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Do or Die – The Boston Bruins Face a Must-Win Tonight in Ottawa

In what has been a rather abysmal week in Boston sports, the Bruins face a do or die situation on Friday night as they head to the Canadian Tire Center for Game 5 in a best of 7 series with the Ottawa Senators. The B’s have managed to accumulate three straight losses by a one goal margin, and currently sit just one loss away from elimination from the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

On Wednesday night at TD Garden, Boston hosted Ottawa in front of a packed house at TD Garden. The B’s were hoping to rebound from two straight losses that stemmed from self-inflicted wounds and bad calls in overtime with a convincing win in front of their home crowd. There was a high level of intensity from the Bruins side as the game began, and they earned themselves the opening goal about halfway through the second period. All was well, until the Senators initiated a bush league challenge, debating that the Bruins were offside about a minute before the goal had even happened.

Once the goal was called back, the momentum swung back in favor of the Sens as they proceeded to score another lame goal before retreating to play their boring brand of hockey and hold off the Bruins for a 1-0 victory and a 3 – 1 lead in the series.

While it’s been an interesting second half of the season under interim head coach Bruce Cassidy (19-12 record including the playoffs), it should come as no surprise that the Bruins have struggled against a team that has really had their number in recent years. The B’s are a miserable 1-7 vs the Senators this year and 3-12 against them since 2015. To be honest, I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Despite not getting the Capitals in round 1, with this version of the Bruins on the ice – it really felt like “pick your poison” from the day the seeds were set.

On another note, the Bruins have been plagued with the injury bug since the last week of the season losing key members of their defense, and have had to rely on members of their AHL affiliate Providence Bruins to fill in throughout their absence. Charlie McAvoy has impressed in his first ever NHL games, but you’ve got to imagine that having Torey Krug’s experience would have exponentially improved our prospects on the power play.

Lastly, Erik Karlsson is sub-human. Check out the laser he dished out THROUGH THE AIR to set up Mike Hoffman on a breakaway goal in Game 3:

Karlsson is in a league of his own, and the scary part is he is not even at full health. Ottawa’s top line defenseman has been battling a foot injury which has kept him at about 80%, and he has still made a huge mark on this series both offensively and defensively. The Bruins will need to neutralize the Sens captain if they are going to have any shot at mounting a comeback and win this series.

Will the B’s be able to overcome their injuries, take away Karlsson, conquer the critics, and do something that only 26 teams have been able to accomplish in 30 NHL seasons? Unlikely, but you can bet your ass that this team will fight with every ounce of pride they’ve got until the very last whistle.

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