Following a disappointing performance on home ice, the Bruins dropped a 3-1 decision to the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals to fall into an 0-2 hole.
Faced with the realization the team would have to win four of the next five games in order to advance out of the first round, the outlook was not promising. After all, the franchise was 0-26 all-time after dropping the first two games of a seven-game series.
Despite the pretense of doom and gloom, the B's responded by winning three straight games to take a 3-2 series lead. The Black and Gold finally vanquished their long-time nemesis thanks to Nathan Horton's overtime winner in Game 7.
While the Bruins cruised through the conference semifinals with a clean sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers, the Tampa Bay Lightning again put Boston in a predicament by taking Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. Unlike the series with the Canadiens, the Bruins managed to salvage a Game 2 victory to earn a 1-1 series split. That win allowed the team to brush off the Game 4 meltdown to again take the series in seven and earn a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
Now, with the puck set to drop Saturday night between the Bruins and Canucks in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins again find themselves at a crossroads. A win sends the series back to Boston tied 1-1 and with home-ice advantage belonging to the Eastern Conference champions. A loss, however, means another 0-2 hole — this time against the league's best team.
"Obviously we want to get back in this series," Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. "It's very important. We'll approach the next game always as the most important one. Now it's about Game 2. It's the biggest game right now of the series."
History is already against the B's following the 1-0 loss in Game 1 Wednesday night. Teams that win the first game of the Stanley Cup Final go on to hoist the trophy 71 percent of the time. In the last 25 years, only the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins have come back to claim a championship after dropping the first game.
The statistics only grow worse should the Canucks take Game 2 as well. Teams who have won the first two games of the Final on home ice have gone on to win the series 32 out of 34 times.
"I think for both teams obviously it's a very important game," said Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault. "For them, without a doubt, they're thinking about coming in here and getting at least a split."
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