Boston Bruins: Best effort needs to come in Game 6

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 06: Brad Marchand #63 and Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins speak during a timeout against the St. Louis Blues during the third period in Game Five of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 06, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 06: Brad Marchand #63 and Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins speak during a timeout against the St. Louis Blues during the third period in Game Five of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 06, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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After losing Game 5, the Boston Bruins are now in a do-or-die situation. Win to keep the season alive, or lose and go home.

The Boston Bruins played well in Game 5 on Thursday night, but still wound up on the wrong end of a 2-1 final score. There is plenty of controversy surrounding the game, including hits to the head and a pretty blatant slewfoot that went uncalled by the officials.

That play has been the subject of a lot of discussion since Thursday night, but at this point, the Bruins’ focus needs to be on getting the series even on Sunday night.

For that to happen, the Bruins need to play their best game of the series, and likely the season, against a St. Louis Blues team that has an opportunity to win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history on home ice. It’s a tough task, but one that the Bruins are capable of.

The biggest issue for the Boston Bruins has been the disappearance of their top line. Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak have combined for a grand total of zero points while playing 5-on-5.

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The Bruins relied heavily on this line throughout the entire regular season, but they have seemed to be out of sync for much of the team’s run this postseason. With the season now on the line, the Bruins need everything they can get from their top players if they want any chance of playing a Game 7 back at TD Garden.

Luckily, Tuukka Rask has been solid for the Bruins, even when the rest of the team isn’t so solid in front of him. Throughout the playoffs he has a .937 save percentage and 1.97 goals against average while recording 14 wins. Rask will need to be just about perfect for the Bruins to win Game 6, but he’s shown that he is capable of it.

While Zdeno Chara has been able to play through his injury, Matt Grzelcyk hasn’t been so lucky. The Bruins will be without him for Game 6 as he has yet to be cleared to return to play by the doctors. After experimenting with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen for Game 5, the Bruins are back to 12 and 6 for tonight, with Karson Kuhlman making his Stanley Cup Final debut while Steven Kampfer is the odd man out on the Bruins blueline.

A lot of pressure falls on head coach Bruce Cassidy ahead of Game 6. With many of the top players not playing up to expectations, Cassidy has been forced to mix up the lines throughout the series and tonight will likely be much of the same. The only question is how much time will he give his top two lines to find their stride before he mixes things up tonight.

Next. Berube's complaining paid off (so far). dark

The Bruins have been one of the best teams in the NHL all season long, but they’ll need to show it tonight if they hope to keep their Stanley Cup dreams alive.