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Game 5 Preview: Bruins look to take control on home ice

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It’s now a best of 3, folks.

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7 PM

Where: TD Garden - Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, NBCSN, CBC, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Pension Plan Puppets

Game notes

  • We’re back where we started! The Bruins left town after Game 2 with a win in their pocket but without home-ice advantage; by virtue of their Game 4 win, the B’s have regained home ice and are now looking at a best-of-3 series with 2 games at home. Not the worst position to be in!
  • The biggest question heading into this one is whether or not Sean Kuraly will play. No, this isn’t a top-line guy who’s going to completely change the series, but Kuraly could provide a huge lift for the Bruins. He’d add some talent and speed to the fourth line, something that unit could desperately use.
  • It hasn’t been 100% confirmed, but it sure looks like ol’ pal Marc Savard will be the flag-waver for tonight’s game.
  • The Bruins played some of their best hockey of the series in Game 4, but it was only for short stretches. They spent large chunks of the game huddled in their own zone. While score effects are definitely a thing, they’re not going to be able to sit back and defend all series.
  • I can’t remember where I saw it, but there was a Tweet the other day that said the league reached out to the Leafs and said something about the officiating being poor in Game 2, essentially caving to the whining coming out of Toronto. It’s hard to know what that conversation was like, but it’s not a stretch to say that these games are going to be called tight (see the 1,943 interference calls in Toronto). The B’s were at their best in Game 2 when they tried to feed off the crowd and play a heavy game. Don’t be surprised if they try that tonight and get whistled for a soft call.
  • Both teams were deadly on the power play in Game 4. This isn’t exactly a great piece of analysis, but special teams could ultimately decide this series going forward. Teams are going to get whistled; which team is going to make the other pay?
  • We’re four games in, and neither goalie has really “stolen” a game yet. Both have had their steal-esque moments, but there hasn’t been one of those games where you point to it and say “they didn’t deserve to win.” Both guys have the skill to steal one. Will we see it?
  • It’ll be interesting to see what Bruce Cassidy does with his lines. The guess would be that he leaves them like they were in Game 4, with David Pastrnak split from Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. However, the Bruins have the last change due to being the home team. Don’t be surprised if Cassidy reuintes his super trio from time to time if the match-up is favorable.

See ya tonight!