Bruins assistant captain Mark Recchi made his decision to return for a 22nd season in the NHL last summer, electing to re-up with the B's after the team was eliminated in the second round by the Flyers. Now that his team is in the Stanley Cup finals, the two-time Cup winner said after Friday's Eastern Conference-clinching victory over the Lightning that this is what he had in mind when he decided to return.

Tim Thomas has waited his whole career to get to this point and now the Bruins goalie will have the chance to play on hockey's biggest stage and play for the most famous trophy in all of North American sports. Thomas stopped all 24 shots Friday night, posting his second shutout of the playoffs and third career in the postseason, in Boston's 1-0 win that sends them to the Stanley Cup finals starting Wednesday in Vancouver. 

Nathan Horton scored with 7:33 left in the third period to snap a scoreless tie and send the Bruins to a 1-0 win over the Lightning in an electrifying Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. The win sends the Bruins to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 21 years and gives them a date with Vancouver Canucks starting next Wednesday in British Columbia. Tim Thomas stopped 24 shots for the Bruins, who are now four wins from their first Stanley Cup title since 1972.

Lightning forward Sean Bergenheim is out Tampa's lineup for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals vs. the Bruins. Bergenheim missed Game 6 with an undisclosed lower body injury suffered in Game 5 of the series. Coach Guy Boucher said Friday mornign that it was "doubtful" Bergenheim would play in Game 7, though he did participate in team's warmup prior to the game.

Prior to suffering his injury, Bergenheim's nine goals led all postseason players. David Krejci and Martin St. Louis are tied for the lead with 10. 

Longtime NHL star Jeremy Roenick joined The Big Show on Friday afternoon to discuss the Bruins-Lightning series and the excitement of Game 7. A veteran of six Game 7s, Roenick -- the third American-born player to join the 500-goals club -- suggested that "there are going to be a lot of nervous guys, a lot of guys praying to the porcelain god before the game. I’ve seen it happen."

Versus NHL analyst Ed Olczyk joined the Mut & Merloni show Friday to talk about the Eastern Conference finals Game 7 showdown between the Bruins and Lightning.

Olczyk made a comment during the Game 6 broadcast about Bruins coach Claude Julien needing to mix up the lines to get more consistent offense. While he acknowledged Friday, "I think Claude has pushed a lot of the right buttons," he stood by his analysis.

Lightning coach Guy Boucher said Friday morning that forward Sean Bergenheim is "doubtful" for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals vs. the Bruins. Bergenheim, who has not played since leaving Game 5 of the series with an undisclosed lower body injury, participated in the team's morning skate Friday, as he did Wednesday before missing Game 6.

After falling behind, 5-3,  more than halfway through the third period of Game 6, the Bruins and their first line ramped up the pressure put on Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson in what would eventually be a 5-4 loss. First-line left wing Milan Lucic, who had a first-period goal and assisted the third goal of David Krejci's hat trick, hopes that the Bruins' late surge in Game 6 can extend throughout Friday's Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Hockey Night in Canada analyst and former Bruin Garry Galley joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk about Game 7 between the Bruins and Lightning.

Galley said the Bruins have the edge because of home-ice advantage and Tim Thomas.

The Bruins will play their second Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs (after beating the Canadiens in the opening round) when they host the Lightning on Friday night. How do you see the game playing out? Cast your vote at the Big Bad Blog.