One of the big chores facing the Bruins in their two days to prepare for tomorrow night’s pivotal Game 5 in Chicago is to regain their identity.

Another one is to do so by the time puck is dropped.

In two of the first four Stanley Cup finals games, the Blackhawks got out to excellent starts. In Game 2, the B’s were fortunate enough to get a brilliant first-period goaltending performance from Tuukka Rask that allowed them to get their footing and eventually win the game in overtime.

But in the 6-5 overtime thriller in Game 4 at the Garden on Wednesday, the B’s may have tied the game up a couple of times, but they never really got out of chase mode. As a result, they allowed the game to open up against a very good offensive team.

What’s the main thing they have to learn from Game 4?

“Being prepared right from the start,” said center Chris Kelly. “And playing a consistent game. I don’t think our effort was there for the entire 60-plus minutes. There were some good times and some bad times. We just have to be a more consistent hockey team.”

There was one Chicago goal in particular that illustrated the dangers of playing catch-up hockey. Behind 3-1 in the second period, Milan Lucic cut it to a one-goal deficit. Less than a minute later, the B’s had their best defensive pair (Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg) and most responsible forward unit (the Patrice Bergeron line) on the ice and were buzzing in the offensive zone trying desperately to get the equalizer.

When Chicago gained possession of the puck along the right wall, Seidenberg made an ill-advised pinch. With the forwards caught deep, the Hawks went away on a 2-on-1. Rask made a great skate save on Marcus Kruger but, with the B’s selling out to score so desperately, Kruger had ample time to recover and chip home the rebound.