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“I thought we took over (with) five minutes left in the second period,” captain Henrik Sedin said. “You could see they were maybe a little bit tired, and that’s when we came hard at them.”

Chara and partner Dennis Seidenberg have played superbly throughout the postseason, and Chara was on the ice for more than 28 minutes against Vancouver in Game 2. But the Sedins weren’t alone in thinking Chara appeared to tire as the game went on.

Vancouver is trying to wear out the 6-foot-9 star by sticking to a strategy of constant physical collisions, even if the Canucks take the worst of those crashes. By finishing their checks on the hulking defenseman, the Canucks believe they can wear him _ and it showed in Chara’s numerous misplays and turnovers.

“I guess all of a sudden you lose a game, and now we’re going to start wondering about certain players,” Julien said in Chara’s defense. “I think it’s really about our whole team. It’s not about Zdeno.”

Yet Julien already made a move to rest Chara, taking him out of the slot and putting him back on the point, where he’ll take less punishment.

“I don’t think we played very well, to what our standards are all about,” Julien added. “I think the decision-making, the puck management, it’s what’s costing us games. When you turn pucks over in the neutral zone, this is a team that thrives on it. We know that they thrive on it, yet we kept turning pucks over in the neutral zone.”

If they hope to get back in the finals, the Bruins will need goals from players who didn’t grow up in the Vancouver area. British Columbia natives Milan Lucic and Recchi scored in Game 3, but Boston has just three goals in its last three games going back to the conference finals.

That’s not enough help for goalie Tim Thomas, who has his own problems: He was caught too far away from his net on both of the Canucks’ late goals in Game 2. The Vezina Trophy finalist isn’t about to change his aggressive style, but the Canucks might have figured out how to manipulate it to their advantage.

What’s more, Roberto Luongo has been solid for the Canucks, stopping 64 of the 66 shots he faced. The Olympic gold medal-winning goalie is two games from his first Stanley Cup title, but the Canucks’ former captain is determined to keep Vancouver focused on the work ahead in Boston.

“That’s what playoffs are all about,” Luongo said. “You don’t want to get too high after a win and too low after a loss.

“(Game 2) is a big win for us, but you’ve almost immediately got to put it behind you and start focusing on the next one. We know going into Boston, it’s not going to be easy. We want to make sure we’re focusing on the next one, not on what we just accomplished.”