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At that point, it’s up to the Bruins to play on edge without losing an edge.

“As a team, you worry about the approach that your team’s going to take and try to keep them as disciplined as possible, and go from there,” Julien said. “[But] you also … need some emotion in this game. And I think any fan that loves the game of hockey is loving the emotions that are out there right now, minus the unnecessary crap that crosses the line.”

The Caps understood all along that the Bruins thrive on the borderline. And though the animosity took a few games to build up, they also know it will continue to swell.

“You get sick of competing against them,” forward Brooks Laich said. “There’s some verbal jousting, I guess you would say. It’s all in competition. You know, they’re going to try to do whatever they can to get us off our game, and we’re going to try the same to them.”