Special teams will be key for Game 7

Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic celebrates after scoring against the Tampa Bay Lightning during...

Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic celebrates after scoring against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period in Game 6 of their NHL Eastern Conference Finals hockey game in Tampa, Florida May 25, 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Carlson)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:34 PM ET

BOSTON -- Milan Lucic knows what he wants to hear tonight.

“We want to make sure our fans are cheering at the end of the game,” said the Boston Bruins forward as the B’s and the Tampa Bay Lightning completed their morning skates today in preparation for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final tonight at the TD Garden.

“It feels great. It’s an exciting feeling. There are some butterflies that go with it. As a kid you dream of getting to this point.”

“Our guys just have to enjoy this whole process,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “As I mentioned yesterday, there’s 27 teams right now that would love to have the opportunity that we have in the playoffs right now. This is one of those days where I think if you don’t enjoy the moment, you’re wasting a pretty precious day.

“You take advantage of it today, you get ready, you get excited about it, you come out tonight and you leave it all out there on the ice. Simple as that. Anything less than that is a waste of a day.”

The Bruins are looking to bounce back from a 5-4 loss in Game 6 in Tampa as the Lightning won the special teams battle, scoring three power-play goals to the Bruins’ one. It was the Bruins’ first power-play goal on the road in these playoffs, ending an 0-for-25 stretch.

Special teams figure to be the key again tonight.

“It’s an important piece of the puzzle,” said Bruins veteran forward Mark Recchi, who is still without a point in this series, about the Bruins power play which has been an on-going issue here. “This is a chance to erase all the junk from the last three or four months, really.”

“I don’t think it’s one of those situations where you’ve got to panic. You’ve got to stay positive,” said Julien. “You’ve got to find solutions and that’s what we’re doing.”

It will be a battle of two veteran goaltenders with Dwayne Roloson will be in net for the Lightning and Tim Thomas for the Bruins.

“The mood is good. It’s business as usual,” said Roloson, who is 7-0 in elimination games. “We’re focusing as a team on what we have to do to win a hockey game. It’s another game for us and you focus on what you have to do to win the game. That’s all there is to it. Every play matters.”

Lightning forward Sean Bergenheim tested what is believed to be an injured groin in the morning skate, but Tampa coach Guy Boucher said the Bolts’ second-leading scorer remains “doubtful” for tonight’s game, though he could take the pre-game skate.

The referees for tonight’s game will be Stephen Walkom and Dan O’Halloran.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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