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The historical odds are once again firmly against the Bruins

BOSTON -- With home victories in Games 3 and 4, the Boston Bruins made significant strides toward giving themselves a real chance to get past the Carolina Hurricanes in their first-round playoff series. Those chances took a massive hit, though, with a flop in Carolina in Game 5.

Following their 5-1 loss in Game 5 on Thursday night, the Bruins are now facing elimination. And historically, when teams have fallen behind 3-2 in a series, it has not worked out well for them.

Overall, when a team has won Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead, that team has won the series in 219 out of 277 occurrences -- or 79.1 percent of the time.

When it's been the home team winning that Game 5, the numbers are a bit stronger, with that team winning the series in 138 of 171 occurrences -- or 80.7 percent of the time.

That means, of course, that the historical data gives the Bruins a 19.3 percent chance to win this series.

Those ugly numbers, though, can just be temporary.

In terms of forcing a Game 7, the team in the Bruins' current position has actually done a decent job of getting there. The team heading back home trailing 3-2 has won that game 81 out of 171 times -- more than 47 percent of the time. So based on history, it's about a 50-50 shot that the Bruins can force a Game 7 in Carolina on Saturday night.

The home team -- naturally -- has an advantage in that Game 7, but it's not overwhelming. The home team is 48-33 in those Game 7's, winning 59.2 percent of the time. But if the Bruins can force that Game 7, history gives them a 40.8 percent chance of winning.

Simplifying things, history gives the Bruins a 47.4 percent chance of winning Game 6, and then a 40.8 percent chance of winning Game 7. (The Bruins could technically have a 42.7 percent chance of winning that Game 7, as the overall historical numbers are a little skewed by the discrepancies in 2-2-1-1-1 formats vs. 2-3-2 formats. But the numbers aren't overwhelmingly different either way.)

That's not bad, all things considered. But they'll first have to show how they respond to having their backs against the wall on Thursday night at TD Garden.

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