Thornton: 'We have to be better tonight'

BOSTON -- Good evening from TD Garden, where the Boston Bruins are set to host the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Bruins hold a 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven series and have a chance to close it out tonight. Boston dropped Game 4 in overtime to the Rangers on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. The Bruins played well, but two mistakes cost them the game as the Rangers erased a 2-0 deficit and eventually won 4-3 in OT.

As puck drop for Game 5 approaches, the Bruins have already put that loss in the books.

"We shouldn't be satisfied with what happened last game," said Bruins forward Shawn Thornton. "You know their backs are against the wall, they were last game and they're again tonight. They're going to bring everything they have and we have to be better tonight."

The Bruins' game plan won't change, and they know another strong start will be one of the keys, especially on home ice.

"We've been in situations like this and we still need to be composed and poised," said Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron. "It's one thing to come out hard and make sure you're physical and first on the puck, but also stick to the system and stick to the game plan and don't get yourself caught and lose your position just to get a big hit or something like that. It's about staying composed but playing hard and making sure we're first on the puck."

Since the Rangers were a desperate team entering Game 4, Rangers coach John Tortorella tweaked his lineup and his players were a bit more physical with the Bruins. There were plenty of instances during that game when the Rangers tried to bait a few of the Bruins into dropping the gloves to no avail.

"I'll get 'em off. I don't care," Thornton said. "I think it was [Rangers forward Kris] Newbury that was asking me. I didn't know if he was trying to [bait] me into getting him off or if he was going to get them off. Our line's been fairly good but at the same time, whether it's playoffs or regular season, we had just scored our second goal and I felt we had momentum and that was more of a reason than anything else. I probably wouldn't have fought at that time of the game. It's the same if they're up 2-0, I'm sure we'd try to change momentum, it would be the same way. I wouldn't read too much into it other than the fact that I've been doing this for a long time and I've kind of figured out when and when not to do it."