Lucic/By S. Bradley

VANCOUVER — If there were any warm feelings about Vancouver’s native son Milan Lucic returning for Game 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, they’ve surely cooled off as the series between the Bruins and Canucks has increased in venom.

In addition to helping the Bruins win the last two games on home ice, Lucic also mocked Vancouver forward Alex Burrows with two fingers during Boston’s Game 3 blowout victory.

“Obviously it’s a big game. We talked about Game 3 and Game 4 being big games for us and as the series goes along, every game gets bigger and bigger,” said Lucic today some 90 minutes before the puck dropped for Game 5 at Rogers Arena. “You know, you can’t control what the fans do or what they say or how they cheer. We just know that they’re going to be loud. We just want to focus on ourselves and what we need to do in order to play our game and be successful.”

Before the series started, a lot was made of Lucic’s homecoming and the distractions that might cause. Lucic was certain he’d be able to handle the extra attention, and so far he says he has.

“It’s gotten easier more and more you come back. Obviously, when you come back, everyone wants to see you and come to the game and whatnot,” he said. “It’s funny, I only had to get one ticket for tonight, and that’s sort of nice. For myself, you know, just emotionally, like I talked about, it gets easier to play at home the more and more you’re able to play here.”

It’ll be even easier for Lucic and the Bruins if they don’t have to come back to Vancouver a win tonight would be the first step toward closing out this series in six games.