Already up in their best-of-seven playoff series against the New York Rangers, the Bruins team bus pulled through congested Times Square prior to Game 3 and sped right on past a slew of billboards for the musical “Jekyll and Hyde,” now playing on Broadway.

It was, of course, an instant reminder of Bruins coach Claude Julien scolding his hockey club for their “Jekyll and Hyde” play following their first-round Game 6 loss to the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Julien said he never knew “which team was going to show up” at that point in the playoffs, and the inconsistency had been dogging his team for most of the season.

The inevitable jokes and catcalls arrived from the Bruins players all sitting in the back of the bus when they saw the musical's billboards, and a smiling Julien responded, “Yeah, it’s starring the Boston Bruins.”

The punch lines are permissible now because the B’s seem to have finally left their inconsistencies behind them and started playing consistent, focused, hard playoff hockey that has put them up by a 3-0 lead over the New York Rangers heading into Thursday night’s Game 4 at Madison Square Garden.

The Bruins know they didn’t have the killer instinct in the first round against Toronto when they went up 3-1 in that series and were subsequently pushed to a Game 7.

“Hopefully we’ve learned our lesson. That fourth game is going to be the toughest one,” said Johnny Boychuk. “Out of any team in the NHL, we should probably know that the best.”