stay focused and stay prepared and I think that our guys are up to the task.”

As per usual, Julien declined to give any indication of what his roster would look like on Friday night but there was speculation after practice on Thursday that rookie center/forward Brad Marchand might get into the game after dressing in a grey practice sweater, normally reserved for the second line, as opposed to a red sweater that indicates the checking line and “fifth” line.

“Big players have to come up big in big games but at the same time I have also seen unsung heroes do that same thing,” Julien said in response to how Zdeno Chara could play on Friday. “In those kind of games you go in there and hope that somebody will make a difference and I don’t care if it is your best players or your role players. I just care that somebody comes up big and does something good for us and that is what you try to challenge your whole team to do. If you challenge only your key players then you are telling your other players you don’t care what they do. You want everybody to be difference makers, or go in with that intent anyway.”

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Notes: Game 7 by the numbers 05.13.10 at 3:48 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins are about to play in their 19th Game 7 in team history on Friday night against the Flyers. It will be the 15th Game 7 on home ice and the second time they have been taken to a Game 7 after leading a series three games to none (1939 against the Rangers was the last time). It is the fourth time they have been taken to a Game 7 after holding a three games to one advantage (1939 Rangers, 1992 Sabres, 2004 Canadiens).

The Bruins hold a 9-9 record overall in Game 7s and are 9-5 at home. They are 2-2 when the game is decided in overtime, such as last season in the semifinals against Carolina. The Bruins have lost three straight Game 7s after winning their previous six and this will be the first time they face the Flyers in an ultimate game.

Coach Claude Julien is 1-2 lifetime in Game 7s while Flyers coach Peter Laviolette is 2-1. Julien’s lone win came over the Bruins when he was the coach of Montreal in 2004. Steve Begin (2-0), Mark Recchi (4-3) and Dennis Seidenberg (2-1) are the only Bruins players to have winning records in Game 7s while captain Zdeno Chara is 0-4.

The Flyers will be playing their 14th Game 7 and their sixth on the road where they are 2-3 in their history. This is the first time they have forced a Game 7 after being down three games to none or one. Philadelphia is 7-6 all-time in ultimate games. Chris Pronger has a 1-5 record in Game 7s, Simon Gagne is 1-2 and Ian Lapiererre is 0-3.

Thursday quote — From Brad Marchand, who wore a grey practice sweater and may be in the game for the Bruins tomorrow night:

“It is definitely harder watching. You want to go out and help as much as you can. I would be very happy, very excited. I have been staying in shape and stuff and if I get the call, I will be ready,” Marchand said.

Marchand was asked if he could play the pesky, instigating role that he showed at times during the regular season.

“Well, you know, it is always part of the playoffs. The trouble with that is that sometimes you get dumb penalties and I know that is something we want to stay away from. We kind of let them do that and not focus on that tomorrow. We just want to play our game and if we do that we will be better off,” Marchand said.

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