< Back to front page Text size +

Bruins happy with six draft picks

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 30, 2013 10:48 PM
The Bruins were satisfied with their six selections in the 2013 draft: three Europeans (Linus Arnesson, Peter Cehlarik, Anton Blidh), two New Englanders (Ryan Fitzgerald, Wiley Sherman), and Canadian Mitchell Dempsey.

“I think we were able to stick to our policy of having Bruins-style players,” said Wayne Smith, director of amateur scouting. “People that are committed to winning and committed to the team game. I’m confident in every one of those players that they’ll do everything they can to make it. I know they’re excited about it.”

Some observations about the prospects from Smith, assistant GM Jim Benning, and European head scout Jukka Holtari:

Arnesson: “Steady defenseman. Very difficult to beat one-on-one. Responsible. Sticks up for his teammates. Plays a good puck-moving game. Has size to go with it.” (Smith)

Cehlarik: “If he turns out what we wish him to be, the style of play reminds me a little bit of Anze Kopitar. Kopitar was already ahead of this player at this age. He played in the men’s world championships. But the style of play has some similarities.” (Holtari)

Sherman: “We drafted him because he’s 6-foot-6. He’s a raw player right now. But he’s athletic. He’s a good skater. He can make a good first pass. We’re hoping he develops into a defensive, stay-at-home D-man. If he hits his high side, we’re hoping he can kind of play a Hal Gill-style of game.” (Benning)

Fitzgerald: “He’s a real smart hockey player. He plays hard. He competes hard. He’ll fit right into our culture and our competitiveness. I think he’s going to be a real good player for us.” (Benning)

Blidh: “Plays a Bruins-style of play. He’s an up-and-down, hard-nosed kid.” (Smith)

Dempsey: “Big, strong kid. Had injury problems with a high ankle sprain and pneumonia this year. Fortunately, we were very familiar with him. We took a chance he’s going to have a comeback season this season.” (Smith)

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli on Tyler Seguin: 'Got to become more of a professional'

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 30, 2013 08:16 PM
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli issued his most emphatic critique of Tyler Seguin since the forward entered the NHL.

“He’s got to commit his mind and focus to the one task at hand,” Chiarelli said. “He’s got to become more of a professional. You know what? I can say that about a lot of 21-year-olds. I know he got criticized for playing on the periphery and all that stuff. He did. He’s got to commit to being a professional and focusing on the game. Simple as that. He does that, we don’t expect him to be crashing and banging. Just play your game.”

Inquiries on Seguin withered after Nathan Horton declared his intention to test free agency. If he were to trade Seguin, Chiarelli said he would demand an elite young player or prospect in return. Even if Seguin is not traded, Chiarelli hopes the chatter will straighten out the forward.

“I hope it does,” Chiarelli said. “If it doesn’t, I’d be more concerned. We gave Tyler a big contract because he projects and he had good performance. I would expect that going forward.”

Starting next season, Seguin will earn $5.75 million annually for the next six years.

Bruins select D Linus Arnesson in second round

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 30, 2013 07:35 PM
NEWARK – The Bruins have selected defenseman Linus Arnesson with their second-round pick. Arnesson is a 6-foot-1, 179-pound defenseman who played for Sweden’s Djurgarden this past season. The left-shot Arnesson split time between Djurgarden’s men’s team and junior club.

Arnesson is a two-way defenseman. Arnesson scored zero goals and one assist while playing for the men’s team. On the junior team, Arnesson scored one goal and three assists. Djurgarden did not play in the Swedish Elite League. The club competed in Sweden’s second-tier league.

Arnesson compared himself to Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, who had a strong series against the Bruins.

Arnesson interviewed with the Bruins during the NHL combine in May in Toronto. Arnesson will play in Sweden next year, then transition to North American play.

* The Bruins took forward Peter Cehlarik in the third round. Cehlarik is a 6-foot-2, 192-pound forward from Slovakia. Cehlarik played for Lulea in Sweden this past year. GM Peter Chiarelli used Michael Handzus as a comparable.

* The Bruins drafted forward Ryan Fitzgerald in the fourth round. He is the son of ex-Bruin Tom Fitzgerald. Ryan Fitzgerald will be a Boston College freshman this fall.

* Defenseman Wiley Sherman was selected in the fifth round. The native of Greenwich, Conn., is a 6-foot-6, 206-pounder who played for Hotchkiss in 2012-13.

* The Bruins took forward Anton Blidh in the sixth round. Blidh scored 17 goals and 10 assists for Frolunda.

* The Bruins closed out the draft by taking forward Mitchell Dempsey with the 210th pick.

Bruins meet with Vincent Lecavalier

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 30, 2013 12:21 PM

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – The Bruins met with Vincent Lecavalier and agent Kent Hughes on Saturday. Lecavalier will reach the open market next Friday. The former Tampa Bay captain was bought out by the Lightning, making him available for every club.

Lecavalier became a bigger target for the Bruins after Nathan Horton declared his intention to test free agency.

“With what happened with Nathan, it became a little more ripe,” said GM Peter Chiarelli. “We had a good meeting.”

The Bruins would most likely have to convince Lecavalier to change positions. David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron are the top two centers. Lecavalier does not project to be a No. 3 center. Chiarelli said Lecavalier would be amenable to switching to wing.

* Chiarelli acknowledged being surprised by Horton’s decision. “Yeah. I was surprised,” Chiarelli said. “I respect someone’s decision to go to free agency. I think it was a real tough decision for him and his family. I can never say never. Maybe he’ll come back and want to revisit it. But the message I got is that he’s going to test free agency and wants a new beginning.”

* Chiarelli said there was a deluge of calls on Tyler Seguin’s availability yesterday. The inquiries halted once Horton’s decision was made.

* The Bruins are still pursuing a first-round pick. It is unlikely they will land one.

Nathan Horton going to free agency

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 01:55 PM
Nathan Horton will not re-sign with the Bruins prior to next Friday. Instead, Horton will become an unrestricted free agent and test the open market. It is highly unlikely Horton will re-sign with the Bruins after next Friday.

The Bruins were informed of Horton’s decision today.

“Pursuant to his rights under the CBA, Nathan has informed the Bruins that he is going to explore his options as an unrestricted free agent,” Paul Krepelka, Horton’s agent, said in a statement.

Horton appeared in 169 regular-season games for the Bruins over the last three years. Horton scored 56 goals and 51 assists.

In the playoffs, Horton scored 15 goals and 21 assists in 43 games. Horton was the right wing alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci. GM Peter Chiarelli classified the threesome as the best line in the NHL.

Horton should command a bigger contract on the market than had he remained in Boston. The 28-year-old has a concussion history and will require surgery on his left shoulder. But Horton has raised his performance during his two active postseasons.

It’s possible the Bruins could trade Horton’s negotiating rights. However, given Horton’s desire to hit the open market, the Bruins might not be able to demand much in return.

The Bruins are now down their top two right wings. Jaromir Jagr will not be re-signed.

Trade talk active as Bruins prepare for draft

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 12:35 PM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – The 2013 NHL Draft is just over 24 hours away from starting. But the Bruins’ six picks are not atop the team’s priority list.

The Bruins must re-sign Nathan Horton prior to next Friday, when he will become an unrestricted free agent. To do so, the Bruins will have to shed salary via trade.

“It’s actually pretty active,” GM Peter Chiarelli said during a press conference this morning. “When [Vincent] Lecavalier got bought out, it’s kind of thrown some teams for a loop. There’s a trickledown effect. It gives everybody pause for thought. It’s been fairly active.”

Rich Peverley is the leading candidate to be traded. Peverley carries a $3.25 million average annual cap hit.

* The Bruins will not re-sign Andrew Ference. But they may receive an asset for the UFA-to-be. Several clubs have inquired about acquiring Ference’s negotiating rights. Chiarelli has given Kurt Overhardt, Ference’s agent, permission to ask around. “I’m not going to stand in his way,” Chiarelli said. “Andy’s been a warrior for us. I want to help him as much as I can.”

* The Bruins have qualified Tuukka Rask and Jordan Caron. They have yet to qualify Kaspars Daugavins and Michael Hutchinson. They may still do so, said Chiarelli.

Jeremy Jacobs: 'Bruins will spend to the cap'

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 28, 2013 10:50 AM

The NHL salary cap will dip to $64.3 million in 2013-14. It is a ceiling the Bruins will spend to if necessary.

“The Bruins will spend to the cap,” owner Jeremy Jacobs said during a press conference at TD Garden. “The Bruins are going to spend to the cap.”

The trick is for the Bruins to re-sign Nathan Horton (unrestricted) and Tuukka Rask (restricted) while remaining cap-compliant. Jacobs has given GM Peter Chiarelli the green light to use a long-term injury exception on Marc Savard if the Bruins aim to exceed the cap by his average annual value.

Jacobs considers 2013-14 a blip on the cap radar. Jacobs expects the 2014-15 cap to rise substantially based on projected NHL revenue.

* Jacobs is operating under the assumption that the NHL will participate in the 2014 Olympics.

* Chiarelli has one more year remaining on his contract, according to president Cam Neely. The Bruins are open to discussing an extension for Chiarelli during the offseason.

Tuukka Rask says he proved he was capable of doing the job

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 26, 2013 04:43 PM
CHICAGO -- Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask said he was going to try to enjoy the summer now and not focus on hockey anymore.

The only thing keeping him from that is the fact that his one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Bruins is about to expire.

Rask, who is in line for a significant salary bump, was asked about his contract status Wednesday.

"I'm going to go see [Bruins GM] Peter [Chiarelli] right now," Rask joked. "Have it signed by this afternoon."

The Bruins No. 1 goaltender who shined through much of the postseason, said he would like to remain in Boston for the long tern.

"That would be an ideal situation, I think to play here forever," Rask said. "I hope we can make that happen."

Chiarelli was asked how much he'd want to get a new deal for Rask done so that the team wouild have an idea where the rest of the summer might go from there.

"Well, you’d like to get everything done quickly," Chiarelli said. "I don’t know if I’ll have that luxury, but certainly I’ll try just so you have your certainty on your team and cap and all that. He’s obviously had a terrific playoff and we’d like to get him done as soon as we can."

Rask was asked if he believes he's proven himself with his performance this season.

"I don’t think I have to answer those questions anymore," he said. "I played good. Proved to everyone again that I was capable of doing it. I mean, you look at the numbers. They’re good. If I just analyze my game and by how I felt throughout the year, I thought it was a great year."

Rask said he used the existing one year contract as a motivation to perform well this season.

"You always try to be good but then you are trying to get your average game level as high as you can," Rask said. "That the gap between a good game and a bad game wouldn’t be so big. I think I managed to do that this year and it motivates me for the next year to keep that level and keep getting better."

Patrice Bergeron in hospital with punctured lung

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 26, 2013 03:05 PM

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron remains at a local hospital for observation because of a punctured lung. He was admitted following the Bruins’ 3-2 loss to Chicago in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday night.

General manager Peter Chiarelli speculated that the puncture was caused either by Bergeron’s broken rib or by a nerve-blocking injection. Neither Chiarelli nor coach Claude Julien believes the puncture was incurred during Game 6. Both noted that Bergeron would not have been able to play with a punctured lung.

As it was, Bergeron entered Game 6 with a broken rib and torn cartilage. He then sustained a separated shoulder during the first period. Bergeron had visited a Chicago hospital after Game 5 Saturday night because of the torn cartilage.

In other Bruins news:

• Right wing Nathan Horton will require surgery on his dislocated left shoulder. Horton said the shoulder popped out in overtime of Game 1 against the Blackhawks. Horton played with a brace for the rest of the series. Chiarelli said the Bruins will attempt to re-sign Horton, who will become an unrestricted free agent July 5. Chiarelli acknowledged he has work to do if he wants to re-sign Horton on top of extending Tuukka Rask.

• The Bruins will not re-sign defenseman Andrew Ference. Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski, and Torey Krug are candidates to replace him.

• The Bruins will not re-sign Jaromir Jagr. The 41-year-old winger said he’d like to continue playing in the NHL instead of returning to the Czech Republic. Jagr joked that if he scored 20 goals in the playoffs, the Bruins might consider bringing him back. “I was 20 short,” said Jagr, who hurt his back and hip in Game 6.

• Zdeno Chara played through a hip flexor injury in the playoffs, but he said he would have played even if the injury took place during the regular season.

• Dennis Seidenberg pulled a hamstring in Game 7 of the first-round series against Toronto. Seidenberg didn’t play in the first four games of the second round against the Rangers.

• The Bruins have not ruled out re-signing goalie Anton Khudobin. Chiarelli told Khudobin that he’d have to re-sign Rask first. If Khudobin does not return, Niklas Svedberg will most likely be Rask’s backup.

• The Bruins will not use compliance buyouts, according to Chiarelli.

Jaromir Jagr won't return to Bruins

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 26, 2013 11:57 AM
NHL veteran Jaromir Jagr's brief time with the Boston Bruins is over.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed the breakup at the team's end-of-season press conference Wednesday at TD Garden.

Jagr also spoke to reporters about his time in Boston and joked "Maybe if I scored 20 goals in the playoffs it would be a different story, but I was 20 short."

The future Hall-of-Famer did say he hopes to join another NHL team next season.

"I want to do it [play in the NHL again], I love this game so much that's for sure," Jagr said. "So I don't want to go back to Czech yet."

Jagr played 33 games with the Bruins and would end his time in Boston with just two goals and 17 assists on the offensive side, although he made contributions in other areas of the game.

“I told him that ‘what you did to wear a D down was very impressive," Chiarelli said. "I know you didn’t score, but the timely plays that you made were terrific. I thought you spread out our play, which helped our power play'. I was really happy with Jaromir.”

Jagr also revealed to reporters that he hurt his back and hip in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals vs. the Chicago Blackhawks.

"It was something wrong with my back and my hip so I had a tough time to skate," Jagr said. "But I talked to the doctor they gave me some shot but it took like 30 minutes to knock the pain off so I couldn't really play in the second period."

Chiarelli also said the Bruins won’t be re-signing defenseman Andrew Ference or local product Jay Pandolfo.

"With the current cap Peter [Chiarelli] isn’t going to be able to keep me," Ference said. "So you know, he’s got to resign Tuukka [Rask], and obviously do his side of the business. Also unfortunately with the new CBA he’s restricted. He said ‘wish it wasn’t so,’ but that’s the way it is."

Bruins forward Nathan Horton could also be taking his services elsewhere next season. He was asked what his priorities were when looking at his next contract.

"I’m not even going to talk about it," Horton said. "If you want to talk about it you can call my agent. We just play hockey and that’s all we worry about. Sooner or later, like I said, it’s going to get taken care of and we’ll all find out what it’s going to be. I don’t know either, so I can’t tell you. And that’s it."

Horton will require surgery on his dislocated left shoulder. Horton said the shoulder popped out in overtime of Game 1 against the Blackhawks. Horton played with a brace for the rest of the series.

Chiarelli told Horton that the Bruins hope to re-sign him and said that he will not be using amnesty buyouts.

Toronto Sun pretty pleased with Stanley Cup outcome

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 25, 2013 10:57 AM

sun_cover.jpg

Photo via Newseum.org/Reprinted by permission


After the Bruins pulled off one of sports' great comebacks and snatched an apparent victory from the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of their first-round NHL playoff series, it's understandable hockey fans in Toronto may have been less than thrilled with Boston's run to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Toronto Sun's front page this morning very likely sums up a popular sentiment in Toronto.

The headline used on the paper's website earlier this morning followed the theme: "B's get a taste of own medicine."

5 takeaways from the Bruins Stanley Cup Final loss

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff June 25, 2013 01:36 AM

The Bruins lost the Stanley Cup Final series to the Chicago Blackhawks, falling 3-2 in Game 6. Here are five takeaways from the final game.

1. 17 seconds of infamy -- Coming off what would have been the team's most memorable penalty kill of the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins found themselves up 2-1 with little more than three minutes left in the game. Game 7 was all but a certainty. All the Bruins needed to do was hold a furious and desperate Blackhawks team in the waning moments and the Black and Gold would be on its way back to Chicago for a chance at the Cup.

There was hope.

But the threads of those dreams started to come apart quickly. First, the Blackhawks went empty net on the Bruins with a little more than 1:20 left in the game. With the extra attacker, and some inspired jostling for the puck by Duncan Keith in the Bruins' zone, the Blackhawks were able to get some easy traffic in front of Tuukka Rask.

Keith freed up the puck and passed it along to Jonathan Toews. Toews had an abnormally unrestricted opportunity to create because of the strength of numbers, skating right up to the crease before dishing off to Bryan Bickell for the game-tying goal with 1:16 to go.

But that wasn't the gut punch.

Only 17 seconds later, the Blackhawks' Dave Bolland slipped behind Johnny Boychuk to claim a rebound off a Johnny Oduya shot from the blue line and stun the Bruins with 58 seconds left. The Blackhawks were helped by a deflection from Michael Frolik, who had taken the attention of Boychuk and Andrew Ference because he was sitting in their sight line from Oduya to Rask. The turnaround, in such a short time span, was devastating.

"You think you have things under control," Rask said. "We killed a big penalty there. We were thinking ‘oh, we’re just going to keep it tight and score maybe an empty-netter.’ And then, all of the sudden, they score a goal. You have to go out there again and keep playing. Many times it goes like that before a goal, lose the momentum, and that’s what happened. They got another shot, a deflection, a rebound, and a goal."

As quick as a flash, these are the moments that will burden the minds of each player forever. This will not be an easy summer.

2. Patrice Bergeron defined what this team meant -- Patrice Bergeron showed what it meant to be tough to the very end. After sitting out of morning skate, and missing the majority of Game 5 with what then was an undisclosed injury, we learned afterward that he played Game 6 with a broken rib, torn cartilage, and a separated shoulder. His very presence on the ice is the stuff tantamount to legend. And he played no bit part.

He had 24 shifts and 17:45 worth of ice time. He was out there hitting and skating hard. He won 5 of 11 face-offs. And he wasn't the only one playing at less than 100 percent.

Zdeno Chara, who had been the focus of criticism these past few games, was also playing hurt, according to coach Claude Julien.

Had Boston buttoned up its defense in the final 90 seconds, we probably wouldn't know the sacrifices Bergeron and Chara were making. For Bergeron, he went above and beyond the call in order to help his team while they were down. There's no shortage of respect for that type of performance.

Surely no one will equate his toughness with that of teammate Gregory Campbell's, who stayed on the ice for 50 seconds with a broken leg, but it remains on the pantheon.

"I think even when he was getting dressed in the locker room before the game, you could feel the boys' spirits lifted," Tyler Seguin said afterward. "The year we won, he was doing the same thing; fighting through everything. Obviously guys have bumps and bruises, but he's a guy that you obviously say is the heart and soul of our team. He wears that 'B' with a lot of pride."

3. First period domination -- It's so hard to recall that through the first 20 minutes of Monday's game, the Bruins were the superior hockey club.

And they were the better team by a wide margin.

The Bruins out shot the Blackhawks 32 to 8 (12 to 6 shots on goal), teasing Bruins fans with their offensive opportunities and missed chances. Tyler Seguin's beautiful feed to Chris Kelly, putting the Bruins up 1-0 halfway through the period, feels like a distant memory given the outcome of the night.

But it won't be much harder to recall the missed chances more clearly in the days ahead. David Krejci missed an open-netter off a pass from Brad Marchand and the team went 0 for 2 on the power play, continuing a trend of futility on special teams.

"Well we did have a great start," Dennis Seidenberg said. "We stopped playing that way we did at first, we started to turn pucks over on the blue line and that’s when they started playing and got their speed again. We kind of picked it up again in the third, and we scored, but the rest—you saw what happened."


4. Is this loss familiar? -- Tuukka Rask said an interesting thing, that Monday's 3-2 loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 reminded him of the Bruins' 5-4 OT win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7.

If you recall, it was a miracle comeback game for the Bruins, with Patrice Bergeron scoring two goals 82 seconds apart -- one in the third period and the game-winner in overtime. The Bruins needed four goals to come back and win that game.

"I guess we get a taste of our own medicine here," Rask said. "It sucks."

It does.

5. Pride in Boston -- There was an immense pride from the Bruins in representing Boston, especially after the Marathon bombing on April 15. The team discussed the aftermath extensively among themselves and resolved to do something special for the city by playing as tough and gritty as possible. And it showed.

The Stanley Cup Final run still exemplifies that.

"You know, at the end of the day, I think that's what hurts  the most is in the back of our minds, although we needed to focus on our  team and doing what was going to be the best thing for our team to win a  Stanley  Cup, in the back of our minds we wanted to do it for those kind of reasons, the City of Boston, what Newtown has been through, that kind of stuff," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "It hit close to home, and the best way we felt we could try and cheer the area was to win a Stanley Cup. I think that's what's hard right now for the players. We had more reasons than just ourselves to win a Cup."

I don't think Julien or the Bruins has anything to be ashamed of with their performance. This team had a fantastic run and an incredible season after the lockout. Bruins fans should be proud.

Bruins see season come to an end with stunning loss to Blackhawks in Game 6

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 25, 2013 01:05 AM

Sitting on a one-goal lead with a chance to force a Game 7, the Bruins allowed Chicago to score the game's tying and winning goals 17 seconds apart late in the third period of Game 6 Monday night, the dramatic turn ending the Stanley Cup Final in six games and Boston's season in heartbreaking fashion. A stunned crowd watched the Blackhawks accept the Stanley Cup on TD Garden ice.

"The best way we felt we could try and cheer the area was to win a Stanley Cup," Bruins coach Claude Julien said afterward. "I think that's what's hard right now."

Chicago's late scores were shocking but clinical. Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews -- who was questionable heading into the game -- threaded a beautiful feed to Bryan Bickell to knot the score at 2 with 1:16 left in regulation. Barely done celebrating, Chicago attacked again. Defenseman Johnny Oduya ripped a slap shot from the point that was deflected in front of the net by Michael Frolik. The deflected puck sailed past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask but struck the post, offering up an easy rebound for center Dave Bolland, who finished it into the back of the net to give Chicago a 3-2 lead with 58.3 seconds left.

A silent, sellout crowd of Bruins fans watched Chicago run out the clock. In an instant, the Blackhawks went from facing a deciding Game 7 to winning their second Stanley Cup in four seasons. Just as quickly, and in cruel twist reminiscent of what they did to the Toronto Maple Leafs a few series earlier, the Bruins saw their season slip away. The loss kept the Bruins from their second Stanley Cup win in three seasons.

"We’ve done it to somebody else, so we got to feel how it feels being on the other side," said Rask. "This season we were known to lose a couple of leads. Even in the regular season we were up by goals and we lost the games. I guess that sums it up pretty good."

It took six games for the Bruins to get off to a good start in the Finals, but they were on the right track early Monday night. In the first period the home team had all the chances, amounting a 32-8 lead in shots attempted. At the 7:19 mark, Tyler Seguin snatched the puck out of the air with his right hand and fed a cutting Chris Kelly to put the Bruins up, 1-0. The goal was emblematic of improved play from the pair of Bruins third-liners. Despite the chances, however, Boston was only able to put one goal on the board before the first intermission.

"I thought we came out the way we wanted to," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. "I thought we came out with a lot of energy, put a lot of pressure on them."

The third line got the Bruins started, but there were questions about Boston's other two lines throughout. Patrice Bergeron was a game-time decision after checking into a Chicago hospital during Game 5, but he was in Julien's lineup for Game 6. Bergeron went through warmups carefully and a little slowly. He also spent some time hunched over. Usually one of the the last Bruins off the ice, Bergeron left warmups before any of his teammates.

The warning signs manifested themselves in the center's play. Bergeron threw a couple of hits on his first shift, but they weren't exactly forceful. He started the game taking faceoffs but ceded the duty to Rich Peverley late in the first period. He spent some more time bent over later in the game, and he was clearly not himself. After the game, Bergeron revealed he was playing with a broken rib, torn cartilage, and a separated shoulder.

"We want to play for each other, and to have him on the ice and on the bench was great," said Bruins center David Krejci. "I was really happy that he was able to play. It wasn’t easy. He’s a warrior, and he loves the team."

Tyler Seguin said Bergeron's presence provided a lift.

"I think even when he was getting dressed in the locker room before the game, you could feel the boy’s sprits lifted," said Seguin. "The year we won he was doing the same thing; fighting through everything. Obviously guys have bumps and bruises, but he’s a guy that you obviously say is the heart and soul of our team. He wears that ‘B’ with a lot of pride. "

Jaromir Jagr also appeared to suffer an injury, limping off around the 9:00 mark in the first period. He returned to the bench to start the second period before going back to the locker room. Jagr returned in the third period, allowing Julien to shuffle his lines back to their original form. Julien said after the game that Chara also wasn't playing at 100 percent. Nathan Horton revealed he was playing with a dislocated shoulder.

There was a scary moment late in the first period when Shawn Thornton fired a puck from close range right into Andrew Shaw's face. The Blackhawks winger crumpled to the ice, blood gushing from under his right eye. He returned to the game, with trickles of blood making their way down his face during stoppages in play.

Chicago weathered the early storm and evened things up at the 4:24 mark in the second period. Toews won a faceoff and sped past Chara before firing a laser, five-hole, on Rask. There was audible cheering from some Blackhawks fans in the building, an ominous premonition of things to come.

"In the second 20 minutes we were making some turnovers, and obviously it was an even game," said Chara.

Back together again, Boston's third line had a scoring chance with 12:00 to go, but Danielle Paille was stuffed on the backhand by Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford. The Bruins eventually did get to Crawford, and it looked like it would be for the game-winner. Milan Lucic scored his seventh goal of the playoffs at 12:11 in the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie and the tense atmosphere of an elimination game. Lucic applied a forceful forecheck behind the Blackhawks net to give the Bruins possession, then camped out in front and stuffed home a feed from Krejci. For a few minutes anyway, it looked like Lucic was going to provide the difference.

An hour or so after the game, Blackhawks fans continued to cheer from the stands as the celebration spilled onto the ice. Down below, the scene in the Bruins locker room was somber. Thornton praised Bergeron's toughness. Krejci talked about the love he had for his teammates. Seguin said he wished he could have done more for a city that has gone through so much in recent months. At one point, Seguin was moved to tears.

"It's a tough way to lose a game," said Chara. "It's a tough way to lose a series."

The manner in which the Bruins lost is something defenseman Johnny Boychuk said will stick with him.

"Forever," he said when asked how long the loss would linger. "I mean you are going to remember forever. You remember winning it, but I think you remember losing it a little bit more, now that we have had that happen."

Patrice Bergeron played with multiple injuries, including a broken rib

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff June 24, 2013 11:35 PM
The Bruins' Patrice Bergeron's status for Game 6 – an eventual 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks – was up in the air until Monday's morning skate, when coach Claude Julien declared he was confident he would play.

The team's top center took to the ice, skating for 17:45 while working 24 shifts, and all while dealing with a broken rib, torn cartilage and a separated shoulder.

Bergeron told reporters of his injuries after the Bruins' stunning loss Monday night.

"To have him in our lineup tonight was a bonus," Julien said. "There was nothing that was going to stop this guy from getting in our lineup, and that's why I can't speak enough about how proud I am of our players, because of things like that, and he wasn't going to be denied that opportunity no matter what."

Final: Blackhawks 3, Bruins 2

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 24, 2013 08:08 PM

The Blackhawks scored two goals in 17 seconds to claim Game 6 by a 3-2 score and swipe the Stanley Cup.

The Bruins held a 2-1 lead with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. But the Blackhawks started the rally when Bryan Bickell scored a six-on-five goal to tie the game. With 58.3 seconds remaining, Dave Bolland jammed home the rebound of a Johnny Oduya shot for the winning goal.

End of second period: 1-1: The Bruins had all the momentum after the first period. But they ran out of gas in the second period. The Blackhawks took advantage by tying the game at 4:24 of the second.

Prior to the goal, Chris Kelly won a neutral-zone faceoff against Jonathan Toews. Kelly pulled the puck back toward the wall. Zdeno Chara moved up to retrieve the puck. But Michael Rozsival pushed the puck past Chara to Toews, giving the Blackhawks a two-on-one rush. Dennis Seidenberg played the rush well, taking away Toews’s cross-ice option to Patrick Kane. But Toews snapped a sharp-angle wrister five-hole on Tuukka Rask to make it a 1-1 game.

Jaromir Jagr took one shift in the second, then retreated to the dressing room. Jagr didn’t return.

End of first period: Bruins, 1-0: The Bruins blitzed the Blackhawks in the first period. The Bruins controlled the pace of the game from the start of the game. For all that, the Bruins had only a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.

The Bruins scored their goal following some strong offensive-zone work by the third line. After an offensive-zone faceoff, the Bruins engaged in a puck battle. Torey Krug and Tyler Seguin helped get the puck to Daniel Paille. Once Paille settled the puck, he found Seguin cutting through the slot. Seguin caught Paille’s pass with his right hand, dropped it to his blade, and snapped a backhand pass to Chris Kelly. Kelly snapped the puck past Corey Crawford at 7:19 to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

The Bruins lost Jaromir Jagr approximately halfway through the first. Jagr appeared to get tangled up with Brent Seabrook just as Michael Frolik took for a partial breakaway. As Tuukka Rask stopped Frolik’s shot, Jagr went to the dressing room. Jagr didn’t return.

Get live updates throughout Game 6 in our live blog feed below.

To chat with other fans throughout the game, head over to our live coverage page where a fan chat window is side-by-side with the updates found below.

Tonight's Bruins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 24, 2013 07:52 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Carl Soderberg-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Tonight's Blackhawks lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 24, 2013 07:51 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Bryan Bickell-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp-Michal Handzus-Marian Hossa
Brandon Saad-Andrew Shaw-Viktor Stalberg
Marcus Kruger-Dave Bolland-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Watch: Live pregame show at 6 p.m.

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 24, 2013 03:26 PM

We'll have a live pregame show from TD Garden ahead of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Tune in at 6 p.m. for the latest news and analysis from Kevin Paul Dupont and Steve Silva.

Claude Julien confident Patrice Bergeron will play tonight

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 24, 2013 11:51 AM
Patrice Bergeron will participate in warmups tonight. Coach Claude Julien said he’s confident Bergeron will play.

Bergeron didn’t participate in the morning skate. Bergeron suffered an undisclosed injury in Game 5 that required a visit to a Chicago hospital. Bergeron returned to Boston with his teammates Sunday morning.

Assuming Bergeron plays, he will most likely center Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr. The Bruins will then have to determine who plays left wing on the fourth line.

Carl Soderberg started in that position in Game 5 before moving up to No. 2 center following Bergeron’s exit. Jay Pandolfo took shifts on the fourth line with Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton during the morning skate.

* Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg were paired this morning. They were split after the second period of Game 5.

* Jonathan Toews participated in Chicago’s morning skate. Toews is likely to play.

Tonight’s possible lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Carl Soderberg-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Game 6 preview: Blackhawks at Bruins

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 24, 2013 10:27 AM
Good morning from TD Garden, where the Bruins will try to send the series to Game 7 in Chicago on Wednesday. The Stanley Cup will be present tonight. The Bruins do not want to see it awarded on home ice.

It is unknown whether Patrice Bergeron (undisclosed injury) will be available tonight. Bergeron spent part of Saturday in a Chicago hospital. On Sunday, Claude Julien termed Bergeron as day-to-day. For now, we’ll assume Bergeron is in tonight.

Puck drop: 8 p.m.

TV/radio info: NBC (Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)

Records: Blackhawks 3-2, Bruins 2-3

Projected Blackhawks lineup:

Bryan Bickell-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp-Michal Handzus-Marian Hossa
Brandon Saad-Andrew Shaw-Viktor Stalberg
Marcus Kruger-Dave Bolland-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Healthy scratches: Daniel Carcillo, Jamal Mayers, Brandon Bollig, Ben Smith, Ryan Stanton

Projected Bruins lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Carl Soderberg-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Andrew Ference-Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Healthy scratches: Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Wade Redden, Aaron Johnson, Kaspars Daugavins, Jay Pandolfo, Jordan Caron

Storylines: Jonathan Toews was limited in Game 5 after taking a wicked wallop from Johnny Boychuk. Joel Quenneville said Toews was feeling better Sunday. We’ll assume that Toews will be in tonight’s lineup … The Bruins might have to break up the Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg pairing again tonight. The two were split for Saturday’s third period. While they haven’t been totally at fault for the goals against, the results have been awful… Wes McCauley and Dan O’Halloran will be the referees. Pierre Racicot and Jay Sharrers will be the linesmen.

Stanley Cup Today: It's do or die

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 24, 2013 07:56 AM
As the Bruins face a must-win situation in Game 6 tonight to keep their Stanley Cup hopes alive, questions swirl on both sides.

Most notable is the status of the Bruins' Patrice Bergeron and the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews, both of whom left Saturday's Game 5 with injuries. Today's morning skate will shed some light on the situation, but it's possible we won't know for sure if either will play until gametime.

One thing's for certain – the Stanley Cup itself will be in Boston tonight in case the Blackhawks win. A Bruins win pushes the series to a deciding Game 7 on Wednesday night.

***

Links from Chicago

The Chicago Tribune is surveying readers on whether Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk should have been suspended for his hit on the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews. We'll give you one guess which answer is leading right now.

The Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus writes the Blackhawks know a fourth win in the series will be the toughest to get.

***
What you may have missed

Stats Driven blogger David Sabino writes that the Bruins are at their best when facing elimination.

Bruins coach Claude Julien thinks the Boychuk hit on Toews was clean.

Obnoxious Boston Fan weighs in as well with a post headlined Bruins walk tightrope against Chicago.

***

Hot on social

Today's forecast: Highs in the 90s. Stanley Cup weather.

***

What's coming

Boston Sports Live at noon will focus on Game 6, and we'll also have a live pregame show from TD Garden at 6 p.m. Look for a video player in the Bruins blog as well as on BDC's homepage and sports page.

Our live coverage page will feature an updates blog and fan chat that will be promoted on both Boston.com and the Chicago Tribune's website.

Julien on Boychuk hit: 'It was clean'

Posted by Staff June 23, 2013 05:44 PM

Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk will not face suspension for his hit on Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

According to Boston coach Claude Julien, that was the right decision.

The play occurred midway through the second period. Toews cut into the middle of the ice and mustered a shot on goalie Tuukka Rask a few feet from Boston’s net.

Right after the release, Toews was met with a heavy blow: an open ice hit by Boychuk, the Bruins 6-foot-2, 225 pound defenseman.

Toews did not speak to the media after Game 5 and was not made available on Sunday.
Boychuk maintained after Game 5 that the hit was clean. On Sunday, Julien stood by his defenseman.

“I agree with [the NHL,” Julien said. “I’m not going to hide from that. I have been a guy that supported those kind of things that we need to get out of the game. But it was a clean hit.”

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference served a one game suspension in the first round for a hit on Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski.

The NHL’s discipline office ruled that Ference illegally targeted Grabovski’s head with his left elbow.

Bruins at the brink, yet again

Posted by Staff June 23, 2013 05:41 PM

To the brink of elimination in a Stanley Cup Final -- the Bruins have been here before.

They’ve won here before, too.

When Boston won the Cup in 2011, they trailed 3-2 to the Canucks entering Game 6. The Bruins rallied, winning the next two games by a combined 9-2 score.

“We have some experience here,” said Brad Marchand, who tallied three goals in the final two games of 2011. “We need to realize to win this game we have to leave everything on the ice. That’s what we did last time so hopefully we can do it again.”

With Finals tied 2-2, teams that win Game 5 have won the Cup 15 out of 22 times (68.2 percent).

That hasn’t been the case recently.

Since 2001, four of the past six teams to lose Game 5 have rebounded to win the championship.

That, of course, includes the Bruins.

“I think the big picture is just win two games,” forward Nathan Horton said. “We concentrate on one at a time.”

Since Julien took over in 2008, his Bruins teams have faced elimination 14 times.
Boston is 10-4 in those games.

“Yeah I like our chances,” rookie forward Carl Soderberg said. “They’re not bad.”

No discipline for Johnny Boychuk for his on Jonathan Toews

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 23, 2013 12:47 PM

toewshit.jpg

Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk will not be disciplined for his hit to the head on Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, according to multiple reports. The hit occured in front of Boston's net in the second period. Toews missed the third period with the injury.

Patrice Bergeron discharged, will fly home with team

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 23, 2013 11:08 AM
CHICAGO -- Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli issued the following update Sunday on the status of forward Patrice Bergeron:

"Patrice was discharged from the hospital Saturday night and will be flying home with the team this morning," Chiarelli said in a statement.

During the second intermission of Saturday night's Game 5 in Chicago, Patrice Bergeron was transported via ambulance to a local hospital because of an undisclosed injury.

Bergeron appeared to injure himself during his first shift of the second period. He cut his shift short and skated to the Bruins bench. He remained on the bench, bending over repeatedly while appearing to be in discomfort.

Bergeron took one more shift approximately halfway through the second period, but it didn’t last long. He left the ice and remained on the bench for the rest of the period, and did not return.

According to a tweet by Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet Canada, Bergeron may have a spleen issue.

His status for Monday’s Game 6 at TD Garden is unknown.

Bruins drop Game 5, lose Patrice Bergeron to injury

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 23, 2013 06:51 AM
CHICAGO -- The Bruins got the kind of game they wanted.

But the end result was a disappointing loss just the same.

Game 5 against the Blackhawks wasn't the run-and-gun, high-scoring affair that defined Game 4 in Boston. Saturday night's matchup was a grinding, low scoring battle, but the Bruins could not prevail, losing 3-1 to a rejuvenated Chicago team that is now just one win away from taking the Stanley Cup home with them Monday night.

If the Bruins are to win the final two games and take the Cup, the same path they took to win it all in 2011, they may have to do it without star center Patrice Bergeron who left the game, and eventually the building, with an injury suffered during the first period when he took himself off the ice.

Bergeron was spotted on the Bruins bench, bending over repeatedly and played for only 0:49 in the second period before leaving the United Center by ambulance at the beginning of the third.

Bruins coach Claude Julien was asked about the Bergeron injury, but did not shed any light on the situation after the game.

"I think there's no concern until you get an update," Julien said.  "As far as we're concerned, he's just getting evaluated right now.  Not much I can say on his situation…  It's just an injury that wasn't able to let him finish the game. He may be in next game. I'm not going there."

According to a tweet by Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet Canada, Bergeron may have a spleen issue.

“It was a loss,” center David Krejci said regarding Bergeron leaving the game. “You miss your best faceoff man and one of your best players. I feel we had some pretty decent chances, but I believe with Bergy in the lineup we would’ve got that second goal. I think we were pretty close a couple times."

Bruins center Carl Soderberg saw his first action of the postseason, being inserted into the Game 5 lineup as the No. 4 left wing. After the Bergeron injury, Soderberg found himself promoted to the second line, centering for Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr.

“He showed me enough to be able to move into Bergy’s spot,” said the Bruins coach. “I thought he played well. Although there wasn’t the chemistry that you see with that line usually because it’s his first time, I’m certainly not disappointed in the way he played tonight.”

Soderberg could find himself back on the ice with Marchand and Jagr in Game 6 if Bergeron is unable to return.

“It’s just hockey,” Soderberg said after playing in his first NHL postseason game. “I know that game. So I felt comfortable.”

Krejci, who struggled to win face-offs in Game 5, talked about physically punishing series.

“It’s not just this series. It’s also the series before. Guys are banged up,” Krejci said. “It’s been a short season. Forty-eight games, but no break. We basically played every other day. At the end of the season, it’s catching up to you. You can see guys have been struggling a little bit. Once you’re in the Final, you just try to leave everything on the ice. There’s nothing to save energy for.”

The Blackhawks top line of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Bryan Bickell was trouble for the Bruins all night, with the slippery Kane picking up two goals in the first two periods.

“He’s very good at finding those quiet areas and sliding into the right spots,” Julien said of Kane. “That’s why he’s a good player and scores a lot of goals.”

Zdeno Chara got the Bruins on the scoreboard in the third period to make it a 2-1 game, hammering home a shot that looked like it could have gone through the back of the net.

“Once we got that first goal, you noticed that the game started to change,” Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk said. “We started to force them. We did a good job. We had to bury that second one to tie it up.”

In the second period, Boychuk leveled Jonathan Toews, taking the Blackhawks star out for the final period with an upper body injury.

Tuukka Rask was solid in net for Boston, stopping 29 shots Saturday and avoiding a repeat performance that saw him give up six goals on 47 shots in Game 4.

“We got to go home and it’s a must-win,’’ Rask said. “Good thing we’re at home. So, we’ll focus on Monday and then we’ve got to play a really solid 60-minute effort in order to have a chance.’’

Dave Bolland scored an empty-netter with 14 seconds left to seal the deal for Chicago.

Julien was asked about heading into a must-win Game 6 Monday night.

"Well,  it's  pretty obvious, it's do or die," Julien said. "We've been there before, and we've done well in that situation.  So we've got to, again, win the next game. Right now our goal is to create a Game 7, and to create a Game 7 you've  got  to win Game 6.  So that's our approach to it. We've been good at  home, and we need to be good at home obviously next game.  It's as simple  as  that. Again, there is no panic. You're not going to push us away that easily.  We're a committed group, and we plan on bouncing back."

The Stanley Cup will be at the TD Garden for Game 6 Monday night. The Bruins hope the Cup doesn't see any ice time until Wednesday back in Chicago.

“We’re going to have some new bodies and new lines on Monday," Rask said after the game. "And everybody needs to play 110 percent and leave their heart out on the ice.’’

Final: Blackhawks 3, Bruins 1

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 22, 2013 08:00 PM

The Bruins must now win two straight games to claim the Stanley Cup.

The Bruins dropped Game 5 at the United Center on Saturday, 3-1. The Blackhawks, up 3-2 in the series, will play for the Cup in Game 6 at TD Garden on Monday.

The Bruins lost Patrice Bergeron to an undisclosed injury. After the second period, Bergeron was transported via ambulance to a local hospital for observation, according to the Bruins. The team did not specify the nature of Bergeron’s condition.


End of second period: Blackhawks, 2-0: Chicago, up 1-0 after 20 minutes, doubled its lead at 5:13 of the second period. Johnny Oduya started the play in the defensive zone. An instant before Milan Lucic stapled him to the end boards, Oduya chipped the puck off the wall to Bryan Bickell. The Bruins, slack in the neutral zone, gave up a three-on-two rush.

Tuukka Rask stopped Bickell’s first shot. But Bickell wheeled around the net, scooped up his rebound, and found Patrick Kane in front. Kane scored his second goal of the night to give the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead.

Bergeron suffered an undisclosed injury early in the second. During his first shift of the second, Bergeron left the ice early and hit the bench. Bergeron stayed on the bench, but bent over repeatedly and appeared to be in discomfort. Bergeron took only one shift after the injury.

End of first period: Blackhawks, 1-0: The Blackhawks grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period. Chicago scored its goal after transitioning rapidly from defense to offense.

At one end, Corey Crawford sticked aside a Zdeno Chara one-timer. Moments later, the Blackhawks rushed the puck through center ice into the offensive zone. After Jonathan Toews fought off a Milan Lucic backcheck, the captain got the puck to Johnny Oduya at the point. Toews then went straight for the net.

Oduya’s slap shot shattered Dennis Seidenberg’s stick, then hopped off Toews’s blade. Tuukka Rask, who had gone down to stop Oduya’s shot, couldn’t readjust after the caroms. Patrick Kane found the loose puck and jammed it in at 17:27.

Get live updates as the Bruins play the Blackhawks in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Contributors include Steve Silva and Chad Finn of Boston.com, plus top reporters on the Bruins and Blackhawks beats.

To discuss the game with fans from both Boston and Chicago, head over to our chat session on our live coverage page.

Tonight's Bruins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 22, 2013 07:52 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Carl Soderberg-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Tonight's Blackhawks lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 22, 2013 07:50 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Bryan Bickell-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp-Michal Handzus-Marian Hossa
Brandon Saad-Andrew Shaw-Viktor Stalberg
Marcus Kruger-Dave Bolland-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Claude Julien undecided on fourth line

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 22, 2013 01:46 PM
The fourth-line left wing for Game 5 will be either Kaspars Daugavins or Carl Soderberg. Claude Julien said he has yet to decide between the two.

Daugavins’s ice time has gone down in each of the four games. Daugavins is strong on the puck and has created offensive chances. But he has not proven to be responsible defensively with the puck.

If Soderberg goes in, the Bruins would be looking for more skill from their fourth line. Rich Peverley had his best performance in Game 4. Soderberg has some touch with the puck and could create chances with Peverley and Shawn Thornton.

The fourth line’s identity is different without Gregory Campbell. Assuming it’s a Soderberg-Peverley-Thornton line, it would be similar to Chicago’s fourth unit of Marcus Kruger, Dave Bolland, and Michael Frolik. Chicago’s fourth line plays a fast and skilled game more than an in-your-face approach.

Game 5 preview: Bruins at Blackhawks

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 22, 2013 12:48 PM
CHICAGO – Good morning from the United Center, where the Bruins will look to grab a 3-2 series lead.

The Bruins might change their fourth line. Carl Soderberg took shifts on the fourth line in practice yesterday. Kaspars Daugavins was on the spare line.

However, Daugavins took the first shift on the fourth line during the morning skate. We will have to wait until warmups to determine tonight’s lineup.

Puck drop: 8 p.m. ET

TV/radio info: NBC (Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)

Records: Bruins 2-2, Blackhawks 2-2

Projected Blackhawks lineup:

Bryan Bickell-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp-Michal Handzus-Marian Hossa
Brandon Saad-Andrew Shaw-Viktor Stalberg
Marcus Kruger-Dave Bolland-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Healthy scratches: Daniel Carcillo, Jamal Mayers, Brandon Bollig, Ben Smith, Ryan Stanton

Projected Bruins lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Healthy scratches: Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Wade Redden, Aaron Johnson, Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo, Jordan Caron

Storylines: Marian Hossa didn’t participate in today’s morning skate. Jamal Mayers took Hossa’s shifts on the second line. Joel Quenneville said Hossa will play tonight. Hossa didn’t skate prior to Game 4. Hossa also stayed off the ice yesterday… Jaromir Jagr didn’t skate this morning. Jagr has taken the option not to skate earlier in the playoffs… The Bruins went 2 for 5 on the power play in Game 4. Rich Peverley and Patrice Bergeron scored five-on-four goals… Chris Rooney and Brad Watson will be the referees. Shane Heyer and Brian Murphy will be the linesmen.

Bruins need more from first line in Game 5

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 21, 2013 06:01 PM

CHICAGO – The Bruins arrived in Chicago late Friday afternoon following their morning practice at TD Garden.

Tomorrow in Game 5, they would like to submit a better start. The Blackhawks have been the sharper team in three of the four games of the Stanley Cup Final. The only exception was Game 3, when the Bruins claimed a 2-0 win.

To that end, the Bruins would like some more production from their first line. Milan Lucic scored in Game 4. But Lucic, David Krejci, and Nathan Horton haven’t shown the offensive-zone presence they demonstrated earlier. They’ve taken most of their shifts against Chicago’s defensive pairing of Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

“They’re a line that’s very proud of what they’ve accomplished in these playoffs so far,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “They’d like to finish on a good note. So if we can get a little bit more out of those guys, I think it would be a bonus for us.”

On the other end, the Bruins will have to be better against Chicago’s new No. 1 line of Bryan Bickell, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane. The three were reunited in Game 4. They were apart for the first three games after helping to close out Los Angeles in the Western Conference finals. Toews and Kane scored their first goals of the series in Game 4.

Marian Hossa doesn't practice, but Blackhawks say he'll be ready for Game 5

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff June 21, 2013 02:21 PM

CHICAGO -- Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa was absent from practice at the United Center Friday morning, but coach Joel Quenneville said he'll be good to go for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final Saturday night.

"Yeah, Hossa is fine," said Quenneville. "We expect him to be the same. One thing about Hossa, production offensively or responsibility defensively, complementing our team game in all facets of our game is what we look for. The consistency of what he brings day in and day out is what makes him a special player and a valuable addition to our team.

"I think in all areas we're going to be leaning on him,'' said Quenneville, who indicated that Hossa could see more time on the penalty kill. "No matter where we put him, you know he's going to get the job done. I would expect him to be feeling a lot more comfortable going into tomorrow's game."

Jamal Mayers skated in Hossa's place at practice Friday.

Hossa, who is tied for second on the Blackhawks and tied for fifth overall in playoff scoring (7 goals, 9 assists) missed Game 3 of the series, a 2-0 Bruins win, with what the Blackhawks confirmed was an upper-body injury. He was back in the lineup for Wednesday's Game 4, a 6-5 Blackhawks victory at TD Garden.

"I liked his contribution last game,'' said Quenneville. "Defensively, you know Hossa is always going to be in the right spot and not give up anything on that end of it.

"We're very happy to use him, whatever number you want to say percentage that he's ready at. Everybody has different limitations but everybody gives it their all."

Soderberg could debut in Game 5

Posted by Staff June 21, 2013 12:18 PM

The Merlot Line may have a new addition -- but the Bruins won't confirm it yet.

Carl Soderberg, the 6-foot-3-inch, 210-pound Swedish forward, skated with Boston's fourth line for most of practice Friday morning. The Bruins skated for about an hour before departing TD Garden for Chicago.

Soderberg wore a wine-colored practice jersey and skated alongside Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton for a majority of the drills.

Kaspars Daugavins, who played in the last five playoff games, wore a green jersey, normally reserved for the scratched players. Daugavins took a few rushes with Peverley and Thornton toward the end of practice.

Boston coach Claude Julien would not say whether Soderberg would be in the lineup for Game 5.

"I was just trying something else here," Julien said. "Just a different look."

After practice, Soderberg said he was unsure of his status.

"I haven’t talked to Coach yet, so I don’t know what’s happening tomorrow," he said. "I have been practicing for a long time now, so I feel ready."

Soderberg was traded to the Bruins in 2007. He played his entire career in Europe until April, when he agreed to a contract with Boston after months of negotiations. Soderberg has been practicing with the team since then.

"I’ve been here for 11 weeks now so I know the system," Soderberg said. "I haven’t played games in a while, but if I’m playing tomorrow, it will go well. I know everything."

The 27-year-old led the Swedish Elite League this season with 31 goals.

Daugavins has played only 52 minutes over his six playoff games. He took only nine shifts in Game 4, logging less than six minutes of ice time. He has not registered a point and missed an open net in the third overtime of Game 1.

After practice Friday morning, the team boarded buses in TD Garden's parking lot. There were about 1,000 fans there to greet them. Some fans arrived by 9 a.m. The Bruins walked out a few minutes before noon.

The crowd, mostly dressed in black and gold, cheered as the players walked by, calling out familiar chants like "Let's go Bruins!" and "We want the Cup!"

Some players, including goalie Tuukka Rask, spent about 10 minutes giving autographs.

It was the longest day of the year, and the hottest day in Boston in a while. The sun beamed on the pavement, and Bruins staff members handed out water to some fans in the front of the line.

Stanley Cup Today: Teams seeking an edge

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 21, 2013 07:00 AM

With the series tied, 2-2, it's safe to say that the feeling-out process between the Blackhawks and Bruins is officially over. Each team has played and split two games on its home ice. We've seen four overtimes, a shutout, and a shootout. As the series turns into a best-of-three, it becomes harder and harder to envision any surprises.

Skaters from both teams seemed to figure out the goaltenders in Game 4, which was a change from the previous three games in which Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was relatively dominant. It wasn't all Rask's fault. The Bruins allowed far too many juicy rebounds, and the game turned into something of a track meet. Do the Bruins need to play a more conservative, defensive style in Game 5? We should have a better idea of their philosophy on that by the way they come out in the first period Saturday night.

***

Links from Chicago

The Chicago Tribune says it's a Stanley Cup for the ages.

Hawks captain Brent Seabrook, who scored the game-winner Wednesday, is also a vocal leader.

The Chicago Sun-Times writes that the Blackhawks are no longer avoiding Zdeno Chara.

***

What you may have missed

In the latest episode of Globe 10.0, Kevin Paul Dupont and Steve Silva ask, "Do the Bruins need to be more defensive?"

Eric Wilbur says that even when playing a bad game, the Bruins are still pretty good.

Chad Finn writes that this thing is going seven.

***

Hot on social

Need some comic relief? Enjoy the Don Cherry piano desk.

***

What's coming

Steve Silva will produce a Championship Today video after the Bruins meet the media in Chicago this afternoon, and that will be a Game 5 preview. Look for it in the late afternoon.

Chad Finn will check in with his latest column, and also host a chat session at 2:30 p.m. from Chicago.

Look for a new post from our partners at Bruins Daily.

All the latest news from both teams as the series shifts back to Chicago.

Bruins confident they'll bounce back

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 20, 2013 05:43 PM

The Bruins regrouped on Thursday, a day after losing to the Blackhawks, 6-5, in overtime of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Several players discussed various aspects of the series. Here's a selection of their comments:

Goalie Tuukka Rask, on the Bruins' confidence level:
"I don’t think it should be an issue. I don’t think, for us, it matters whether we are at home or away we always play good games at either places, but I feel confident we can respond."

Forward Brad Marchand, on if it is surprising to be tied 2-2 at this point:
"I don’t think anyone expected to come into this series and win it in four or five games on either side. I mean 2 to 2. We got to be happy with that. Chicago was dominant all year and we are happy that we are just sticking in it. "

Defenseman Adam McQuaid, on what the team will do differently than Game 4:
"We’re not our best. There’s no question about that. We found a way to get ourselves a chance, push the game to overtime. Anything can happen obviously when you get to that point, but I think we need to be a little better next game."

Forward Tyler Seguin, on the Bruins' ability to fix defensive problems:
"Yeah, I feel fine with it. I think that we are a very consistent team in our D zones, so I think, last night wasn't a night to remember in that part. But we’re a team that can definitely bounce back, and a team that, again, were successful when were staying at an even keel after wins or losses. We’re learning from it. We did video this morning, and now were moving on."

Blackhawks even series with overtime win in wild Game 4

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 20, 2013 01:45 AM

A frantic, high-scoring game proved to be to Chicago's advantage in Game 4 Wednesday night as the Blackhawks defeated the Bruins, 6-5 in overtime, to even the Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece.

After scoring 12 goals between them in the first three games, the teams combined for 11 goals at TD Garden in Game 4. Defenseman Brent Seabrook's score at the 9:51 mark in overtime proved to be the difference. With Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews camped out in front of the net, Seabrook's slapper found a spot of daylight around Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and found the back webbing. The Bruins and Blackhawks will now make this a best-of-three series, with Game 5 in Chicago Saturday night.

"I like shooting in that spot," Seabrook said of his game-winner. "To be honest I just try to get it past the centerman and their forward. They do such a good job of blocking shots and getting in the way. This time, our forwards did a good job at getting in front and boxing out."

There was plenty of traffic in front of both goalies in a game played at a frenetic pace. Twice the Blackhawks had two-goal leads. Twice the Bruins scratched back to tie. Bruins coach Claude Julien was happy with his team's fight but not with their performance.

"I don't think we played our best game tonight for a lot of different reasons," said Julien. "I think our decision-making wasn't very good at times. I didn't think we were moving the puck as well as we had been in the past. It was certainly a tough outing for us tonight."

In Game 4, the Bruins struggled in ways they hadn't before. Zdeno Chara had been on the ice for one opposing goal in his last seven games but was a witness to five Blackhawks goals Wednesday. Boston allowed 47 shots and had a narrow margin (39-38) in the faceoff circle. Juicy rebounds off Rask's pads were a problem. It all led to a scoring summary that would make many hockey traditionalists blush:

-- 6:28 first period: Bruins forward Tyler Seguin turns it over and Chicago's Brandon Saad comes speeding the other way. Saad gets the puck around Zdeno Chara and feeds it to Michal Handzus. The shorthanded goal puts the Blackhawks up, 1-0. It's the first goal allowed by Tuukka Rask in over 190 minutes.

-- 14:43 first period: Saad turns it over and the puck is kept in by Andrew Ference on his knees. Rich Peverley scores the power play goal from Ference, glove side on Corey Crawford. It's Peverley's second goal of the playoffs.

-- 6:33 second period: Michal Rozsival's shot is tipped in by Toews to put Blackhawks up, 2-1. Bryan Bickell was in front making it hard for Rask. It's the first point of the series for the Selke Trophy winner Toews.

-- 8:41 second period: Another rebound off Rask and Patrick Kane buries it to put the Blackhawks up, 3-1. Second-chance opportunities are really killing the Bruins. The Bruins call a timeout

-- 14:43 second period: Chara finds Lucic posting up and gives the Bruins life. A previously silent TD Garden crowd gets the crowd back into it. Bruins fans chanting Corey Crawford's name despite being down, 3-2.

-- 15:32 second period: Blackhawks answer to go up 4-2. On a 2-on-1, Marcus Kruger goes around Chara and stuffs the puck in on his second effort.

-- 17:22 second period: The craziest goal of them all. Puck bounces off the glass, bounces back on top of the Blackhawks net, and falls back to Patrice Bergeron, who shuffles it home. Crawford whiffed on his attempt to clear the puck.

-- 2:05 third period: Jaromir Jagr cycles, cycles, then sets it up for Bergeron, who ties the game again. Ninth goal of the playoffs for Bergeron, Jagr's 10th assist. Multiple points for both players on the night. Jagr now has 199 career points in 200 career playoff games.

-- 11:19 third period: With the Blackhawks on a 5-on-3 power play, Patrick Sharp scores to make it 5-4, assisted by Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith.

-- 12:14 third period: Johnny Boychuk rips a slap shot -- where else? -- glove side high on Crawford. Assisted by Nathan Horton and David Krejci.

As players and coaches tried to make sense of the madness afterward, a few key themes emerged. Both goaltenders know they can be better. In particular, Crawford seems to have a weakness on his glove side.

"Well, 99 percent of the shots are going glove side," said Crawford. "I can't start thinking about that, that's when you get in trouble when you start thinking everything is going to go glove. I'm just going to play the way I've been playing and stick with that."
Rask's six goals allowed were a playoff career high.

"It's not fun," he said. "We just made it too tough on ourselves."

Another revelation from Game 4 was the emergence of Toews. He and fellow superstar Patrick Kane were teamed up on the same line and combined for three points and a plus-four in the game. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville joked afterward that he looked like a genius for putting his stars together and getting a win, adding, "I'm sure they're excited about returning together."

Toews had been held without a point in the first three games of the series. He credits his teammate Seabrook for helping to boost his confidence despite the slump.

"The last couple days Seabrook has been coming up to me, asking me what I'm thinking about.," said Toews. "You know, I have to give him the right answer. I'm thinking about scoring a goal (smiling).

"He's been trying to help me out, make me think a little bit better, have those positive thoughts. You work hard, eventually you're going to find a way. "

In the truest sign that the first four games of this series were about the teams feeling each other out, the Blackhawks didn't seem overly satisfied with the win. Toews was unhappy with his team giving up several leads.

"I wouldn't say we got comfortable, but we definitely need to focus on being smarter and playing better defensively in that situation," he said. "We definitely let them bounce back."

Toews found a way to break through, and the Bruins must now find a way to win another game on road ice.

"It's a series," said Bergeron. "You can't get too high or too low. We've got to get ready for Game 5."

Boston will need to win at least one game in Chicago in order to capture its second Stanley Cup in three seasons.

5 takeaways from the Bruins-Blackhawks Game 4

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff June 20, 2013 01:36 AM

1. Out of control -- The Bruins were remorseful after losing to the Blackhawks, 6-5, in overtime Wednesday night in Game 4. The loss evened the series at two games apiece, with the Blackhawks taking back home-ice advantage.

But the Bruins weren't remorseful just because of the loss. They were remorseful because they fell into a style of play that was not in their best interest.

Bad puck management, an inability to clear the zone, and some critical turnovers doomed the Bruins' top-notch defensive strategy. The pace and character of the game went against the Bruins' normal rough and tumble style.

It wasn't until the third period before the team really settled in and started skating to its own liking.

"It was a little late but I think we started to play a little better," Dennis Seidenberg said. "It was still an up-and-down game, which again is not really our style, but that's just the way it went."

Bruins coach Claude Julien said the team never really got its act together.

"Not really. Not really. We tied it up, I thought our guys battled hard enough to get us back into the game and create an overtime there," Julien said. "But I don't think we played our best game tonight [for] a lot of different reasons. I think our decision making wasn't very good at times. I didn't think we'd been moving the puck as well as we had in the past.

"It was certainly a tough outing for us tonight. They came out hard, played extremely well. Somehow, again, they had the better of us for the first half of the game until we got ourselves going here a little bit. Again, those are things that happen in the final where you don't feel like you played well enough to win. That's what happened tonight."

You can imagine that an emphasis on playing the Bruins' style will be paramount for Game 5 in Chicago.

2. Rask still looked good -- It's not often a goalie can come out of a game allowing six goals and still look decent, especially considering the stakes. But Tuukka Rask's performance (41 saves) wasn't anything to brush aside. He found himself in multiple breakaway situations, turning back shot after shot.

Jonathan Toews' goal in the second period to go up 2-1 was literally guided underneath Rask's left leg pad after Michal Rozsival fired a bullet. Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp both picked up goals on rebounds, something the Bruins had been doing a good job of shutting down. Even the overtime goal wasn't something he saw until the very last moment.

"They got a lot of shots through and a lot of second opportunities," Rask said. "You know, you let six goals as a goalie, you can't be satisfied. But as a team I thought it wasn't our best defensive game."

You certainly can't lay this game at Rask's feet. At least not entirely.

3. Special teams was all over the place -- Start with the shorthanded goal by the Blackhawks, caused by a bad Tyler Seguin turnover, and finish with two power play goals, and the Bruins had both positive and negative takeaways on special teams.

The team's streak of 30 straight penalty kills is over after giving up a goal to Sharp. And the shorthanded goal was only the third allowed by the team this season.

The Bruins went 2 of 5 on the power play and were 3 for 4 on the penalty kill. It's easy to see how quickly things can get out of hand when the team isn't on its A game.

Said Rich Peverley, "I think it was a pretty sloppy game back and forth, to have that many goals. I don't think either team would be happy with that."

4. No love for Corey Crawford on the shortside -- Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford allowed all five goals on his glove side. Unlike Rask, he had clear sight lines on each of these pivotal goals, so he's not able to use the same excuses after a high scoring game like Wednesday night.

Peverley, Patrice Bergeron, and Johnny Boychuk all approached Crawford from the shortside on their goals, making it look like a targeted effort.

"Well, 99 percent of the shots are going glove side," Crawford said. "I don't know what you would say. I can't start thinking about that, that's when you get in trouble when you start thinking everything is going to go glove. I'm just going to play the way I've been playing and stick with that."

Crawford finished with 28 saves.

5. Chicago's stars finally show up -- We've been keeping an eye out for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews through the first three games while they've been out skated and out bodied on the boards. We got to see for the first time their ability to get behind the Bruins' defensemen and get to those rebounds for second-chance opportunities.

The worry is that this may be a confidence-booster for the talented duo and because of that, the Bruins will need to make a more concerted effort to contain them.

"We have to do a better job keeping them to the outside," Seidenberg said. "Somehow they always got lost behind us and picked up a couple of rebounds. We have to be better in that area."

Yes, the Bruins will have to continue to man-handle Chicago's best to win the Cup. It's the only way.

Final: Blackhawks 6, Bruins 5 (OT)

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 19, 2013 08:00 PM

At 9:51 of overtime, Brent Seabrook sent a half-slapper through traffic that beat Tuukka Rask far side, giving the Blackhawks a 6-5 win. The series is tied at 2-2.

Game 5 is on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago. The Blackhawks have home-ice advantage again.

End of regulation: 5-5: The Bruins and Blackhawks traded goals throughout 60 minutes to send the game into overtime, 5-5. It was the third time they went to overtime in four games.

The Bruins, down 4-3 to start the third, evened the score at 2:05 when Patrice Bergeron scored his second goal of the night.

Chicago pulled ahead when Patrick Sharp scored on the power play at 11:19. But 55 seconds later, Johnny Boychuk smoked a rocket glove side on Corey Crawford to make it a 5-5 game.

End of second period: Blackhawks, 4-3: The second period featured an offensive breakout from both clubs. At 6:33, Jonathan Toews tipped a Michael Rozsival blast past Tuukka Rask to snap a 1-1 tie. It was Toews’s first goal of the series.

The Blackhawks pulled ahead by two goals at 8:41. Chicago caught the Bruins scrambling. Rask stopped Bryan Bickell’s shot. But Rask couldn’t reposition himself to dive in front of Patrick Kane’s followup shot. It was Kane’s first goal in four games. Coach Claude Julien called his timeout after Kane’s goal.

The Bruins started their rally at 14:43. Corey Crawford got a piece of Zdeno Chara’s point shot. The rebound went to Milan Lucic, who was stationed in front. Lucic slammed the puck home to make it a 3-2 game.

But the Blackhawks answered within 49 seconds. Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik broke out for a two-on-one rush against Chara. Rask stopped Kruger’s backhand shot with his left pad. But Kruger followed the rebound and tucked the puck in to give Chicago a 4-2 lead.

The Bruins took advantage of a fortunate bounce to make it a 4-3 game. On the power play, Chara ripped a shot over the net. The puck thudded off the glass, bounced off the top of the net, and tumbled into the crease. Before Crawford knew what happened, Patrice Bergeron knocked in the puck at 17:22.

End of first period: 1-1: Both teams scored a goal apiece in the first period. The Blackhawks struck first with a shorthanded goal. While Johnny Oduya was in the box for interference, Chicago got on the scoreboard. Brandon Saad stripped Tyler Seguin just inside the Boston zone.

Zdeno Chara got back to play Saad. But Michal Handzus had a step on Patrice Bergeron. Before Bergeron could catch up, Handzus took a saucer pass from Saad and beat Tuukka Rask at 6:18.

The Bruins evened the score with a power-play goal. Duncan Keith was called for hooking to give the Bruins the power play. Handzus won a defensive-zone draw against Rich Peverley. Niklas Hjalmarsson rimmed the puck behind his net to Saad. The forward didn’t put enough muscle behind his clear, which was intercepted by Andrew Ference. Saad recovered to block Ference’s shot. But Saad couldn’t clear the rebound. Peverley found the loose puck and snapped a shot past Corey Crawford at 14:43 to make it a 1-1 game.

Get live updates, photos, video and more in our live blog feed below.

To chat with other fans during the game, join our combined Boston/Chicago fan chat here.

Tonight's Bruins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 19, 2013 07:53 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Tonight's Blackhawks lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 19, 2013 07:53 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Bryan Bickell-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp-Michal Handzus-Marian Hossa
Brandon Saad-Andrew Shaw-Viktor Stalberg
Marcus Kruger-Dave Bolland-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Boston vs. Chicago city smackdown: You make the call

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 19, 2013 02:59 PM
It’s a Boston vs. Chicago smackdown!

We want readers of both Boston.com and ChicagoTribune.com to tell us why your city has it all over the other. Whitey Bulger or Al Capone? Clam chowdah or deep-dish pizza?

Be creative! Weigh in with a comment below, or tweet to #bostonisbetter or #chicagoisbetter. Keep it clean, people!

Watch: Game 4 pregame show live at 6 p.m. from TD Garden

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 19, 2013 02:29 PM

Boston.com will have a live pregame show at TD Garden at 6 p.m. tonight, featuring Chad Finn and Kevin Paul Dupont previewing Game 4 of the Bruins-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals series.

Watch it here, or on the Boston.com home page or sports front.

Game 4 preview: Blackhawks at Bruins

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 19, 2013 10:08 AM
Good morning from TD Garden, where the Bruins will look to grab a 3-1 series lead tonight over the Blackhawks.

No lineup changes are expected for the Bruins. Chicago’s main question is whether Marian Hossa will dress tonight. Hossa was a late scratch for Game 3 because of an upper-body injury. Joel Quenneville said Tuesday that Hossa was likely to play tonight.

Puck drop: 8 p.m.

TV/radio info: NBC (Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)

Records: Blackhawks 1-2, Bruins 2-1

Projected Blackhawks lineup:

Brandon Saad-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp-Michal Handzus-Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell-Dave Bolland-Andrew Shaw
Viktor Stalberg-Marcus Kruger-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Healthy scratches: Daniel Carcillo, Jamal Mayers, Brandon Bollig, Ben Smith, Ryan Stanton

Projected Bruins lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Healthy scratches: Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Wade Redden, Aaron Johnson, Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo, Jordan Caron

Storylines: The Bruins owned the faceoff circle in Game 3. Patrice Bergeron led all players by winning 24 of 28 drops. Michal Handzus was 0 for 8 against Bergeron. Because the Bruins won 71 percent of their draws, Chicago didn’t start with the puck on most shifts. The Blackhawks couldn’t get their puck-possession game out of mothballs … The Bruins are perfect on the penalty kill through three games. Chicago is 0 for 11 on the power play … Daniel Paille brings a two-game goal-scoring streak into tonight. Paille will be on the third line with Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin … Jaromir Jagr will appear in his 200th career NHL playoff game, putting him 19th on the all-time list … Dan O’Halloran and Wes McCauley will be the referees. Jay Sharrers and Pierre Racicot will be the linesmen.

Stanley Cup Today: Big opportunity for Bruins

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 19, 2013 07:51 AM
The Bruins can take a huge step toward their second Stanley Cup in three years if they beat the Blackhawks in Game 4 tonight at TD Garden (8 p.m., NBC). A win sets up a close-out game in Chicago on Saturday; a loss would guarantee the series returns to Boston on Monday for a Game 6.

It appears the Blackhawks will have Marian Hossa back in the lineup. Without him, Chicago's offense suffered in Game 3, although the Bruins' exceptional defense also had a lot to do with that as well.

Both teams will skate this morning at TD Garden, and the personnel on the ice then will give some hint as to who may be playing tonight.

***

Links from Chicago

The Chicago Tribune has more detail on the Hossa situation.

The Tribune's sports staff also debated whether Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is being outcoached by the Bruins' Claude Julien on a video feature.

Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders whether the Blackhawks should be a little less relaxed than they appear to be.

***

What you may have missed

The Bruins' Gregory Campbell, out since he broke his leg vs. the Penguins, spoke for the first time about completing his shift and his recovery process. "It hurt a little," he said. Zuri Berry has video of his comments.

Obnoxious Boston Fan explains how art museums in Boston and Chicago have decided to thrown down the gloves.

Chad Finn says it was tough to pick just three stars in Game 3.

CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty has a good one about Bruin Brad Marchand accusing Chicago's Andrew Shaw of eye-gouging and scratching him in game 3.

***

Hot on social

Nothing wrong with a case of Stanley Cup fever.

***

What's coming

Boston Sports Live will include a segment on Game 4. Tune in at noon.

Zuri Berry will produce a Championship Today video after the morning skates that will be a Game 4 preview. Look for it in the mid-afternoon.

We'll also do a live pregame show from TD Garden at 6 p.m., and we'll have our usual live blog and fan chat together on a special live coverage page.

Bruins like where they're at in series

Posted by Staff June 18, 2013 03:37 PM

BOSTON – After playing 10 periods of hockey in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Bruins delivered a solid regulation victory on home ice on Monday at TD Garden, a place where Boston has an 8-2 record in the playoffs and has not lost since Game 5 of the opening round against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“You're always more comfortable at home, there's no doubt about that,” coach Claude Julien said Tuesday afternoon. “Having your fans behind you is always key. I think they always talk about that seventh player award; your fans are often the people that you, I guess, appreciate for being that. This is a building here that we deem as our home, a home that we don't want any other team to be comfortable in.”

A big part of the Bruins' wins so far in these Finals, and in the playoffs, has been the shutdown play of Boston’s defensemen, especially the top pairing of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, who each played more than 25 minutes in Monday’s win and logged a ton of time during the first two games in Chicago.

“It’s crazy [the amount they have played]; I used to play those minutes on the lower levels growing up,” defenseman Torey Krug said. “It was tough then, so for them to do it at this level, against all the top players on the other teams, is definitely something special.”

Added fourth-line wing Shawn Thornton: “All the way through [the game] all six defenseman were great. [Chara and Seidenberg] really played the biggest minutes, but you look at Johnny [Boychuck] and Andy [Ference], they played against top lines all season through.”

Chara, who collided with Milan Lucic during warmups and had to go to the locker room to get stitches before Game 3, has been playing exceptionally long minutes.

“I think it’s amazing; you know [Chara is] such a big guy, but he’s so mobile for his size, said Krug. “You look at a lot of bigger guys around the league, they might not be able to move quite as well, but Zee doesn’t get beat wide, and it’s not just because of his size but because of his speed too.”

Another area that has led to success for Boston is its power play, which, during the regular season, was one of the least effective in the league. They scored just 18 goals in 122 power-play chances, fifth worst in the NHL.

But the Bruins' power play has been much better, scoring nine times during this postseason run, including twice in the past three games. And even when the Bruins haven’t put one in the back of the net with the man advantage in these playoffs, they have come much closer and have shown a lot more energy on the power play than they did in the regular season.

“I think what you've seen is when you add a guy like Jagr, when you put a guy [out there] like Krug, who is extremely good on the power play, you've plugged in some certain holes or added to that depth,” said Julien. “There's a lot of things that have happened, like at the trade deadline, guys [getting] called up, that's really kind of stabilized [and] helped us on the power play … our power play right now is maybe not perfect, but it's a lot better.”

Since Gregory Campbell broke his leg in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Pittsburgh, Julien has had to shake up his bottom two lines in order to replace Campbell, but also had to solve the issue of the third line being the least productive by far for the Bruins this season.

Starting in Game 2, when things looked bleak and the Bruins were fortunate to only be down 1-0 after the first period, Julien decided to shake up the bottom two lines, moving Daniel Paille up to the third line with Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin. That jump-started the team.

That decision has paid immediate dividends, with the “hunch line” (a reference to Julien’s “coach’s hunch” that led him to put the three together in the first place) scoring the last three 5 on 5 goals for the Bruins, with Paille scoring two goals and an assist, Kelly scoring a goal with another assist, and Seguin adding two assists of his own.

“I just think [it’s] the way they work together,” said Julien. “You know, you look at [Paille’s] goal yesterday, [a] great forechecking job forces a turnover … Once the turnover is there, pass to the slot, [and then] good shot. But also staying on top of the puck [was important]; we won two battles right after that shot in order to score that goal.”

Among the top scorers in these Stanley Cup Finals, perhaps none has been bigger, and more surprising, than Paille, who had just two goals in the first three series the Bruins played, but has scored the game-winners in each of the past two games.

“He's been big for our team,” said Campbell. “I've gotten the opportunity to watch him now that I'm not playing with him. He does a lot of things that really help out a team in the playoffs. Playoff hockey is really where he shines ... It's the simple things that might not draw a lot of attention during the regular season, but when it really matters in the playoffs, he's been there for us.”

Heading into Game 4 Wednesday night, look for the series to continue to be very physical and tough, as seen in the final seconds of Game 3, where almost every player on the ice got involved in a rink-wide scrum, resulting in several last-minute penalties, including a double-minor to Chara and a fighting major to Brad Marchand.

“You know that’s hockey, it happens at every game, it’s indicative, I think of how the series will go from here,” said Marchand about his scuffle with the Blackhawks’ Andrew Shaw. “[This series is] tough; they have a lot of skill and talent…they got some really good looks last game, but Tuukka was able to stand tall. We’re just trying to work hard out there and play our game.”

Stanley Cup Today: Momentum on Bruins' side

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 18, 2013 07:36 AM
Momentum is certainly on the Bruins' side after a convincing performance in Game 3 shut down the Blackhawks and put Boston two wins from its second Stanley Cup in three years.

Both teams are scheduled to practice today at TD Garden, then the action resumes Wednesday with Game 4. A win by the Bruins in Game 4 would give them a chance to close out the series Saturday in Chicago in Game 5.

***

Links from Chicago

The Blackhawks have few answers for what is causing their power play woes, and they also realize losing so many faceoffs is adding to the problem, writes Chris Kuc and Brian Hamilton in the Chicago Tribune.

Viktor Stalberg returned to the Blackhawks' lineup, but he wants even more ice time, Hamilton reports.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander sings the praises of Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, and suggests he might be Canada's best bet as goalie in the Olympics next year.

ESPNChicago's Scott Burnside explores the battle between Selke Trophy winner Jonathan Toews and fellow finalist Patrice Bergeron.

***

What you may have missed

Gary Dzen has a roundup of all the postgame chatter, and Steve Silva and Kevin Paul Dupont have analysis of Game 3.

And we have tons of postgame interview video:
Bruins
Patrice Bergeron
Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille
Tyler Seguin
Claude Julien
Tuukka Rask

Blackhawks
Corey Crawford
Patrick Sharp
Duncan Keith
Viktor Stalberg
Ben Sharp

Zuri Berry points out five things we learned about the Bruins in Game 3.

Chad Finn writes that the Bruins had plenty of candidates for the "three stars of the game."

***

Hot on social

***

What's coming

After the teams' practices today, we'll have another edition of Championship Today that will have the latest talk following Game 3 and looking ahead to Game 4.

And look for more analysis from our partners at Bruins Daily, who blog some of their top stories in a special Boston.com blog.

5 takeaways from Bruins-Blackhawks Game 3

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff June 18, 2013 12:21 AM

1. Daniel Paille is getting all the lucky bounces -- The Bruins wingman has found himself in all the right places at the right times, scoring the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 2 and procuring another in the second period of Game 3 Monday to spur along the Bruins.

Paille cycled in from behind the net and got a gift from Chris Kelly, who forced a turnover, before he shot a wrister right past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford at 2:13 in the period. Kelly and Tyler Seguin were credited with the assist.

For Paille, whose name is ringing loudly in hockey circles right now, it's been the Bruins' aggressiveness that's made life difficult for Chicago.

"I think we just went back to our game," he said. "They have a lot of talent up there with the forwards. I think we know that, I think that's why we want to try harder. And I think we've been able to frustrate them right now. I remember when we were playing Toronto and the bounces were going in their way. Right now we're playing well, but we have some good bounces as well so I think it helps.

"I think we're just putting the pucks on net and just reading the plays. Like I said, we're just managing the puck a little better. On my goal you saw [Chris Kelly] go in and then myself I went in. I think we're just not giving them enough time to think with the puck and we're able to get it."

Paille had another opportunity in the second period in a breakaway situation but was taken out by the Blackhawks' Niklas Hjalmarsson. He was called for tripping and right afterward Patrice Bergeron put in his seventh goal of the playoffs on a pass across the crease from Jaromir Jagr, the Bruins' ninth power play goal of the posteason. However, you could say Paille set that up, too.

2. Special teams mastery for Bruins -- The Blackhawks went 0 for 4 on the power play in Game 3. The Bruins' defense has finally wrought enough havoc on the Blackhawks where hesitation and confusion are running rampant. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, et. al, looked absolutely confounded by the Bruins back check. The team defense, short on mistakes, high on help, has kept the scoring low for Chicago and the frustration high.

The Bruins have now killed 26 straight penalties, going all the way back to their series with the New York Rangers. The special teams work has been nothing short of amazing.

"Our guys are understanding one thing:  this is a team, when it attacks, it attacks with four, never three," coach Claude Julien said. "They've got such great skaters back there on the fence that if we don't do what we're doing right now, we don't stand
a chance.

"Our guys, like I've said, they've committed to that. They realize how important it is to come back. We're trying to support each other that way and trying to keep it as tight as possible."

3. Marchand is always fired up -- Much ado has been made about the lack of instigators in the finals, with the Bruins' Brad Marchand and the Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw having a relatively quiet series. But that doesn't mean Marchand isn't skating angry. The Little Ball of Hate was livid with himself in the first period for missing a gift-wrapped breakaway that would have put the Bruins up 1-0 in the first period. He made a deke to attempt his shot on goal but lost control of the puck, letting loose a half-speeder that was brushed aside by Crawford.

Afterward, he skated over to the bench and took out his frustration by swinging his stick at the boards. Julien made sure to get in Marchand's ear.

And, of course, Marchand had time to tango with Shaw with 11.9 seconds left in the third period when it was all said and done.

4. Jagr is just fine creating -- Jaromir Jagr was the subject of some very pointed criticism from former Bruins coach Mike Milbury for his play after Game 2. It wasn't just about his ability to score goals, which he hasn't done this postseason yet, but his willingness to help on defense and skate hard.

Jagr responded by modestly contributing on the back check and contributing one sweet assist to Patrice Bergeron on a pass across the crease. It was Jagr's eighth assist of the postseason and gave him 197 points, good for fifth all-time in NHL playoff history. Instead of adding to his prolific scoring history in the playoffs -- 78 goals -- he's re-envisioning himself as a mere contributor in the winter of his career.

"They make me even happy when I don't score," Jagr said. "But they making me happy, even when I struggle scoring. They find a way to make me happy. Starting with the coach. That's what I would say. I don't think I'd feel that on any other team.

"I don't want to repeat myself. It doesn't really matter if I score or not. He tried to make me [feel] important or happy even if I'm not scoring. That's the first time I felt that in my hockey career."

It's all about winning at this stage in his career. And, you know, Julien has Jagr's back.

5. Rask is hot, but so is the defense -- Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask had 28 saves to go along with his third career postseason shutout. Game 3 was certainly a far cry from Game 1 in which he faced 63 shots and saved 59. But there can be no denying how much the Bruins defense is helping Rask along the way. With Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg clearing the space Monday night, there was rarely an opportunity for the Blackhawks to get a clean shot. Game 3 was just another example of the team's defense making its mark on this series and on this Stanley Cup run.

"I think it's the energy in the game, the effort," Julien said. "You see our guys, like I said, they're back-checking, having layers, so when somebody makes a mistake, you have somebody covering up.  We're blocking a lot of shots.  The commitment is totally there.

"Throughout a whole season, it's not easy to have that full commitment.  But I think when you get to this stage, players start feeling it.  They go above and beyond.  That's what you're seeing from our team right now.

Bruins give complete effort in Game 3 win over Blackhawks

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 17, 2013 11:54 PM

After splitting overtime thrillers in the first two games, the Bruins sent their fans to bed without worry Monday night with a tidy 2-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Deflections and dented posts were the story of the two games in Chicago, but in the series' TD Garden debut, the Bruins took a two-goal lead into the third period and never relinquished it. Boston now leads the best-of-seven series, 2-1.

"We're playing our best hockey of the season right now," Bruins coach Claude Julien said afterward. "And that's what you've got to do to win the Stanley Cup."

There were dueling rainbows over the arena just before faceoff, but the home team didn't lean on any kind of luck against their opponents Monday. The Bruins had the edge in just about every statistical category, topping Chicago in shots (35 to 28), power play conversions (1 of 4 vs. 0 of5), hits (31 to 25) and faceoffs (40 to 16). Many of Chicago's shots came from just inside the blue line. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask credited his defense for not allowing the Blackhawks to establish position in front of the net.

"They had shots but most of them came from the outside," said Rask. "We eliminated a lot of their rebound opportunities."

Rask faced 28 shots and recorded his third shutout of the playoffs.

"He's been focused since day one of the playoffs," said Julien. " You watch him on off days, you watch him, he's quiet, focused, calm. Right now all his energy is put towards his game.

"I've never seen a guy so calm, obviously confident with the way he's played. Probably quietest I've seen him so far, but in a good way. "

It looked like the Bruins might be in trouble in the first period when the fourth line picked up two early penalties. Kaspars Daugavins went high on Andrew Shaw and earned a roughing penalty at the 9:57 mark, and Shawn Thornton got called for roughing a few minutes later for scuffling with Shaw after a play. But Chicago failed to record a shot on the first power play and failed to convert on either.

"Our power play tonight was definitely not good," said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenville, whose team is 0 for 11 on the power play in the series.

Bruins penalty killer Chris Kelly, who has struggled all postseason but had a goal in Game 2 as part of a revamped third line, helped put the Bruins on the board first. Kelly's strong forecheck freed the puck up for Danielle Paille's goal at the 17:47 mark in the first period. The goal followed Paille's game-winner Saturday night and made it three straight goals for the Paille-Kelly-Tyler Seguin line. That line is responsible for seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in the past two games.

"They skated hard, kept the game simple," said Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. "That's what you want from guys that haven't played with each other. It's about playing basic hockey, getting pucks deep, forechecking, getting pucks to the net. They've done a good job working as a unit and communicating out there."

For their second goal, the Bruins capitalized on a 5-on-3 power player after penalties to Chicago's Dave Bolland and Niklas Hjalmarsson in the second period. Zdeno Chara cycled the puck to Jaromir Jagr on the left side of the net, who shuffled it over to Patrice Bergeron on the other side for a wrister and a 2-0 lead at the 14:05 mark. The goal was Bergeron's seventh of the playoffs, the most he's scored in a single postseason, surpassing the six goals he scored in 2011.

"He's one of the most consistent players I've ever played with," said Seguin.

It was Jagr's 8th assist and Chara's 10th. Chara received stitches before the game after colliding with teammate Milan Lucic. Chara skated to the locker room to get stitched up but returned in time for the start of the game.

"He slipped and he had a little gash over his eye I guess," said Julien. "It's nothing serious."

Seidenberg, who was awarded the Army Ranger jacket after the game, blamed Chara's injury on poor ice conditions. "He just lost an edge and fell," he said.

The Blackhawks were without Marian Hossa, who was seen on the ice during warm-ups but was a late scratch for Game 3. Quenville said afterward that Hossa has an upper-body injury that was not sustained during warmups. His status for Game 4 is unknown.

"We'll say day-to-day," said Quenville. "It was a game-time decision after the warmup there, and that's why we made the call."

Without Hossa's stellar two-way play, Chicago didn't present much of a challenge. Bruins fans might have liked the lack of drama, but Rask said it didn't matter either way.

"It's better I guess," said Rask. "A win is a win. We'll take a win any day."

Final: Bruins 2, Blackhawks 0

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 17, 2013 08:00 PM

In Game 3 at TD Garden, the Bruins submitted a ruthless 60-minute performance of execution to claim a 2-0 shutout win. Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron scored in the second period.

The Bruins now have a 2-1 series lead. Game 4 is at the Garden on Wednesday.

End of second period: Bruins, 2-0: The Bruins beat Corey Crawford twice in the second period to take a 2-0 lead.

Prior to the first goal, Crawford stopped a Tyler Seguin shot. Nick Leddy was first on the rebound. But Chris Kelly muscled Leddy off the puck. After winning the battle, Kelly threw the puck out front to Daniel Paille. The left wing beat Crawford at 2:13 to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. It was Paille’s second goal in two games.

The Bruins took a 2-0 lead on a Patrice Bergeron power-play goal. Dave Bolland was called for tripping at 12:00. At 13:50, Niklas Hjalmarsson was forced to haul down Paille when the left wing had a close-range chance.

Chicago killed off Bolland’s penalty. But the Bruins took advantage of Hjalmarsson’s infraction. Jaromir Jagr, handling the puck down low on the right side, threaded a Marc Savard-like cross-crease pass to Bergeron. Before Crawford could slide over, Bergeron slammed the puck home at 14:05.

End of first period: 0-0: The Bruins, blitzed in the first period of Game 2, submitted a far crisper start in Game 3. Although neither team scored, the Bruins didn’t give up the handful of Grade-A chances they allowed in the opening 20 minutes of Game 2.

The Bruins had a good scoring chance late in the first when Zdeno Chara connected with Brad Marchand on a long-distance pass. Marchand tried to pull the puck to his backhand. But the puck rolled off Marchand’s blade before he could put a shot on goal. Marchand broke his stick on the boards when he returned to the bench.

The Bruins dominated the faceoff circle in the first. The Bruins won 17 of 22 faceoffs. Patrice Bergeron went 10 for 11. Michal Handzus lost all eight draws he took.

At the end of warmups, Zdeno Chara took out Milan Lucic. Both hit the deck hard and lost their helmets. Neither player was injured.

Marian Hossa was a late scratch. The top-line right wing participated in warmups. But former Boston College forward Ben Smith replaced Hossa. Chicago rolled out a first line of Jonathan Toews between Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik.


Get live updates, photos, video and more in our live blog feed below.

To chat with other fans during the game, join our combined Boston/Chicago fan chat here.

Tonight's Bruins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 17, 2013 07:51 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Tonight's Blackhawks lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 17, 2013 07:48 PM


Brandon Saad-Jonathan Toews-Ben Smith
Patrick Sharp-Michal Handzus-Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell-Dave Bolland-Andrew Shaw
Viktor Stalberg-Marcus Kruger-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Bruins fans dress up Boston statues

Posted by Robert Burgess June 17, 2013 04:58 PM

Last week we brought you news that the Michael Jordan statue in Chicago is a Blackhawks fan. Not to be outdone, Bruins fans have rekindled the Stanley Cup tradition of putting Bruins jerseys on well-known Boston statues.

Maeda_ducklings1_met.jpg

Those are some mighty small duck jerseys.Maeda_ducklings3_met.jpg

You must admit, George Washington is looking stately in his black and gold.

Word on the street is there are a few other relics getting behind the hometown team, including John Copley and this Stone legend.













Watch: Bruins-Blackhawks pregame show

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 17, 2013 03:48 PM

Boston.com produced a live pregame show from TD Garden this evening, featuring Chad Finn and Kevin Paul Dupont previewing Game 3 of the Bruins-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals series.

Watch the replay in the video window above.

Speedy Stalberg set to return for Chicago

Posted by Staff June 17, 2013 01:18 PM

Chicago forward Viktor Stalberg has not had a 30-minute sitdown with coach Joel Quenneville in these playoffs. In fact, the Swede doesn’t talk to Quenneville “too often.”

“At this point, you know what you need to do,” Stalberg said. “And I think overthinking things too much is not necessarily a good thing.”

Stalberg, a healthy scratch the past two games, will make his Stanley Cup Final debut Monday night, the lone lineup change for Chicago in Game 3. Though the speedy winger hasn’t chatted at length with his coach, he knows what’s expected of him.

“Not overthink things too much, play it simple,” Stalberg said. “The way the Bruins play, I think it’s about speed, getting pucks to the net, be hungry around the net. That’s what I need to do.”

Stalberg was replaced by forward Brandon Bollig in the series’ first two games. Stalberg is known for his speed and elusiveness. Bollig is a bigger, physical presence. Bollig played only 8:42 in Game 2, recording zero shots on goal, zero hits, two giveaways, and a minus-1 rating.

“Bollig gave us a couple real strong games,” Quenneville said. “Viktor, we’re just looking for more. I think offensively, defensively, giving us some more in both those areas.”

Stalberg knows he can’t be too fancy.

“Boston really clogs down the middle,” he said. “Just got to keep it simple.”

Stalberg has played in 15 games this postseason, including 10 straight leading up to the Stanley Cup Final.

The 27-year-old has zero goals, three assists, and a minus-1 rating in those games. He tallied nine goals and 14 assists in 47 regular-season games.

Not playing in the first two Final games was frustrating, Stalberg said, “but hopefully you come out a little bit stronger.”

And maybe with a bit more energy; fresh legs could be key after the teams played nearly 10 periods in the last six days.

“We want to use his speed, that’s the big thing with his game,” forward Patrick Kane said. “He can really back their defensemen off.

"I think he had some good games when he was in the lineup, so hopefully he can keep playing as well as he has, maybe chip in a little more offensively. But for the most part, his speed is a big part of his game and our team game, as well.”

Game 3 preview: Blackhawks at Bruins

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 17, 2013 10:21 AM
Good morning from TD Garden, where the Bruins will look to take a 2-1 series lead tonight over the Blackhawks.

The Bruins are not expected to make any lineup changes. Their third line will most likely be Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly, and Tyler Seguin. The third line combined on both goals in Game 2.

Chicago could make changes. Viktor Stalberg, a healthy scratch in Games 1 and 2, could be back in tonight. The Blackhawks could also shuffle their defensive pairings. For now, we’ll assume it’s the same lineup as Game 2, and update after Chicago’s morning skate.

Puck drop: 8 p.m.

TV/radio info: NBC Sports Network (Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)

Records: Blackhawks 1-1, Bruins 1-1

Projected Blackhawks lineup:

Brandon Saad-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp-Michal Handzus-Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell-Dave Bolland-Andrew Shaw
Brandon Bollig-Marcus Kruger-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Healthy scratches: Daniel Carcillo, Jamal Mayers, Viktor Stalberg, Ben Smith, Ryan Stanton

Projected Bruins lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Healthy scratches: Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Wade Redden, Aaron Johnson, Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo, Jordan Caron

Storylines: The Bruins’ defensemen were actively pinching in Game 2. Andrew Ference pinched down the right-side wall on Patrick Sharp, which led to the turnover behind the net. Chris Kelly scored moments later. Adam McQuaid held the right point prior to Daniel Paille’s winning goal. Expect that to continue in Game 3… Neither team practiced Sunday. Both clubs used it as a travel day to fly to Boston… The top prospects eligible for the 2013 draft later this month will tour the dressing rooms at the Garden this morning. It’s unclear whether Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon will be the first pick when the draft takes place in Newark on June 30… Chris Rooney and Brad Watson will be the referees. Shane Heyer and Brian Murphy will be the linesmen.

Chat with Jack Edwards at noon

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 17, 2013 06:39 AM

200jackedwards.jpgOnce again, NESN's popular Bruins announcer, Jack Edwards, will join us to talk some hockey. Set a reminder in the window below and come back at lunchtime to discuss Bruins-Blackhawks Game 3, the series and more.

Edwards and the NESN crew have been providing plenty of pre- and postgame coverage throughout the Stanley Cup Finals, with 90-minute pregame shows beginning at 6:30 p.m. After each game, NESN provides analysis and exclusive interviews with key Bruins personnel for an additional 90 minutes.

Don Cherry: 'Rask is going to be the difference'

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 17, 2013 01:26 AM
The flamboyant and always entertaining Don Cherry arrived in Boston Sunday for Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final and said Tuukka Rask would be the difference maker in the tight battle between the Bruins and the Blackhawks.

The former Bruins coach and current CBC broadcaster and "Hockey Night in Canada” analyst said the Blackhawks won't go down easily, but the Bruins will ultimately prevail.

"I cannot believe a team that was the best in the whole league ends up going [down] in four or five [games]," Cherry said. "But for the Bruins, Rask is going to be the difference."

Hear more from the former Bruins coach on the first two games of the series, Jaromir Jagr, Tim Thomas, and more in the video embedded above.

Former Bruins coach Mike Milbury criticizes Jaromir Jagr

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 16, 2013 07:32 PM

CHICAGO -- During the first intermission of Saturday night's Bruins-Blackhawks Game 2 telecast, NBC Sports hockey analyst and former Bruins player, coach, and general manager Mike Milbury took a shot at veteran Boston forward Jaromir Jagr.

“He can’t skate in this series, and they gotta get him off this line," Milbury said on the air. "If he can do something when he gets the puck standing still, fine. But he can’t forecheck, he can’t participate with this line, two very good players with him [on the highlight being shown]. He turned the puck over repeatedly. He can’t get anything going here. They can’t sustain anything with him on this line. He's not quick enough to get into the forecheck, and if his hands are going to act like that on him, he's got a problem. I think the Boston Bruins got to recognize this. Don't be looking at Jaromir Jagr the legend, this is Jaromir Jagr in real life… there's no hustle to get to the bench, absolutely lazy in a Stanley Cup Final… That to me is a guy that is too tired to play in this final. That's a guy that has to be replaced."

Before leaving Chicago to head back to Boston Sunday, Milbury didn't back off his criticism of Jagr and elaborated on the veteran sniper's game and why he doesn't think it fits with the Bruins current style of play.

"He doesn't hustle to get to the right place," Milbury said. "He's smart enough to know where to be, and he'll pick up the garbage. When the puck comes to him, then he's a dangerous player, like when the loose pucks pop his way, and they did [in Game 2]. He rattled one off the post in overtime."

Jagr actually led the Bruins attack with five shots Saturday night, but Milbury thinks that stat doesn't tell the whole story.

"The first two came off garbage turnovers and he ripped some shots off," he said. "So when he gets that, and what he loves to do is one-on-one stuff, he's still OK, as long as he gets the puck.

"You can't count on him on the forecheck, he's not going to participate as a group effort to go retrieve the puck, and so using him in selective areas I think, is important but Claude [Julien] just throws him out one after the other. God bless Claude, I love him, but I don't get it because he's got no goals, he's got no goals."

During the overtime period in Game 2, Jagr clanged a shot off the crossbar causing the 41-year-old hockey legend to scream to the high heavens.

“I said, ‘God. Where are you?’ ” Jagr said in the locker room when asked after the game what words he was howling.

The former two-time Cup champion and former NHL MVP has in fact not scored a goal in the postseason, last hitting the back of the net on April 21 against Florida. But Jagr showed a late burst of energy and seemed destined to turn on the red light Saturday night.

"That's the way it is," Jagr said after Game 2. "I've got no problem with that if we keep winning. That would be kind of sad if we would lose the hockey game, but there is always next time because we won. I don't worry about it right now."

Milbury appreciated Jagr's spirit when told of his comments after Game 2 when Jagr told the assembled media that he skates at the TD Garden rink alone after games sometimes so he can score some goals.

"Well that's funny, and he certainly works hard at it," Milbury said. "When you watch it and you try to be… and I've watched it for a long time, I've been critical of of him in the past but I've also been an admirer of him in the past because his skill set is just phenomenal but it's a different mindset that goes into his approach to the game.

"I sometimes get frustrated by that as a former coach watching it but the skill set is still there… you can see it from time to time, but these two teams are teams that forecheck. When they're going good, it's on the forecheck. He's not part of any forecheck blanket, he's part of the receiving team."

Former Bruins coach and current CBC broadcaster Don Cherry weighed in on Jagr as well on Sunday when he arrived in Boston, giving the right winger some props.

"Well he hasn't scored any goals but he has been effective," Cherry said. "[The Bruins] wanted Iginla and poor Jerome had an awful time and they ended up with [Jagr]. He hasn't had a goal, but I'll tell you, he's a big factor out there."

With the Cup final now knotted at one game apiece heading into Game 3 Monday night in Boston, Milbury was asked how he thought the series might play out going forward.

"I have no idea," Milbury said. "I thought it was over at the end of the first period [in Game 2] and what the Bruins have done so well over the last few years is their resiliency pops up and they come back and play hard, and I admire the hell out of them for that and I expect that will continue to be the case.

"But the Hawks are pretty resilient, too. It will be interesting to see if they can win it without the benefit of a Jonathan Toews, who has just one more goal than Jagr. I know he's a bit of a decoy, he takes a lot of punishment, gets a lot of attention, but still, you see [David] Krejci, he gets a lot of attention, too now and he's putting up some pretty good numbers, but I don't know where it all settles in. It didn't look good for the Bruins at the end of the first, the shots on goal advantage was crazy… so we'll see."

Bruins prevail in overtime in Game 2, tie series with Blackhawks, 1-1

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 16, 2013 04:19 AM
CHICAGO – It's not how you start, it's how you finish. Especially in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Bruins started Game 2 horribly – looking lackadaisical, sluggish, and playing with no real sense of urgency. They were outshot 19-4 in the first, but were lucky to head to the locker room down only 1-0 on Patrick Sharp’s goal 11:22 into the period.

But Boston managed to turn it on in the second period and the Black and Gold would eventually finish on top with a nail-biting, heart-stopping, 2-1 overtime win over the Blackhawks at the United Center Saturday night that tied the series at one game apiece.

Bruins winger Daniel Paille banged in the game winner on a feed from Tyler Seguin at 13:48 in overtime – the second straight game that went beyond regulation time – and red-hot goaltender Tuukka Rask turned in another stellar performance, making 33 saves in Game 2.

"We just kept the pressure on and [Seguin] threw the puck to me," Paille said. "I just popped out and had to shoot the puck quick, get it off my stick. I was able to send it post low. He made a good play passing it over instead of shooting."

Rask spoke about weathering the Blackhawks' first-period storm that saw Chicago dominate with 30 shot attempts to the Bruins’ five.

"We definitely were in survival mode there for a bit," Rask said. "It looked like they had more guys out there than we did.  They were pouncing on every single puck in front of net, had a lot of chances.  We definitely played pretty bad.
     
"But it was good that we were only down by one and regrouped after that."

With 5:02 remaining in the second period, the B's tied the game up 1-1 when Chris Kelly knocked in a rebound off a Paille shot.

Bruins coach Claude Julien spoke about the turnaround that started in that second period.

"If you look at our game, I thought the first period, we just weren't  there," Julien said.  "We were on our heels. They had total control of that period. Tuukka kept us in there. I thought the second, we started turning it around.  Third, same thing.  We got better as the game went on. Overtime, that was the best, had a lot of scoring chances there.

"Like I told our guys, we've got to show up on time for these kind of games.  It could have cost us tonight."

Julien talked about putting Paille, Kelly, and Seguin together and the spark the new third line provided to key the victory.

"We didn't have much going," Julien said. "At one point I thought that line would give us something. They responded well.  Got both goals tonight. It's a hunch from a coach. I know that Dan [Paille] is a great skater, can make a lot of things happen. Seguin, after the first period, was one of the guys that picked up his game.
     
"Kelly was one of the guys that was good right from the start.  I put those three guys together and they answered."

Kelly, who last scored on April 17 against the Capitals, spoke about Paille's goal and how the new linemates worked together.

"I think on my goal it was a great five-guy effort," Kelly said. "Andrew [Ference] made a pinch, Tyler was in on the play and got it to Daniel, and Daniel took it to the net.  I just happened to be there, tapped it in.

"I thought Paille played extremely well the whole night. His goal, great pass by Seguin.  I thought both of them played extremely well.  Their feet were moving the whole night."

Paille talked about the momentum shift that went Boston's way after Chicago steamrolled them on the ice in the first period.

“I think we just stopped thinking and started playing and realized that we needed to help the team a little bit,” Paille said after netting the OT game winner. “I think that goes well into the game when you stop thinking and start playing with your natural abilities. I think [Seguin] started skating a lot more and I think [Kelly] and myself started to protect the puck. So that helped us out in the game.”

The Bruins peppered Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford throughout the overtime period, including Jaromir Jagr clanging a shot off the crossbar, causing the 41-year-old hockey legend to scream to the high heavens.

“I said, ‘God. Where are you?’ ” Jagr said in the locker room.

The former two-time Cup champion and former NHL MVP has not scored a goal in the postseason, last hitting the back of the net on April 21 against Florida. But Jagr showed a late burst of energy and seemed destined to turn on the red light Saturday night.

"That's the way it is," Jagr said. "I've got no problem with that if we keep winning. That would be kind of sad if we would lose the hockey game, but there is always next time because we won. I don't worry about it right now."

During the first intermission of Game 2, NBC Sports NHL analyst and former Bruin Mike Milbury took a shot at Jagr.

“He can’t skate in this series," Milbury said on the air. "They gotta get him off of this line. If he can do something when he gets the puck standing still, fine. But he can’t forecheck, he can’t participate with this line. He turned the puck over repeatedly. He can’t get anything going here. They can’t sustain anything with him on this line.

“Absolutely lazy in a Stanley Cup Finals… That to me is a guy that is too tired to play in this final. That is a guy that has to be replaced.”

The Blackhawks are fully aware of the challenges they'll when the series goes back to Boston for Game 3, Monday night at TD Garden.

"It's a tough building to go in and win," Hawks winger Patrick Sharp said. "But there's enough incentive on the line that we can muster up a good effort."

Final: Bruins 2, Blackhawks 1 (OT)

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 15, 2013 07:55 PM

CHICAGO -- At 13:48 of overtime, Daniel Paille rifled a shot over Corey Crawford’s glove to give the Bruins a 2-1 Game 2 win. The series is tied at 1-1. Game 3 is at TD Garden on Monday

The play started as Adam McQuaid held the zone at the right point. Tyler Seguin threw a cross-ice pass to Paille. The left wing buried his shot.

End of regulation: 1-1: For the second straight game, the Bruins and Blackhawks went into overtime. The Bruins survived a first-period blitzkrieg. They evened the game in the second, then held their ground in the third period to send Game 2 into extra time tied at 1-1.

Neither team scored in the third period. The Bruins’ best chance came after Jaromir Jagr set up Brad Marchand at the left circle. Corey Crawford got a piece of Marchand’s shot with his glove.

End of second period: 1-1: The Bruins, lucky to be down just one goal after the first period, tied the game in the second. The tying goal took place on the second shift for the new third line of Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly, and Tyler Seguin.

Paille started the play by winning a puck battle along the end boards. Paille walked the puck out and put a short-range shot on goal. Corey Crawford stopped Paille’s shot. But Kelly beat Patrick Kane to the rebound and tapped the puck past Crawford at 14:58 to tie the game at 1-1. It was Kelly’s first point of the playoffs.

The Bruins were a post away from taking the lead. After Kelly batted a puck out of air, Brad Marchand had a chance. Marchand kicked the puck to his blade and snapped a shot on goal that bounced off the right post at 18:57.

The Bruins slowed the bleeding in the second. After allowing 19 shots in the first, they limited the Blackhawks to five pucks on Tuukka Rask in the second.


End of first period: Blackhawks 1-0: The Blackhawks grabbed a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. But the Blackhawks could have slipped five pucks into the Boston net in the first period.

From the opening shift, the Blackhawks overwhelmed the Bruins. It was a varsity-versus-JV performance. Chicago landed 19 pucks on goal while limiting the Bruins to just four shots on Corey Crawford. The Blackhawks dominated every segment of the game. The Bruins were fortunate to escape the first down just one goal.

Chicago beat Rask after a flurry of shots by the No. 2 line. Rask stopped three straight pucks, but the Bruins couldn’t bail out their goalie by retrieving the rebounds. With Rask down and out and Michal Handzus causing havoc in front, Patrick Sharp whistled the puck into the net at 11:20.

The Bruins caught a break several minutes later. Again, the Bruins allowed the Blackhawks to swarm the net. Jonathan Toews appeared to slip the puck under Rask after a wraparound at 12:32. The initial call on the ice was no goal, which was confirmed via video review.


Get live updates and more throughout Game 2.

We're also having a special chat where fans of both teams can sound off throughout the game.

Tonight's Bruins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 15, 2013 07:52 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Tonight's Blackhawks lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 15, 2013 07:50 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Brandon Saad-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp-Michal Handzus-Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell-Dave Bolland-Andrew Shaw
Brandon Bollig-Marcus Kruger-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Nathan Horton to play tonight

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 15, 2013 01:37 PM
Nathan Horton will play tonight in Game 2. Both Horton and Claude Julien said the right wing will be in the lineup.

“He feels really good,” Julien said. “He looked really good out there the last two days. There’s absolutely no reason at all why he shouldn’t play tonight.”

Horton participated in the morning skate. Horton practiced in his usual spot alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci.

"I feel good, I'm going to be ready, I think I'm in, I'm ready to go and I'm excited, feel good" Horton said after Saturday's practice. "I've just been trying to get ready for Game 2 like any player here and just looking at clips on what we need to do better, but I feel good personally."

Horton was asked if he was in pain the last couple of days.

"I'm not in any pain, I feel good," he said. "Like I said, I'm ready to play and I'm just excited to get going here."

Horton would not go into any details on what caused the upper body setback Saturday night but when asked if Claude Julien said he's definitely ready go tonight, Horton replied: "Yes, everything's good. I'm back and I'm ready to go."

With Horton in, Tyler Seguin will remain on the third line with Kaspars Daugavins and Rich Peverley. The Bruins are not projected to make any other changes.

Tonight’s expected lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Game 2 preview: Bruins at Blackhawks

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 15, 2013 11:22 AM
CHICAGO – Good morning from the United Center, where the Bruins will attempt to tie the series at 1-1 tonight.

It’s unknown whether Nathan Horton (upper body) will be available tonight. Horton was injured during first overtime of Game 1. Horton most likely re-aggravated the injury he suffered on April 20 during a fight with Jarome Iginla.

Horton practiced yesterday. For now, we’ll assume Horton will play tonight.

Puck drop: 8 p.m. ET

TV/radio info: NBC (Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)

Records: Bruins 0-1, Blackhawks 1-0

Projected Blackhawks lineup:

Brandon Saad-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell-Michal Handzus-Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp-Dave Bolland-Andrew Shaw
Brandon Bollig-Marcus Kruger-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Healthy scratches: Daniel Carcillo, Jamal Mayers, Viktor Stalberg, Ben Smith, Ryan Stanton

Projected Bruins lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Healthy scratches: Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Wade Redden, Aaron Johnson, Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo, Jordan Caron

Storylines: Torey Krug practiced alongside Adam McQuaid in his usual third-pairing spot yesterday. Krug projects to remain in tonight’s lineup. The Bruins expect Krug to shrug off the third-period turnover in Game 1 that led to Chicago’s second goal… If Horton can’t play, Tyler Seguin will move up to the first line. Carl Soderberg could make his NHL playoff debut. Soderberg took shifts centering the third line between Daniel Paille and Rich Peverley yesterday… The Bruins will remain in Chicago after tonight’s game. They are scheduled to return to Boston tomorrow… Wes McCauley and Dan O’Halloran will be the referees. Jay Sharrers and Pierre Racicot will be the linesmen.

Live Game 2 pregame show at 6 p.m.

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 15, 2013 10:56 AM

We're planning a live pregame show from the United Center tonight at 6 p.m. Our reporters in Chicago will bring you the latest news and offer their outlooks on Game 2 between the Bruins and Blackhawks.

Stanley Cup Today: Finally, another game day

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 15, 2013 08:30 AM
At last, another game day is upon us.

The good news is the series picks up the pace a bit now, with only one day off before Game 3 on Monday and then only one day off before Game 4 on Wednesday.

Both the Bruins (12:30 p.m.) and Blackhawks (11:30 a.m.) will hold a pregame skate at United Center, which will shed some light on the lines we may expect to see in Game 2.

At 7 p.m., the major NHL awards winners will be announced - MVP, best defenseman, top rookie and most outstanding player.

Then the puck drops on Game 2 shortly after 8 p.m. The game will be televised on NBCSN.

***

Links from Chicago

The Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus explains why Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa is a fixture in the Stanley Cup Finals.

On ESPNChicago, Jesse Rogers writes about how Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews is still contributing despite not scoring much.

***

What you may have missed

Steve Silva hit the streets of Chicago to get reaction to one company's decision to market "Chicago Stronger," t-shirts. Watch his report here.

Friday's Championship Today video provides a look at Nathan Horton back on the ice and skating at Bruins practice, and includes commentary from Bruins coach Claude Julien, center David Krejci, and Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.

Chad Finn has 13 thoughts on how the series has gone so far.

Nathan Horton skated with the Bruins on Friday, but his injury status remains day-to-day.

***
Hot on social

Patrice Bergeron was also a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, given to the NHL's best two-way player, but the award went to Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks. His "Patrice's Pals" program brings hospital patients and children's groups to watch Bruins games in his TD Garden suite, and was a big factor in winning the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.

***

What's coming

Tonight's live coverage on Boston.com features a special page that will have both game updates and a special fan chat hosted by Obnoxious Boston Fan. The updates will begin with the morning skates, and the fan chat kicks off at 7 p.m.

We're also planning a live pregame show at 6 p.m. from the United Center. It'll stream on our Boston Sports Live page as well as the BDC homepage and sports page.

During the game, we'll have photos, and afterward we'll have plenty of postgame interview video and columns.

Patrice Bergeron wins King Clancy Memorial Trophy

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 14, 2013 05:47 PM
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, the NHL announced Friday at the first of two awards programs it is holding this weekend.

The King Clancy is given to a player for both leadership on and off the ice and humanitarian contributions in his community.

Bergeron's "Patrice's Pals" program brings hospital patients and children's groups to TD Garden to watch Bruins games from a luxury suite.

“It means a lot, it's a huge honor," Bergeron said via a team press release. "Obviously, any time you have the chance to help out the community, it's something that speaks a lot to me and I want to do. ... I like to lead by example and just work as hard as I can on and off the ice and help whoever I can.”

Bergeron was also a finalist for the Selke Trophy for best two-way player, and teammate Adam McQuaid was a finalist for the Masterton Trophy for dedication to hockey. Chicago's Jonathan Toews won the Selke and Minnesota goalie Josh Harding won the Masterton.

The NHL will announce its major awards, including MVP and best goalie, Saturday before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Saad gets his shot on Blackhawks' top line

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff June 14, 2013 04:33 PM

CHICAGO -- Brandon Saad, who scored the Blackhawks' first goal in Game 1 and ended their 4-3 triple-overtime victory playing with top-line holdovers Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, remained on the first line in Friday's morning skate.

"Regardless of what line you’re playing on you’re going to come to the rink and do your job and work hard, especially at this stage this late in the season,” Saad said. “But to be on this line helps out. Those guys are great players. We played pretty much the whole year together so the chemistry developed.”

Bryan Bickell, who has eight goals this postseason after scoring nine during the regular season, was shifted back to the third line during practice, where he joined Andrew Shaw (who scored the winning goal in Game 1) and Dave Bolland.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was asked why he's so willing to shuffle his lines, something many coaches won't do during the postseason.

"Well, I think most of the guys over the course of the season play with one another,'' he said. "Sometimes, it's about the matchup. Sometimes it's just about mixing it up. Sometimes it's guys on a merit basis who look like they're playing well. It all goes hand in hand.

"We feel that in playoff series, you don't have enough time to hang around and make a decision,'' he said. "So sometimes we try things. We usually try them when we don't like how things are going.''

The Blackhawks have a potent second line in Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane, and Michael Handzus, and Quenneville's willingness to give all four lines significant ice team means that Michael Frolik, Marcus Kruger, and Brandon Bollig will also get their opportunities.

"All those guys [on the fourth line], they've got a pretty good idea how to play with and without the puck. Sometimes they're hard to play against."

Nathan Horton practices with Bruins, remains day-to-day

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 14, 2013 04:11 PM
CHICAGO – Nathan Horton practiced this afternoon at the United Center. Horton remains day-to-day, said Claude Julien. The right wing’s availability for Game 2 tomorrow is undetermined. Horton was unavailable for comment.

Horton shot and passed the puck without limitations. Horton, however, did not take every line rush with Milan Lucic and David Krejci, his regular linemates. Tyler Seguin took shifts at right wing with Lucic and Krejci when Horton didn’t rotate through.

Horton suffered an upper-body injury during first overtime of Game 1. It was likely related to the injury Horton sustained during a fight with Jarome Iginla on April 20. Horton missed the last five regular-season games.

If Horton cannot play, Carl Soderberg could make his NHL playoff debut. With Seguin taking shifts on the first line, Soderberg centered the third line between Daniel Paille and Rich Peverley. Soderberg hasn’t played since April 28 against Ottawa in the regular-season finale. Soderberg has zero goals and two assists in six games.

The Bruins’ possible lineup without Horton:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Carl Soderberg-Rich Peverley
Kaspars Daugavins-Chris Kelly-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Now the Michael Jordan statue in Chicago is sporting a Blackhawks jersey

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 14, 2013 11:22 AM

607jordan.jpg


Earlier this week we told you how a symptom of Stanley Cup fever has presented itself in Chicago.

Now it appears to be spreading. The statue of Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan has been adorned with a Blackhawks sweater.

Stanley Cup Today: Focus turns to Game 2, NHL awards

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 14, 2013 07:45 AM
Now that everyone has hopefully caught their breath following the three-OT Game 1, it's time to look ahead to Game 2.

Both teams will be practicing today, then discussing their outlook on Saturday's game, at United Center. The Blackhawks skate at noon, the Bruins at 2:30 p.m.

Also tonight, the NHL will announce the first wave of its award winners for the 2013 season. Two Bruins are among the finalists – Adam McQuaid for the Bill Masterton Memorial (dedication to hockey) and Patrice Bergeron for the Frank J. Selke Trophy (best two-way player). Those two awards plus the King Clancy, Lady Byng, and Jack Adams awards, the Mark Messier Leadership Award and the general manager of the year awards will be revealed beginning at 5 p.m. on NHL Network and streamed online at NHL.com.

On Saturday, the major awards (MVP, best goalie, rookie of year, most outstanding player) will be doled out during a pregame show at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.

***

Links from Chicago
The Chicago Tribune created a graphic that illustrates the decibel levels in the United Center during Wednesday's game.

In the Chicago Sun-Times, Mark Potash writes the Blackhawks have versatility to win in a variety of ways.

On the Madhouse Enforcer blog, James Neveau ponders whether Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews can find his offensive groove again.

The Chicago Tribune also produced a fascinating video – a time-lapse of Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford in Game 1. Watch it here.

***

What you may have missed

In Boston.com's daily Championship Today video, Steve Silva has a rundown of Thursday's key story lines.

Our new Stats Driven blogger, David Sabino, explains how the Bruins' knack for finding themselves in overtime games follows an NHL trend.

A Chicago firm apparently didn't get the message from the Toronto series and has begun selling "Chicago Stronger" shirts.

Hot on social

While Boston has an amazing national anthem singer of its own in Rene Rancourt, it's only right to give respect where it is due and the Blackhawks' Jim Cornelison is up there with the best of them.

I can't remember the last time I heard the national anthem played in full on a radio broadcast before a game, but here's a hat tip to The Sports Hub and Dave Goucher and Bob Beers for stepping aside and airing the full anthem before Game 1. Classy move.

What's coming

We'll have another episode of Championship Today on Boston.com this afternoon/evening, and you can follow the latest updates from this afternoon's activity in our Game 2 live blog right here.

Julien says Nathan Horton is day-to-day

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 13, 2013 04:40 PM

CHICAGO – Nathan Horton is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, according to Bruins coach Claude Julien. The right wing suffered the injury during a power play in the first overtime of Game 1 Wednesday night.

Horton was hurt while pushing Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. Horton stopped playing, doubled over, and skated to the bench. He retreated to the dressing room and didn’t return.

Horton had suffered an upper-body injury during a fight with Pittsburgh's Jarome Iginla April 20 and missed the last five regular-season games.

If Horton can’t play in Game 2 Saturday, Jordan Caron would be the most likely candidate to enter the lineup. Caron is one of three available forwards, along with Jay Pandolfo and Carl Soderberg. Caron is a right wing who can battle along the walls and jam in front of the net when he’s playing well.

Tyler Seguin projects to replace Horton on the first line alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci. Seguin took most of those shifts in Game 1 after Horton departed and showed some jump. Seguin nearly set up Kaspars Daugavins for the winner in triple overtime. Seguin also assisted on Patrice Bergeron’s third-period power-play goal.

“He skated. He had some chances,” Julien said. “He’s got speed up there with them. He’s got skill. For him, it’s an opportunity right now. He did a great job. We’ll see where everybody stands here by Saturday.”

* Torey Krug acknowledged coughing up the puck on Dave Bolland’s third-period goal that brought Chicago within 3-2. The Bruins were changing lines when Krug settled the puck. Krug said he saw a stretched-out Daniel Paille and tried to get him the puck. Andrew Shaw picked off Krug’s pass to initiate Bolland’s goal.

“Yes, it was a mistake to throw that puck up the middle,” Julien said. “But if you look back at the play, I don’t think we had a good line change. He didn’t have a ton of options. I think there could be some blame shared on that goal.”

* Neither Julien nor the players are dwelling on the nature of the 4-3 triple-overtime loss. The Bruins are looking ahead to Game 2. “What’s done is done,” Julien said.

* Both teams stayed off the ice today. They are scheduled to practice Friday at United Center.

Blackhawks players tired, not overconfident after win

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 13, 2013 04:10 PM

The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final early Thursday morning but didn't rest on their laurels when addressing the media later in the day. Chicago did not practice but will have the chance to do so Friday before Game 2 Saturday.

"I think you go into a game knowing you don't get a lot of high-quality chances against Boston," said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. "You get a couple fortunate bounces on a couple goals, those are goals you have to score. If you're looking for those perfect plays, they're going to be hard to find."

The Blackhawks got fortunate bounces on both the tying goal (off the skate of Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference) and the winning goal (deflected in by Andrew Shaw).

Asked if anything surprised him about the Bruins, Quenneville said, " I don't know if it was a surprise, but they're a good hockey team. I know you watch them, now you get to play against them, you see they're fast, maybe faster than you anticipated.

"Their top line was extremely dangerous. They've got some guys that can make plays. They got patience with the puck."

Blackhawks players said Thursday they were naturally tired after playing into three overtimes, but a day off should help.

"I think having the two-day break between Game 1 and 2 is huge," said defenseman Brent Seabrook. "Same as last night. Get a lot of rest, stay hydrated, get as much healthy, good food in your system as you can. Just get ready and focus for the next one."

Said forward Marian Hossa, "To tell you the truth, fall asleep around 3:00. Woke up early. I think my neighbor decide he going to drill in the morning. That was unpleasant (laughter).

"We are lucky, like Brent said, we got extra day, you know, to recharge the batteries and get back on Game 2."


Stanley Cup Today: Following loss, Bruins will not practice

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff June 13, 2013 08:04 AM

The Bruins will not practice Thursday after losing to the Blackhawks, 4-3, in triple overtime of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

It was the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup history.

The team will make coach Claude Julien and select players available for comment at 3:30 p.m.

The Blackhawks will make coach Joel Quenneville and select players available to speak at 2:30 p.m.

***

Links from Chicago

Chicago Tribune reporter Brian Hamilton writes that Andrew Shaw, who scored the game-winning goal, was in the right moment at the right time.

Also from the Tribune, video of Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford's comments on Game 1.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander writes that utilizing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on different lines was beneficial for the Blackhawks' win.

And Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrissey writes that the Blackhawks' win provides the kind of hockey that was good for the overall game.

***

What you may have missed

Couldn't stay up to watch the triple OT defeat, watch the highlights in agony here.

Kevin Paul Dupont and Steve Silva break down Game 1 right here.

Silva and Boston.com's Alan Miller and Ed Medina also had plenty of video of the postgame interviews. Here's a list:
Bruins
Claude Julien
Tuukka Rask
Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins
Milan Lucic

Blackhawks
Patrick Sharp
Corey Crawford
Dave Bolland

On BostonGlobe.com, Dupont writes that the Bruins now face an uphill battle.

Also on BostonGlobe.com, columnist Dan Shaughnessy gives his take on the thriller.

***

Hot on social

Of course, this tweet came just a few short hours after President Obama was in Boston to stump for Senate hopeful Ed Markey.

***

What's coming

We're still going strong with live coverage today on Boston.com. Stay tuned for analysis in our live blog today, where we'll be covering the media availability this afternoon.

We'll have Boston Sports Live streaming from Chicago at noon.

Also, expect another episode of Championship Today.

Bruins lose Game 1 in triple OT on double deflection

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 13, 2013 04:58 AM
CHICAGO -- There are heartbreakers. There are crushing defeats. And then there's the Bruins 4-3 triple overtime loss to the Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Chicago prevailed in the fifth longest game in Stanley Cup finals history when Andrew Shaw deflected a shot off his leg that snuck past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask with 7:52 remaining in overtime No. 3.

Rask made a career-high 59 saves on the night but he could not find a way to stop the puck after a double deflection on a blue line shot by defenseman Michal Rozsival.

"It was a soft shot, so I'm probably going to have it if [Shaw] didn't hit it, but it gets deflected, it's tough," Rask said following the epic contest.


Way back in regulation, the Bruins had the Blackhawks right where they wanted them when Patrice Bergeron fired one past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, giving Boston a 3-1 lead with just under 14 minutes to play in the game.

Blackhawks center Dave Bolland woke up the crowd of 22,110 strong when he scored with 12 minutes left to bring Chicago to within one. With just under 8 minutes remaining, Johnny Oduya got the Blackhawks even at 3-3 and it would take three more periods before the Chicago comeback was complete.

“Luck,” Shaw said when describing the winning goal. “It was kind of [Bryan] Bickell finishing his check. The puck goes to the point. [Michal] Rozsival gets a nice shot through and Bolland got his stick on it. I just happened to be going to the net wide. It kind of went off my leg into the net.”

Crawford said he knew the game winning goal was on its way if he held his own in net.

“I was just trying to tell myself to make the next save and then we’re going to score on the next shot,” Crawford said regarding the third overtime. “I was just telling myself that the whole [overtime].”

Rask, who gave up four goals Wednesday night after giving up only two the entire Pittsburgh series, was asked if losing the game in three overtimes is worse than losing in regulation.

"Yeah, I'm sure like right after, it [stinks] because you're tired and you almost played two games," he said. "But at the end of the day, it's a loss, and that's the only thing that matters." The Game 1 defeat was the second loss in five overtime games for Rask and the Bruins this postseason.

Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton was quick to defend his goaltender.

"We can't say enough about him. All year he's been unbelievable for us and it was no different [Wednesday]," Thornton said. "In the second and in the third periods, it could have been a different game if he wasn't standing on his head. He's been amazing for us."

After the Bruins took a 2-0 lead in the second period behind Milan Lucic's two goals, Chicago took the game to Boston, pressuring the Bruins throughout the second period before finding the back of the net twice in the third.

“We had our chances to end it,” Lucic said. “[Corey Crawford] made some big saves and we didn’t capitalize on them, and they won the game.

“At the end of the day, you’ve got to turn the page, and focus on Game 2. Shoulda, woulda, coulda is not going to get you anywhere. It’s not going to win us a game in the end. I think we need to focus on Game 2 as fast as we can.”

If the Bruins didn't have bad luck, they'd have no luck at all in regulation. There were loose pucks in front of Crawford, a shot off the inside of the post, and a big miss on a wide open net by Bruins winger Kaspars Daugavins who was set up nicely by Tyler Seguin.

"I take the blame for it," Daugavins said. "I should have put it in there and given the team the lead… I had [Crawford] beat, but while I was shooting I got tripped and my hands got tied up.”

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was not so quick to place blame on Daugavins for the missed opportunity.

"He tried to put the puck in the net," Chara said. "It didn't happen, but everybody is trying to score. Of course we've got each other's backs."

The worst break for Boston came when rookie defenseman Torey Krug had a costly turnover that led to the Bolland goal. Shaw intercepted a Krug pass up the middle and worked the puck over to Bolland whose score brought the Blackhawks to within one goal.

"We had the game," Rask said. "We're up 3-1 in the third and then a terrible turnover leads to a second goal and then a tough bounce leads to the tying goal, and we just gave it away," Rask said. "Especially going to the third overtime, you're not going to make any fancy backdoor plays. That's what it came down to. I thought we were forcing the play a little too much [in the third overtime] and they just shot the puck and it found its way in and it went in."

The Bruins looked sluggish through the first two overtimes, but seemed to have found a second wind in the third OT.

“I thought that in overtime we got better,” Julien said. “We got a little stronger. We had some great looks, some great opportunities, we just didn’t bury them. Eventually somebody is going to score a goal as fatigue sets in. Not disappointed in our effort. There’s certain things you’re going to want to fix for next game. But as far as the game is concerned, it was a hard-fought game.”

So now the Black and Gold and Tired will have two full days to rest before Game 2 of the series Saturday night back at the United Center.

Final: Blackhawks 4, Bruins 3 (3 OT)

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 12, 2013 07:55 PM

At 12:08 of triple overtime, Michal Rozsival snapped a point shot on goal. Andrew Shaw tipped the puck past Tuukka Rask to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 win in Game 1 at the United Center.

The Blackhawks won several puck battles leading up to Rozsival’s point shot. Shaw bowled over Dennis Seidenberg, who lost his glove on the play. Seidenberg couldn’t retreat to his net-front position in time to defend Shaw.

End of second overtime: 3-3: Bruins and Blackhawks are going into triple OT. Bruins with have 1:06 remaining on the power play. Zdeno Chara hit the right post with approximately 12 seconds remaining in double OT.

End of overtime: 3-3: Neither team scored in overtime. The Bruins had the best chance when the Blackhawks were caught with too many men at 12:08. Their top opportunity came off a David Krejci shot. Nathan Horton was in position to tap in the rebound, but he couldn’t elevate his shot over Corey Crawford.

Later during the power play, Horton suffered an undisclosed injury. Horton, doubled over, skated to the bench and retreating to the dressing room. Horton didn’t return.

End of third period: 3-3: The Blackhawks wiped out a two-goal deficit in the third period to force overtime in Game 1. Dave Bolland and Johnny Oduya scored to send the game into extra time.

The Bruins took a 3-1 lead at 6:09 of the third period. With Michael Frolik in the box for tripping, Patrice Bergeron hammered a power-play shot through Corey Crawford. It was only the fourth power-play goal Chicago had allowed during the playoffs.

The Blackhawks roared back with two straight goals. After picking off a Torey Krug pass, Andrew Shaw looked for help. Shaw got it in Bolland. Bolland took Shaw’s cross-crease pass and beat Tuukka Rask at 8:00.

Chicago got a fortunate bounce to tie the game. Oduya’s point shot was headed wide right. But the puck glanced off Andrew Ference’s left skate and deflected past Tuukka Rask at 12:14.


End of second period: Bruins, 2-1: The Bruins, up 1-0 after 20 minutes, doubled their lead at 0:51 of the second period when Milan Lucic scored his second goal of the night. Before Lucic’s goal, Tuukka Rask stared down an odd-man rush after Dennis Seidenberg was caught up the ice. Rask steered aside a Marian Hossa shot. On the following rush, Lucic won a puck battle against Hossa in center ice to start the attack.

David Krejci, drifting down the left wing, gave the puck back to Lucic. The left wing snapped the puck past Corey Crawford to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.

Chicago struck back at 3:08 of the second. Nathan Horton controlled the puck along the wall in the defensive zone. Hossa picked Horton’s pocket to give the Blackhawks a scoring chance. Brandon Saad was in position to snap the puck past Rask to make it a 2-1 game.

End of first period: Bruins 1-0: The Bruins scored the only goal of the first period. The play started when David Krejci beat Niklas Hjalmarsson in a puck race behind the Chicago net. Krejci rolled off Hjalmarsson’s check and looked for options. At the same time, Johnny Oduya pursued Krejci, which left both Chicago defensemen behind the net.

The Bruins took advantage of the net-front vacancy. Krejci dished to Nathan Horton out front. Horton spotted Milan Lucic open in the low slot. After taking Horton’s pass, Lucic flung the puck over Corey Crawford at 13:11.

---

Steve Silva and Chad Finn are your hosts tonight and will bring you updates from Game 1 in Chicago. Our live blog also captures commentary from top reporters covering both teams via Twitter.

Add your comments and enjoy the game.

Tonight's Bruins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 12, 2013 07:53 PM
Based on pregame warmups:


Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Tonight's Blackhawks lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 12, 2013 07:52 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Patrick Sharp-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell-Michal Handzus-Patrick Kane
Andrew Shaw-Dave Bolland-Brandon Saad
Brandon Bollig-Marcus Kruger-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson-Johnny Oduya
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Championship Today: 3 keys to a Bruins victory

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 12, 2013 05:17 PM

Each day during the Stanley Cup Finals (except Sunday), we'll bring you a daily video report featuring Boston.com and Globe staff who are covering the series.

In today's edition, Chad Finn and Steve Silva give their three keys to a Bruins win over the Blackhawks.

Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews on separate lines in Blackhawks morning skate

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff June 12, 2013 03:23 PM

CHICAGO -- In a barely concealed effort to keep one of their premier players away from Zdeno Chara, the Blackhawks, who reshuffled their top two lines Tuesday, kept them in that new alignment for Wednesday's morning skate at the United Center.

Patrick Kane, who scored three goals in the final two games of the Blackhawks' Western Conference finals victory over the Kings while often skating on a line with Jonathan Toews, apparently will not play alongside the Chicago captain in Wednesday's Game 1.

Toews will center the first line, with Patrick Sharp on the left wing and Marian Hossa to his right. Kane will play on a line centered by Michael Handzus, with Bryan Bickell at left wing.

"I think all year long the thought process has been Kaner and Toews, but in two different lines,'' said coach Joel Quenneville.

"In the last three rounds, there's probably been some adjustments in that area. Kaner and Johnny seemed to click in the last four periods against LA. At the same time, they've been apart almost all year."

The only personnel change to the Blackhawks lineup is the addition of Brandon Bollig, who will play on the fourth line. Viktor Stalberg is expected to be scratched.

Kane said the Bruins' physical style won't catch the Blackhawks by surprise.

“We faced that in our last series against LA,'' Kane said. "We knew they were going to be physical, and Boston, we’ll expect the same from them. Each and every series, it gets tougher, and we’ll be ready for it.”

But because the teams didn't play each other this season, there could be a feeling-out process early in the game.

"The start's important,'' Quenneville said. "I think that unpredictability, not knowing one another, what to expect. Who knows what could happen right off the bat? I think the excitement of both teams being here, not knowing too much about one another, that unpredictability could be exciting as well.

"Maybe the game settles down at one point where we become familiar with each other's habits. I think we want to make sure we play to our strengths, try to play fast, try to make them play defense."

Toews said the Blackhawks want the Bruins to react to what they're trying to do, and not vice versa.

“We want to have a good start tonight and just go out there and play our game.'' he said. “It mostly comes to our preparation and making them worry about our system.”

Time to dress up Boston's statues?

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 12, 2013 02:00 PM

statue.jpg

It's time for Boston to start dressing up the statues.

A lion outside the Art Institute of Chicago on Wednesday was sporting a giant Blackhawks helmet, just as statues around Boston were decked out in Bruins jerseys during the Black-and-Gold's last go-round in the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.

If you spot a Boston-area statue that has caught a bit of Stanley Cup fever, please submit a photo for our Bruins Pride gallery. Same is true if you have good photos of any other outward display of Bruins pride.

(H/T to @pacmanjack for heads-up on the photo)


'Focused' Bruins take the ice for practice in Chicago

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 12, 2013 01:50 PM


CHICAGO -- The Bruins took the ice at United Center for a quick morning skate, and coach Claude Julien was pleased with what he saw as the team prepares for the drop of the puck in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"I think I saw our guys focused," said coach Claude Julien. "I thought we had a good morning skate, a short one. At the same time, I think our guys were focused, but also loose in a way that you can tell most of them have been through this before.

"I know for a fact that a few years ago there was some nervousness in our group and everything else. I feel good about our morning skate. So hopefully it shows tonight."

Julien spoke about finally facing a Blackhawks team that offers some of the same challenges as the Pittsburgh Penguins did in the last round.

"I think we know what they do," Julien said. "It's just reacting to their strengths, hopefully exploiting some weaknesses in teams and everything else. That's what you've got to do.

"I think at the drop of the puck, both teams are going to try to do that, they're going to try to establish their game. I know they will and so will we. I think that's why everybody is excited to see this series start and see what happens here at the drop of the puck."

Julien was asked if he had any specific matchups in mind going up against a team that the Bruins didn't face this season.

"I don't think there's much, again, that we don't know about each other," he said. "Although we haven't played against each other, I don't think our game plan is going to change. What you've seen us do in the other rounds, we'll continue to do because it's worked for us."

While Julien agrees with the comparisons of Chicago to Pittsburgh, he believes the Blackhawks will bring a special set of skills to the matchup.

"As far as I'm concerned, they have their own identity," Julien said. "They do things that no other teams do, that we're aware of. When you look at their back end, they have a lot of Kris Letangs -- let's put it that way -- that can carry the puck up the ice and attack. There's a lot of things they have. Through our scouting reports, what we've watched, we see a lot of those kinds of things."

It all gets going at 8 p.m. EST when the teams finally meet each other face to face in Game 1.

Game 1 preview: Bruins at Blackhawks

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 12, 2013 11:18 AM
CHICAGO – Good morning from the United Center, where the Bruins and Blackhawks will kick off the Stanley Cup Final tonight.

The Bruins are not expected to make any lineup changes from Game 4 against Pittsburgh. The Blackhawks introduced new lines in practice Tuesday.

Puck drop: 8 p.m. ET

TV/radio info: NBC (Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)

Records: Bruins 0-0, Blackhawks 0-0

Projected Blackhawks lineup:

Patrick Sharp-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell-Michal Handzus-Patrick Kane
Andrew Shaw-Dave Bolland-Brandon Saad
Brandon Bollig-Marcus Kruger-Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson-Johnny Oduya
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Healthy scratches: Daniel Carcillo, Jamal Mayers, Viktor Stalberg, Ben Smith, Ryan Stanton

Projected Bruins lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Healthy scratches: Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Wade Redden, Aaron Johnson, Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo, Jordan Caron

Storylines: It remains to be seen how the Bruins will deploy Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg. If Tuesday’s lines stick, it’s possible that Chara and Seidenberg will play against Chicago’s top line of Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, and Marian Hossa. The Toews line would also draw the Bruins’ first threesome of Milan Lucic, David Krejci, and Nathan Horton. It would be up to Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk to play against Patrick Kane’s line. Patrice Bergeron’s trio would also play against Kane… Both teams are clicking on the penalty kill. Chicago has killed 94.8 percent of opposing power plays. The Bruins were 15 for 15 against Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference Final… Chris Rooney and Brad Watson will be the referees. Shane Heyer and Brian Murphy will be the linesmen.

Stanley Cup Today: Game 1 is upon us

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff June 12, 2013 07:30 AM

The Bruins will hold an early afternoon skate at Chicago's United Center before retreating ahead of Wednesday night's opening game of the Stanley Cup Final with the Blackhawks.

The afternoon skate will give us an early opportunity to see if Bruins coach Claude Julien has tinkered with the team's lines at all.

After the skate, the team will make players available for comment followed by Julien. And then it's on to Game 1, with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. on NBC.

The Blackhawks will hold their game-day skate at 11:30 a.m. followed by their own media availability.

***

Links from Chicago

The Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Potash reports the Blackhawks' Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will play apart.

Also from the Sun-Times, Mark Lazerus provides the Blackhawks' three keys to a Chicago Stanley Cup victory.

The Chicago Tribune offers the faker's guide to the Blackhawks, which is geared to the non-diehards of the sport.

And the Tribune also has some celebrity predictions.

***

What you may have missed

Jack Edwards, the Bruins' play-by-play broadcaster for NESN, joined our own Steve Silva for our Stanley Cup Final show Championship Today to offer his thoughts on the series. There's also some interviews with Cam Neely, Tuukka Rask, and others.

Kevin Paul Dupont and Adam Kaufman debate whether or not the Bruins are the team of destiny.

And Dupont, in the Stanley Cup preview available for digital subscribers, writes on how the series takes us back to glory days of the Original Six.

Also in today's Globe, Dan Shaughnessy explains how special it would be if the Bruins win the cup, particularly after overcoming the tragedy of the Boston Marathon.

***

Hot on social

No word yet on whether colleagues Dupont or Fluto Shinzawa have accepted the challenge.

***

What's coming

Follow all coverage of the Bruins today, from today's early skate through the game and postgame, on Boston.com. We'll have live coverage throughout.

Another episode of Championship Today is in the works. We'll have soundbites from today's media availability.

Also, expect Boston.com and Globe staff predictions to be made available.

And Boston Sports Live will be broadcasting live from Chicago.

Our Game 1 live blog will be here for you to get updates and add your comments to the discussion.

Mutual admiration for Krejci, Jagr

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 06:56 PM

CHICAGO -- As a young, exceptionally talented Czech hockey player, it's no surprise that David Krejci grew up idolizing his countryman Jaromir Jagr.

"Every time they showed hockey on TV, it was always Pittsburgh,'' said Krejci, now 27, of his 41-year-old teammate. "I don't remember any other team."

During his first two NHL seasons, Jagr played for a Stanley Cup winner for the Penguins. Now his chance for a third Cup is partly dependent on Krejci, the leading scorer this postseason (9-12--21) and a Conn Smythe candidate.

"He's really big in Czech,'' Krejci said, "Especially 20 years ago when he won the two Cups, it was always about him. I wasn't watching the games live. I guess because of those two years when he won, after that it was just him.

"If you ask any hockey player from Czech who is my age something like that, everybody is going to say that Jagr is their favorite player. I'm glad he's still playing and I'm on his team right now."

Krejci and Jagr were teammates at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. They have played little together -- just on the power play -- since Jagr was acquired by the Bruins during the season.

"We played together a few years ago for the Czech team in the Olympics,'' Krejci said. "That was the first time I met him. Obviously, I was nervous. But it was a quick tournament. Then he got here. We got closer."

The admiration is mutual.

"You know, he's a great player,'' Jagr said. "I don't think he's getting enough credit the way he plays. He proves it year after year in the playoffs, he's playing his best hockey in the playoffs."

Championship Today: Bruins talk Tebow, and some hockey too, on media day

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 11, 2013 06:10 PM
CHICAGO – If you thought media day at the Stanley Cup Finals would be a Tebow-free zone ... then you'd be mistaken.

Tebowmania reared its head when Bruins forward Milan Lucic was asked about newly-signed Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow stealing the front page from the Bruins over the last two days.

"It's great," Lucic said chuckling. "I'm sure he's happy to be on an NFL team again. Hopefully he'll be cheering for the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals."

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron didn't know much about Tebow, or football, before it was brought to his attention Tuesday.

"I honestly didn't think about it," Bergeron said about Boston's new media sensation. "I have no idea too much about football, so I guess it's good for the Pats, I don't know, I guess it is."

Getting back to hockey, Lucic spoke about having two teams facing each other in the finals that know very little about each other.

"I think what's going to make this series so fun is both teams don't really know what to expect going in," Lucic said. "I mean we haven't played each other since Oct. of 2011 so both teams are excited, both teams are looking forward to it and I don't think it's going to take long for the rivalry and the battle to start in this series."

Bruins center David Krejci spoke about the excitement back in Boston where the team received a well-attended sendoff from the fans earlier in the day.

"We had a nice sendoff by the fans," Krejci said. "It was great to see their support. We got here, obviously, the day before the game. You like to do your own thing. You like to relax, do your own stuff. But his is a final. It's same for both teams. We've been through it a couple of years ago in Vancouver with this Media Day and stuff. It's just
part of the final. It's actually exciting."

Bergeron was asked if the Bruins were able to come back from the brink against Toronto because they're a team that just knows how to win.

"I really believe that experience goes a long way in the playoffs and I think that was just one of those things that even though probably everyone didn't believe that we could still do it, we still had a good feeling on the bench, we still kept pushing forward and pulling for the goals," Bergeron said. "I just think it goes with the experience of knowing we been on the other side of that and teams came back in third periods of game sevens before. It's not over until it's over, I know it's a little cliche but it's true and we believed in it and we found a way."

Another lighter moment came when Bruins veteran Jaromir Jagr was asked if he sees the same person when he looks at pictures of himself as a young player in this league.

"Well, you know, when I had the long hair, I wouldn't say it was a style, but I wasn't the only one who had it," Jagr said jokingly. "There was a lot of guys, maybe not that long, but a lot of guys wearing long hair, so... Now it's a different style. But it's going to come back. Everything is just coming back. Ten years later, you'll see a lot of guys with long
hair."

Jagr was also asked if he had any concerns coming to Boston with his style of
hockey vs. the way the Bruins play.

"Well, to be honest, I was shocked to get traded," Jagr said. "I thought I was going to stay in Dallas. It was kind of a last-minute decision from the management. I don't think many teams knew I was going to get traded. So when they met me that morning, the Dallas management told me I was going to get traded and it was up to me if I wanted to go or not. When I talked to the (Boston) boss, I asked him like three times: 'Are you sure you want me?' They said, 'Yeah.' So here I am."

Bruins forward Nathan Horton, who missed the 2011 Cup run while recovering from a concussion, was asked if it was extra special for him to be back in the finals.

"It's definitely special for me to be back, being able to really have fun with it, enjoy it," Horton said. "It was tough that year, not to be a part of it. But everybody wants
to be on the ice. They want to enjoy, work for it. I never got a chance to do that. Obviously with the playoffs last year, this is why I play. I know I really want to enjoy it this time, have a lot of fun. It doesn't come all the time. I think everybody knows that. I'm just excited to be back and be here with my team."

Bruins forward Tyler Seguin, who has struggled to score points in the playoffs, was asked if it would be better to play on a team where he was relied upon more often and had more personal success.

"In the end, there's nothing better than raising that Cup or celebrating with this group of guys," Seguin said. "We have the closest group of guys I've ever played with, obviously I haven't played on any other NHL teams, but it seems that we have something that's pretty special."

In today's Championship Today episode above, NESN play-by-play man Jack Edwards shares his thoughts on the Blackhawks defense and we also hear from Cam Neely about the fans in Boston, Lucic, Bergeron, Jagr, and goaltender Tuukka Rask.

Nathan Horton has healthy perspective

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 05:20 PM

CHICAGO -- Bruins forward Nathan Horton was a huge part of the Bruins' run to the Stanley Cup two years ago.

But he wasn't an actual participant in winning the Cup.

Horton scored overtime goals in Games 5 and 7 in their first-round series victory over the Canadiens two years ago, and also scored the only goal in a Game 7 victory over the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.

But his season ended violently in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final when he suffered a concussion after a vicious, dirty hit by Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome in Game 3.

"It was tough that year, not to be a part of it,'' said Horton during Bruins media day Tuesday. "But everybody wants to be on the ice. They want to enjoy, work for it. I never got a chance to do that. This is why I play."

Horton has had an exceptional postseason so far. Through 16 games, he has 7 goals and 10 assists, and his plus-21 rating is far and away the best plus/minus of any player this postseason. Teammate David Krejci is second at plus-14.

"I know I really want to enjoy it this time, have a lot of fun,'' Horton said. "[Making the Stanley Cup Final] doesn’t come all the time. I think everybody knows that. I’m just excited to be back and be here with my team.”

Horton is one of 18 players who remain from the Cup champions of two seasons ago.

"In my three years in Boston, we have pretty much the same team,'' he said. "Our chemistry with each other is amazing. That's why we've done so well."

While Horton didn't play beyond Game 3 of the Cup Finals two years ago, he did contribute in one way -- his covert decision to pour water from the TD Garden ice on the Rogers Centre rink before the Bruins' Game 7 victory over the Canucks is part of Bruins lore.

He was asked if he brought a water bottle with him to Chicago.

"Not yet, not yet," he said.

Blackhawks offer respect for Bruins

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 03:26 PM

607kane.jpg

Patrick Kane knows the Blackhawks have their work cut out vs. the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final. (AP photo)

CHICAGO – Even the players get caught up in the aura of an Original Six matchup in the Stanley Cup Finals, the first since the Canadiens beat the Rangers in five games in the 1979 finals.

"It's pretty amazing,'' said Bryan Bickell, the breakout star of the postseason for the Blackhawks with eight goals, one shy of his regular-season total. "It's something you think about. With all of the history between these two cities, it's hard to believe this is the first time they've met for the Cup.''

"It would be a great matchup without that aspect to it,'' added Blackhawks star Patrick Kane. "That just brings it to another level, that it means something historically."

The lengthy – if not often shared – history of two of the league's most storied franchise's was a popular topic at Tuesday's media day at the United Center. The Blackhawks took the podium earlier in the day, with the Bruins arriving mid-afternoon, and the hosts couldn't have been more respectful of their opponent.

Make no mistake: They took notice of what the Bruins' defense and goalie Tuukka Rask did to the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, sweeping the series in four while shutting out Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and limiting the potent Penguins to two total goals.

"For them to beat the Penguins is a huge feat,'' said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. "And the way they did it, in four games. They didn't take a single night off. I'm sure their confidence is high."

Kane, whose winning goal in double overtime completed a hat trick and gave the Blackhawks a series-clinching 4-3 victory over the Kings in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, said facing 6-foot-9-inch Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is an experience that is difficult to prepare for.

"We haven't played anyone with his reach, the way he deflects pucks on the power play. But we just have to play our game, play hard. We can't worry about Zdeno Chara.

"You saw what they did to Pittsburgh,'' Kane added. "They didn't give them many goals or even many chances. We just have to do what we can do as a team. Hopefully that means score some more goals and control the puck like we have most of the year. But by no means is it going to be easy.''

Particularly if Rask, who owns a 1.75 goals-against average and a league-leading .943 save percentage in the playoffs, continues to perform at an elite level every night. But the Blackhawks, for all of the offensive dynamics, aren't lacking in net like the Penguins were – Corey Crawford has a 1.74 GAA in the postseason.

So which team has the advantage in net?

"Seems like we ask that question at the beginning of every series,'' said the Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp. "Goalies are so important this time of year. The Bruins don't give up a whole lot, and it was impressive what they did against the Penguins. Rask was a huge part of that."

But Kane said as good as Rask and Chara have been, there's more to the Bruins' prowess. A lot more.

"They're very good as a five-man unit,'' Kane said. "They really skate up and down the ice together. You see five guys in the picture together all the time. You can't have too many turnovers on them because no matter what line it is, they're so good at transition hockey and going the other way. It's going to be a tough series, we know that.''

Fans send Bruins off to Chicago

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 11, 2013 01:00 PM

hortongoodbye.jpgGlobe Staff Photo/Yoon S. Byun

Alex Paduch, 17, took the 5:20 a.m. train from Middleborough. After a quick stop to Dunkin' Donuts, the recent high school graduate arrived at TD Garden by 6:45 a.m.

Two friends were supposed to meet him there.

"But they slept in," Paduch said. "Their loss."

Paduch was one of hundreds of fans who lined the inside hallway of the Garden on Tuesday afternoon to see off the Bruins before they flew to Chicago. A Garden official estimated there were 1,000 fans.

The Bruins held one final practice at home on Tuesday morning, a 55-minute session of mostly situational drills. Then they dressed in suits and walked through the makeshift runway on the Garden's ground floor, which resembled something of a red carpet at a Hollywood premiere.

The fans yelled familiar chants such as, "We want the Cup!" and "Tuuuuuk!" as goalie Tuukka Rask strolled past.

The players slapped hands with the fans, who grabbed their camera phones in frenzy to take up close photos of their favorite hockey players.

"This is awesome," rookie defenseman Tory Krug said. "The market in Boston is unbelievable. It's one of the reasons that I came here."

Krug said the scene reminded him of a pep rally from his college career at Michigan State.

"It does takes me back a little bit," Krug said. "It's awesome to see the fan support, obviously at a bigger level."

Most fans wore black and gold. Many were in jerseys. A handful were dressed in work clothes while some, such as 6-year-old Akeelah Gell, were playing hooky.

Gell stood alongside her mother, Ahna, who decided it was OK to play hooky for kindergarten today.

Akeelah Gell, of Andover, watches every game -- except for the end of double-overtime in Game 3.

"I fell asleep," she said.

Stanley Cup Today: It's media day

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff June 11, 2013 08:09 AM

The Bruins and Blackhawks will participate in media day for the Stanley Cup Final at Chicago's United Center before moving on to practice.

The Blackhawks will hold their practice this morning at 11 a.m. followed by the Bruins at 2:30 p.m.

The Bruins will also hold a sendoff inside TD Garden this morning before leaving for Chicago. We'll have photos from the event later today.

***

Links from Chicago

Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrissey explores the matchup between Brad Marchand and the Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw as chief antagonizers in the Stanley Cup Final.

Also from the Sun-Times, Mark Lazerus reports the Blackhawks are confident they can avoid what the Bruins did to the Penguins.

From the Tribune, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and Claude Julien share playing past, coaching style.

***

What you may have missed

Boston.com and the Globe have cooked up a number of great features in the past day and there's more to come. Here's a few you might have missed.

- Video preview: Bruins prepare for Blackhawks, Chicago atmosphere

- In pictures: Meet the Blackhawks

- Globe 10.0: Who is the Bruins MVP?

***

Hot on social

***

What's coming

- The Globe will have a special Stanley Cup Final preview section in Wednesday's editions and on BostonGlobe.com.

- Boston.com's live blog for Game 1 kicks off this afternoon with live coverage of the Bruins' media appearance in Chicago.

Bruins-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals television and game schedule

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 10, 2013 10:58 AM

The Bruins-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Final series begins Wednesday. Here is the schedule and television details.

Game 1: Wednesday, June 12 at Chicago, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Game 2: Saturday, June 15 at Chicago, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Game 3: Monday, June 17 at Boston, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Game 4: Wednesday, June 19 at Boston, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Game 5: Saturday, June 22 at Chicago, 8 p.m. (NBC)-x
Game 6: Monday, June 24 at Boston, 8 p.m. (NBC)-x
Game 7: Wednesday, June 26 at Chicago, 8 p.m. (NBC)-x
x-if necessary

Bruins to face unfamiliar foe in Chicago

Posted by Amalie Benjamin June 9, 2013 01:15 PM

The last time the Bruins faced the Blackhawks? Oct. 15, 2011.

So when Boston and Chicago lace up their skates on Wednesday to start the Stanley Cup Final, the teams will still be a bit of a mystery to each other, despite all the video study and advance scouting.

“Other than what we’ve seen on TV, we don’t really know much about them, other than that they’re a real good hockey club,” Milan Lucic said. “They’ve probably been the most consistent team since the start of the season. It’s a big reason why they won the President’s Trophy this year.”

The Bruins will, obviously, get to know the Blackhawks well in the next few days, as they get ready for the series. But there's no substitute for playing against a team in terms of knowing exactly what to do. Fortunately, both teams have the same handicap.

"Even the teams that we played, we relied a lot on video," coach Claude Julien said. "The only advantage you have sometimes is that you know from going head-to-head with them what's worked and what hasn't worked. When it comes to that, it's the same for both teams.

"I think we've done a lot of pre-scout and watched them play enough, have an idea of how they've played, just like I'm sure they do with us. You do your research, you talk to people, you do a lot of things. It's about preparing and preparing your team more than anything else.

"There's not too many secrets left in this game."

When did you realize the series with the Penguins was over?

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff June 9, 2013 12:43 PM

The Bruins swept the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, beating the top-seeded team 1-0 Friday night. The win sends the Bruins to their
second Stanley Cup Final in three years where they'll face the Chicago Blackhawks.

Yet, before the puck dropped in Game 4 for the Bruins and Penguins, there was a distinct feeling in hockey circles that the Eastern Conference Finals series was already over. It was just a matter of whether or not it would end in a sweep or in Pittsburgh in Game 5. There were few that thought, after the first three games, that the series would last six or even seven games. But when did this thought process take over? That's where you come in. Let's try and pinpoint when the series irreversibly swayed in the Bruins' favor together. There were a number of moments that hinted at the Bruins' Stanley Cup destiny. Here are five, in no particular order.

060913-1-bruins.jpg

1. Patrice Bergeron's double overtime goal in Game 3. Not only did it put the Bruins up 3-0, but it also served as a mental gut punch to the Penguins, who had clearly outskated Boston in regulation.

060913-2-bruins.jpg

2. In Game 2, Brad Marchand scored in the first minute of the game against Tomas Vokoun. It was the start of an opening-period flurry of four goals en route to a 6-1 win. It was demoralizing for the Pittsburgh faithful, who were scrambling for reasons to explain away what was occurring to their proud franchise.

060913-3-bruins.jpg

3. Also in Game 2, Vokoun was pulled after giving up three goals in the first period on 12 shots. Nothing screams of a series loss like having to pull your goalie in the first period.

060913-4-bruins.jpg

4. Tuukka Rask recorded his first career playoff shutout against the Penguins in Game 1. It was an improbable outcome, particularly because of the clean looks the Penguins were getting and their prolific scoring throughout the playoffs. (The Penguins still currently lead all playoff teams with a 3.27 goals per game average.) Rask went on to record his second career playoff shutout in Game 4 and held the Penguins to two goals over four games. That first game was a sign of things to come.

060913-5-bruins.jpg

5. After Game 3, when the Bruins realized that Gregory Campbell had played with a broken leg, the team was inspired by his gutsy performance. You could say it gave the team more motivation, despite already being up three games in the series. A team with that kind of motivation is usually dangerous.

So when do you think the series shifted unalterably for the Bruins and against the Penguins? Let us know in the comments.

Bruins to face Blackhawks in Stanley Cup Final

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 8, 2013 10:38 PM
The Bruins will face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Blackhawks won the Western Conference championship on Saturday by beating the defending Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, 4-3, in double overtime in Game 5 in Chicago. Patrick Kane's third goal came at 11:40 of the second overtime to give the Blackhawks the win.

The Blackhawks, one of the NHL's Original Six teams along with the Bruins, were the top seed in the Western Conference and defeated the Minnesota Wild (4-1) and the Detroit Red Wings (4-3) in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

The Blackhawks had the best record in the NHL in the regular season (36-7, with 5 overtime losses), and began the season with 6 straight victories. They will have home-ice advantage in the final series, with Games 1, 2, 5, and 7 scheduled to be in Chicago.

The Bruins and Blackhawks did not meet in the regular season, although both have won Stanley Cups recently. The Bruins won in 2011, the Blackhawks won the year before.

The schedule is as follows:

Game 1: Wednesday at Chicago, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Game 2: Saturday at Chicago, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Game 3: June 17 at Boston, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Game 4: June 19 at Boston, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Game 5: June 22 at Chicago, 8 p.m. (NBC)-x
Game 6: June 24 at Boston, 8 p.m. (NBC)-x
Game 7: June 26 at Chicago, 8 p.m. (NBC)-x
x-if necessary

Defense carries Bruins to Stanley Cup Final

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff June 7, 2013 11:56 PM

A rigid defense, a crafty goalie, and offense from the blue line won out again and again and again for the Bruins. On Friday, with another near flawless performance, the Bruins edged the Penguins, 1-0, sweeping the once heavy favorites in their Eastern Conference Finals series.

The Bruins will face the Blackhawks or Kings in the Stanley Cup Final.

It was the Bruins' 14th sweep in the franchise's history and the team's first conference final sweep since ushering Washington out of the playoffs in 1990. The shutout was Tuukka Rask's second of the series and his career in the playoffs. He had 26 saves.

Adam McQuaid, continuing with the team's streak of offensive minded defensemen, fired a one-timer top shelf in the left corner past Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun for the game-winner, only 5:01 into the third period. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron assisted on the goal, which was one of only a few clean looks for the Bruins.

"It feels good to be able to contribute that way when you don't normally," said McQuaid. "But I think you look at so many great efforts we had from guys tonight. The last 10 minutes of the game, guys were all over the ice, doing whatever it took to preserve that goal."

Bruins defensemen have 35 of the team's 138 points in the postseason, including 15 of 50 goals.

"Yeah, that's what you need," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who logged 25:58 ice time. "Contributions from different guys, it's not always gonna be the same guys. Even we got a lot of offense from guys we rely on. But even in some key situations of different games we got contributions from guys that maybe are not well known for their offense. "

The series sweep was marked by the Bruins' tough defense, holding the Penguins to only two goals in four games. While the Penguins seemed intent on creating one-on-one chances, the Bruins' system of defense squelched many of their opportunities.

"We didn't expect to hold them to two goals in four games," said Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk. "I mean they hit a couple of posts, we got a couple of good bounces. Both teams worked hard. It was just a good team effort."

Said Chara: "We were really trying to play the way they came and not focus on what they were trying to do. We were trying to really play tight defensively, five guys on the ice, not to really open up too much or give them too much room."

Vokoun, who had 23 saves for the Penguins, fought off clean shots from the Bruins' Milan Lucic and Torey Krug in the second period. But whatever mastery he had mustered in the first two periods gave away to a dangerous third, with McQuaid scoring, followed by Jaromir Jagr and Daniel Paille nailing the post.

The Bruins led in shots in the third, even after the Penguins pulled Vokoun with a minute remaining that led to a flurry of shots in the waning seconds in an effort to tie the game. That mad dash had a normally even-keeled Rask worried.

"Well, yeah. It's just a scramble, you know," Rask said. "You can't see anything. People are laying down. … You just try to [make] yourself as big as you can."

Rask now has a .943 save percentage heading into the Stanley Cup Final against either the Chicago Blackhawks or Los Angeles Kings. The Blackhawks are up 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals.

"He's playing phenomenal," Boychuk said. "He gives us a chance to win every night. He's … Tuukka."

The Bruins will make their second Stanley Cup appearance in three years. They won in 2011 against the Vancouver Canucks.

"It's very exciting," Chara said. "We all know it's not happening every year. For teams to go into the finals – whatever two, three, five years – it takes a lot of hard work. I think we are happy where we are right now. But in a few days we gotta get ready for the final round."

Bruins Stanley Cup ticket details

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 7, 2013 11:25 PM
The Bruins announced Friday that tickets for three Stanley Cup Final games at TD Garden will go on sale Tuesday at noon.

The Bruins await the outcome of the Blackhawks-Kings Western Conference finals. The NHL has not set the schedule for the Stanley Cup Final, although if the Blackhawks win they will have home-ice advantage based on regular-season record. The Bruins would have home ice against the Kings.

Tickets will be available for purchase at the TD Garden Box Office, on the Bruins' website, and by phone at 800-745-3000.

Tickets are also available on Boston.com's tickets page.

Bruins advance to Stanley Cup Final

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 7, 2013 10:30 PM

300goal.jpg


The Bruins punched a ticket to the Stanley Cup Final, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday to sweep the series.

It will be the Bruins' second Stanley Cup Final appearance in three years. In 2011, the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in seven games to win their first Stanley Cup in 39 years.

The Bruins also won the Stanley Cup in 1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, and 1972.

Adam McQuaid scored the only goal in Game 4, a slap shot from just inside the blue line midway through the third period. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask made 26 saves for the shutout, his second of the series.

The Penguins only scored two goals in the series.

The Bruins will face the Chicago Blackhawks or the Los Angeles Kings in the finals. The Blackhawks and Kings play Game 5 of their series Saturday in Chicago, with the Blackhawks leading 3-1.

According to a report from TSN's Bob McKenzie, if the Blackhawks win Game 5, the Stanley Cup Final will reportedly begin Wednesday in Chicago. If the Kings extend their series, the Stanley Cup finals will begin June 15.

The NHL has not released an official schedule for the finals.

Review the Bruins' history in the Stanley Cup Final here.


Game 4 live updates: Penguins at Bruins

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 7, 2013 07:55 PM

The Bruins have a chance to close out the Eastern Conference finals and get some rest before the Stanley Cup finals. Get updates and join the discussion in our live blog.

Tonight's Bruins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 7, 2013 07:38 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Tonight's Penguins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 7, 2013 07:37 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal
Beau Bennett-Brandon Sutter-Jarome Iginla
Brenden Morrow-Craig Adams-Tyler Kennedy

Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen-Kris Letang
Douglas Murray-Deryk Engelland

Tomas Vokoun
Marc-Andre Fleury

Your Bruins love on Vine

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 7, 2013 07:06 PM

Here are Vines from Bruins fans with the hashtag #BDCBruins or #Bruins. Enjoy!









FULL ENTRY
tags Bruins, Vine

Penguins coach: 'We've got one game to win'

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 7, 2013 01:43 PM

Here's what Penguins coach Dan Bylsma had to say Friday morning about Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, which the Bruins lead, 3-0.

When chances are thin and odds are grim like this, players are saying, “We believe we can get back into this, when so few teams have done it.” How do you get them to believe?
Well, there's lots of different ways I think you can look at what the possibilities are. I think you look at it when you have to beat Boston Bruins four times in a row, in four elimination games to move on, that's not something you really want to put your brain around. We beat the Boston Bruins three times in games this year. We've got them one game here tonight. It's elimination for our team, and we'll move on when we do. I know the facts we're in a bracket right now, we've got one game to win to move on in that bracket. It's right here tonight.

A lot of guys in the locker room said they wouldn't mind winning the Game 1-0. Do you feel this team could get on another one of those runs if they find the puck at the net when all those chances are paydirt?
I'd love to put our players and our power play and have the puck on James Neal's stick in the slot, three times with the puck on his stick like he was last game. Malkin on a breakaway. More than two other opportunities. We'd like to see those opportunities again for our guys tonight. I feel real comfortable about our power play and our guys cashing in on those. Is that something we're going to build on? Absolutely.

You mentioned [Thursday] that you liked the early results of Bennett, Sutter and Iginla together in Game 3. What was it about that combination that you liked? What were you hoping bringing Bennett back into the lineup would add to this group?
Offensive skill guy. Play-making ability. He did both of those things in the game. Power play, driving the net. Two good chances out from the wing, one from Crosby, one where he pulled by the defenseman in overtime. He got opportunities there, used his skill, did that with his line for Jarome and Brenden. He added that. We're looking for one goal. He was all around it in the last game.

I know you like to think the game a lot. Were things going around in your head last night or did you get a little bit of rest before today and clear your head?
Before the start of the series, you kind of have a rest the night before. In series, game to game, I think you're always thinking, preparing mentally opportunities that are going to present themselves in the game for your team. Did a fair amount of that last night.

A lot of guys keep saying, if not for a bounce here or there, stay the course, things will work out. Being down 0-3, the clock is ticking. Do you believe just stay the course or have you thought about some changes in lines or something else?
We made adjustments last game to our game. In both instances you talked about, we'll make adjustments in how we play in different areas for this game as well. Especially last game, how we need to continue to do some of the things we have done, to get those opportunities, to get it to go our way. You know, every game I think you could talk about a bounce or some instance in the game. I don't think we feel like we've lost it on a bounce or a post going the wrong way. Would have meant the difference in the game for Craig Adams if his post had gone in. We feel we can play better. We can continue to play better. We can make adjustments. But we also need to make good on our opportunities that we have had.

Dan, you have so many forwards and so much skill at your disposal. You talk about staying the course. When you get to an elimination game, is there a tendency or desire at some point to ride those guys over and over, to kind of say at some point, We're not going to roll our lines, we're going to double shift guys, do whatever we can to get to a Game 5? Where is that tipping point?
I'm pretty sure Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin played 38 minutes in the last game. We've done that at times, definitely last game. When we had the opportunity here on the road to have a matchup, icing, situation we could get, a different combination, a double shift, we took that opportunity. You know, we were in a game last game where we felt we were desperate to win. We'll find ourselves in that game and situation tonight, as well.

Kaspars Daugavins to play tonight

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 7, 2013 11:50 AM
Kaspars Daugavins will play tonight in place of injured center Gregory Campbell. Daugavins has been a healthy scratch since Game 1 against Toronto.

During the morning skate, Daugavins practiced on the left wing alongside Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin. Chris Kelly centered Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton. Claude Julien said he has options to mix and match his bottom two lines.

Tonight's expected lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Game 4 preview: Penguins at Bruins

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 7, 2013 10:06 AM
Good morning from TD Garden, where the Bruins will look to sweep the Penguins out of the playoffs tonight. The Bruins have a 3-0 series lead. Game 5 would be at the Consol Energy Center on Sunday. The Bruins have no intentions of making a return trip to Pittsburgh.

The Bruins will be without Gregory Campbell (broken right leg) for the rest of the playoffs. They will have to replace Campbell’s toughness, even-strength efficiency, faceoff experience, and penalty-killing prowess.

The Bruins have options, but the guess here is that Kaspars Daugavins will get the first nod. Rich Peverley could move down to center the fourth line. Daniel Paille could be promoted to the third line.

No lineup changes are expected for Pittsburgh. The Penguins did everything possible to win Game 3, but were foiled repeatedly by Tuukka Rask.

Puck drop: 8 p.m.

TV/radio info: NBC Sports Network (Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)

Records: Penguins 0-3, Bruins 3-0

Projected Penguins lineup:

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal
Brenden Morrow-Brandon Sutter-Jarome Iginla
Beau Bennett-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams

Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen-Kris Letang
Douglas Murray-Deryk Engelland

Tomas Vokoun
Marc-Andre Fleury

Healthy scratches: Mark Eaton, Tyler Kennedy, Jussi Jokinen, Dustin Jeffrey, Robert Bortuzzo, Simon Despres

Projected Bruins lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Healthy scratches: Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Aaron Johnson, Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo

Storylines: Tomas Vokoun was excellent in Game 3. Vokoun will get the start tonight over Marc-Andre Fleury… There are questions in Pittsburgh about Dan Bylsma’s future if the Penguins bow out. Bylsma would be hired in a second if the Penguins let him go… The Bruins are perfect on the penalty kill. They went 6 for 6 against the Penguins in Game 3… Eric Furlatt and Stephen Walkom will be the referees. Shane Heyer and Brad Kovachik will be the linesmen.

Odds stacked in Bruins' favor

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 7, 2013 07:08 AM

euphoria.jpg


The Garden was rocking in the wee hours of Thursday morning when Patrice Bergeron redirected a Brad Marchand feed past Tomas Vokoun for a double-overtime game-winner that gave the Bruins a commanding three-games-to-none lead over the Eastern Conference top seeded Penguins.

But having been on both ends of 3-0 postseason collapses in the last decade with the Red Sox (good) and Bruins (not so good), Bostonians are wise enough to know that though the chances are remote, the Penguins are still alive in the series. But other factors make it a virtually insurmountable obstacle for Sidney Crosby & Co. to overcome.

Yes, Pittsburgh entered this series riding a six-game winning streak head-to-head with Boston, winning eight of the last nine battles of the black and gold, but the trend has been dramatically reversed and Claude Julien’s boys have not lost four straight games since mid-March 2012, with just two winless streaks of four games or more in the past three combined regular and postseasons.

A look at NHL history shows that teams taking a 3-0 lead in a seven-game series have gone 109-65 in Game 4, a winning percentage of .626 (including a Bruins loss last round to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals Game 4, before closing out New York in Game 5). Those same teams have won the series 170 out of 173 times, a confidence-building winning percentage of .983.

Expand the study to include MLB and NBA teams and the numbers get even more staggering in favor of the Bruins' current standing. In 1,212 completed best-of-seven-game postseason series, only four have seen the team leading three-games-to-none fail to advance (a .997 winning clip) according to data found at whowins.com.

But Boston has been part of, and on each end of, half of them: the 2004 Red Sox climbing back from the brink against the Yankees in the ALCS and the Bruins, who in 2010 acquiesced to the Flyers after jumping to a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals. (the others were the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs over the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals and the 1975 New York Islanders, coincidentally over the Penguins, in the league quarterfinals).

Seven other times the team trailing 0-3 made things very uncomfortable by forcing a deciding Game 7, most recently in the 2011 Western Conference semifinals when the Blackhawks nearly pulled off the miracle comeback against the Vancouver Canucks (the team the Bruins eventually defeated for the Stanley Cup).

The key total in all of this for this series is eight. That’s the number of Bruins (Bergeron, Johnny Boychuk, Zdeno Chara, Andrew Ference, Milan Lucic, Daniel Paille, Tuukka Rask and Shawn Thornton) who participated both in Game 7 of the ‘10 Flyers debacle and the thrilling Game 3 win that began Wednesday night and ended Thursday morning. That group not only knows the awful sting of a collapse, but based on the strength of their experience hoisting the Cup in 2011, are not a group likely to be associated with two historically significant chokes.

So go ahead and check out those rates for Chicago and Los Angeles hotels and flights. While there’s no guarantee that the Pens won’t steal one, two, or (clutch your chest) even three games this series, lightning would have to strike a very talented and championship-tested group TWICE for the Bruins not to advance to the 2013 Finals. You should like their odds.

Julien says there are "lots of options" with Campbell out

Posted by Amalie Benjamin June 6, 2013 01:46 PM

With Gregory Campbell out for the remainder of the postseason with a broken right fibula, Bruins coach Claude Julien said there were "lots of options" to replace him. Of course, Julien wouldn't elaborate on exactly what that means.

"Lots. Lots of options," Julien said. "Just lots of options. We'll look at them closer today and make the decision tomorrow.

"We've just got to make sure we get something out of all our lines right now. I think that's the most important thing for us. That's where our decisions are going to have to be made: How do we make it work so that we continue to have four lines?"

The problem for the Bruins is that they don't really have a comparable player to stick on the fourth line with Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton. That might mean some reshuffling with the third line, using either Jordan Caron or Kaspars Daugavins. But nothing has been decided yet, according to Julien.

Meanwhile, there was quite a bit of praise for Campbell, who was not in the locker room this afternoon, for remaining on the ice for 50 seconds in Game 3 to finish out his shift on that broken leg.

"We get that from him every night," Julien said. "That's the kind of player he is. He's a real dedicated individual to his work and to his game. What he did yesterday, it surprised a lot of people but it didn't surprise us. That's just the way he is."

Gregory Campbell has broken leg, will miss rest of season

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 6, 2013 10:30 AM
Bruins forward Gregory Campbell has a broken right leg and will miss the rest of the season, the team confirmed Thursday.

Campbell was injured in the second period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals when he was hit by a slap shot by the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin.

He remained on the ice for about 50 seconds to help kill a penalty before limping off and heading for the dressing room.

Campbell appeared in 15 playoff games and had three goals and four assists.

Watch: Gregory Campbell stays on ice despite injury

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 6, 2013 08:15 AM

Bruins winger Gregory Campbell was praised by his teammates for a gusty effort midway through the second period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.

Campbell blocked a slapshot by the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin, and according to one report may have suffered a broken right leg. Nonetheless, with his team shorthanded, Campbell stayed on the ice and did what he could to help defend.

The Bruins killed the penalty, and Campbell limped off the ice and straight to the dressing room, but the crowd acknowledged his performance by chanting his name. His teammates also sang his praises after they went on to a 2-1 double-overtime victory.

"I think the fact he stayed up, finished his shift, and made it to the bench speaks volumes about how strong he is and willing to battle," said teammate Chris Kelly.

"We tried to rally around him," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. "We tried to do it for him. He's a big player, on and off the ice."

Bruins take Game 3, take firm grip on series

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 6, 2013 12:45 AM
You could see it coming, the flurry of shots from the Pittsburgh Penguins that built throughout the course of Game 3 Wednesday night. After David Krejci netted another early Boston score just 1:42 into the game, the Eastern Conference's best team during the regular season began to assert its dominance.

Pittsburgh tied the score on Chris Kunitz's fifth goal of the playoffs in the second period, then peppered Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask in the third. Evgeni Malkin hit the crossbar, one of 14 shots on goal in the period for Pittsburgh to Boston's four (at one point in the period the Bruins went 7 1/2 minutes without a shot), The shots were 39-25 at the end of regulation (70-44 including blocks and misses), and for the first time all series the Penguins looked like the better team.

"I thought the first three periods we weren't as good as we could have been," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "We gave guys like [Sidney] Crosby and Malkin some chances. Eventually a team like that is going to play a little bit better."

The Bruins absorbed Pittsburgh's onslaught and went on to win, 2-1, in a thrilling double-overtime game in large part due to Rask. The goalie kept his team in it despite the fact that "our battle wasn't up tonight," according to the coach. Rask stopped 53 shots as regulation turned into one, then two overtime periods, and as players from both teams appeared visibly gassed.

Asked afterward if he was tired, Rask replied, "It's past my bedtime."

A long game didn't seem like it was in the cards early. Boston quickly got to Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun. With Milan Lucic doing his best Kevin McHale impression posting up in the crease, David Krejci found Vokoun's five-hole to put the Bruins up, 1-0. A short time later the TD Garden crowd gave Vokoun a mocking cheer for gloving his first save. It looked like another rout could be on.

Faceoffs where the Penguins began to see gains. Pittsburgh players won 61 percent of the players they took in Game 3, controlling puck possession for long stretches. Five power players also helped that cause despite the fact that the Penguins failed to score on any of them. With seven minutes remaining in the second period and the Penguins on the power play, Bruins center Gregory Campbell took a puck off what appeared to be his lower leg. Campbell could barely stand but completed his shift, willing himself upright for almost a minute as the Bruins killed off the penalty. Campbell earned a standing ovation, limping into the tunnel to chants of "Campbell, Campbell."

"He's a man that does whatever the team needs, and he's willing to sacrifice his body," Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara said afterward. "So this one for sure is for him."

While the Bruins were banged up in the last two periods of regulation, they seemed to find new life in overtime.

"We corrected a few things and started playing better," said center Chris Kelly.

One of those corrections involved getting better spacing on offense. While the Penguins continued to get shots, the Bruins began to develop chances of their own. Sometimes-hero Nathan Horton dinged the crossbar with 12 minutes left in the first overtime. The much-discussed Jaromir Jagr gave the Bruins three of their best chances in the second overtime. The last chance led to the game's eventual winner.

"He's got that experience to always be in the right place on the ice," Patrice Bergon said of Jagr.

With fewer than five minutes remaining in OT No. 2, Jagr fed the puck ahead to Brad Marchand, who found Bergeron cutting to the net. Bergeron was able to get his stick down and deflect the puck past Vokoun for the goal.

"First of all a great play by Jags to dig that puck on the wall there, fighting and getting that loose puck to Marsh" said Bergeron. "And me and him have that chemistry. We know where we're going on the ice. He was going to try to find me there. I just went to the net and tried to have my stick on the ice and he found me."

If they're confident in their 3-0 lead, the Bruins aren't admitting to it.

"We're obviously happy about the situation, but by no means is this series over," said Marchand. "We have a lot of work to do. They're going to come out even better in the next game, and we know that and have to be prepared."

The Bruins may not be planning a trip to the Finals just yet, but they're planning a little extra sleep. Practice on Thursday will begin at noon.


OTwinner.jpg

Gregory Campbell injured, does not return

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 5, 2013 10:48 PM

Bruins center Gregory Campbell was injured blocking a shot during the second period of Wednesday night's Game 3 vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. The team announced after the third period (the game was tied, 1-1, after regulation) that Campbell would not return.

With a little more than seven minutes left in the second period and the Bruins on the penalty kill, Penguins center Evgeni Malkin fired a puck at a diving Campbell, who struggled to stay on his feet after absorbing the blast. The injured Bruin stayed on the ice in that condition for more than a minute while the crowd chanted "Campbell, Campbell" to acknowledge his toughness. It was unclear where the puck hit Campbell, but he appeared to be limping heavily as he went into the tunnel.

Game 3 live updates: Penguins at Bruins

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 5, 2013 07:55 PM

The Bruins bring a 2-0 series lead into Game 3 tonight. We'll have the latest updates from Boston.com staff as well as selected reporters via Twitter. Add your comments to the discussion.

Tonight's Bruins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 5, 2013 07:44 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Tonight's Penguins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 5, 2013 07:43 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal
Beau Bennett-Brandon Sutter-Jarome Iginla
Brenden Morrow-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams

Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen-Kris Letang
Douglas Murray-Deryk Engelland

Tomas Vokoun
Marc-Andre Fleury

Tomas Vokoun expected to start in goal for Pittsburgh tonight

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 5, 2013 12:41 PM
Tomas Vokoun was the first goalie off the ice following the morning skate, indicating he will make his third straight start in net tonight. Vokoun was pulled in the first period of Game 2 after allowing three goals on 12 shots.

“I’m focusing on making sure I’m doing my job,” Vokoun said. “I’m trying not to think too far ahead. I’m just focusing on the first minute. I’m not thinking about anything else.”

Vokoun gave up a first-minute breakaway goal to Brad Marchand in Game 2. Vokoun left a rebound on Torey Krug’s shot that Nathan Horton dumped in. Vokoun had no chance of stopping David Krejci’s third goal, which led to his hooking.

The move shows how little faith the Penguins have in Marc-Andre Fleury, their former ace. Fleury relieved Vokoun after 14:31 of play in Game 2. Fleury gave up a killer goal at the end of the first to Brad Marchand. Johnny Boychuk beat Fleury with a clean long-distance shot in the third period for the Bruins’ sixth goal.

“I’m looking for a solid game from our goaltender,” said Dan Bylsma. “We probably got that from Tomas in virtually every game he’s played – a real solid performance. He’s done that for us. That’s what we need tonight. We don’t need perfection. We’re looking for a solid game between the pipes.”

Game 3 preview: Penguins at Bruins

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 5, 2013 10:29 AM
Good morning from TD Garden, where the Bruins could put the Eastern Conference Final on lockdown tonight by grabbing a 3-0 series lead. The Bruins have claimed the first two games for the second straight round.

No lineup changes are expected for the Bruins. The Bruins didn’t practice Tuesday upon their return from Pittsburgh.

In contrast, lineup changes are in order for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury should be in goal. Tomas Vokoun didn’t do much to earn a third straight start.

Puck drop: 8 p.m.

TV/radio info: NBC (Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)

Records: Penguins 0-2, Bruins 2-0

Projected Penguins lineup:

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis
Jarome Iginla-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal
Matt Cooke-Brandon Sutter-Brenden Morrow
Tanner Glass-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams

Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen-Kris Letang
Douglas Murray-Deryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury
Tomas Vokoun

Healthy scratches: Mark Eaton, Tyler Kennedy, Jussi Jokinen, Dustin Jeffrey, Beau Bennett, Robert Bortuzzo, Simon Despres

Projected Bruins lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Healthy scratches: Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Aaron Johnson, Kaspars Daugavins, Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo

Storylines: The Bruins are 6 for 6 on the penalty kill. They have given Pittsburgh’s deadly power play nothing. The Bruins have been aggressive on the puck in all three zones … David Krejci and Nathan Horton have scored goals in the first two games. The Penguins have had no answer for the Bruins’ first line… None of Pittsburgh’s star players has logged a point. The only players on the scoresheet: Brandon Sutter, Matt Cooke, and Paul Martin … Marc Joannette and Dan O’Rourke will be the referees. Brian Murphy and Steve Barton will be the linesmen.

Five reasons the Bruins are dominating the Penguins

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 5, 2013 06:00 AM

A common sentiment after two games of the Eastern Conference finals between the Bruins and Penguins is: Who saw this coming?

Many believed this series would be an intensely close and dramatic clash of two top teams.

Instead, the rugged Bruins have dominated, first thwarting a spirited Penguins effort in Game 1 with brilliant defense, then by completely embarrassing Pittsburgh in Game 2 on both ends of the ice.

What has turned a competitive matchup on paper into a laugher on the ice? Here are five observations.

cleansaves.jpg1. Clean saves: It does not appear that there are stats for goalies about how many shots are stopped by either catching the puck cleanly or stopping a shot without a rebound, but it's hard to imagine Tuukka Rask wouldn't be near the top of the list if there were. He has been so good at not allowing second chances that it has likely led to some level of frustration on the part of the Penguins, who appear to be flinging relatively tame shots at Rask hoping for rebounds to capitalize on.

2. Disruption: The Bruins have been getting outhit by the Penguins by a huge margin (71-38), but when the Penguins are advancing, the Bruins have been disruptive in other ways, such as getting in the way, poking pucks away, and taking away passing lanes. The Penguins have repeatedly found themselves with the puck under their skates, reaching to control the puck or their sticks being manipulated.

disruption.jpg

3. Defending their own zone: When the Penguins are able to gather themselves inside the Bruins' blue line, they've found themselves swarmed. The Penguins thrive on finesse play, puckhandling and passing, but the Bruins are taking it away. A telling stat: Through two games, the Bruins have blocked 27 shots. The Penguins have blocked 19.

x-defendingownzone.jpg

faceoff.jpg4. Faceoffs: The Bruins held a massive advantage in faceoff wins in Game 1, 32-16, that included even Shawn Thornton winning a faceoff over Sidney Crosby. The stats evened out in Game 2, when the Bruins held a 29-28 edge, but the Bruins are winning an awful lot of faceoffs when it really seems to matter.

5. Penguins play poor defense: While defense starts with goaltending -- and the Penguins have been shaky at best in that department -- the play in front of Tomas Vokoun and Marc-Andre Fleury has been nothing to brag about. The Bruins have found themselves with clear looks at the goal, unchallenged possessions, and have been able to outskate the Penguins blue liners.

nodefense.jpg

Bruins not taking series lead for granted

Posted by Amalie Benjamin June 4, 2013 01:20 PM

BEDFORD, Mass. -- Just off the plane from Pittsburgh, coach Claude Julien and a handful of Bruins players met with the media at Hanscom Air Force Base just after 11 a.m. today. And while none of them were declaring their series with the Penguins over, they were surely happy to return home with two games in hand.

"Any time you can come back from a road trip like that having won both games, it's encouraging," Julien said. "Our team is really playing good hockey right now, without a doubt the best we've had this year. And that will have to continue to beat these guys.

"I think we understand the situation here. We're not going to get ahead of ourselves here. We understand these next games are crucial for us, just as much as it is for them."

Julien reminded reporters that the Bruins have been in the Penguins' position before, notably when they lost the first two games of their first-round series at home to Montreal in 2011. They came back to win that series en route to taking the Cup.

Asked if anyone might take the situation for granted, Julien said, "I would think not. Not after everything we've been through, with the ups and downs of playoff hockey. We've had our share of downs, so we have to make sure we stay up."

He looked back on Game 7 of the series against the Maple Leafs, calling it a "real big turning point for us."

But that doesn't mean getting the next two wins will be easy.

"We haven't lost faith in what we can do, but also we haven't lost track of what they can do as well," Julien said. "They're a potent scoring team and we've got to make sure we stay on top of our game. It's as simple as that."

Q&A with Jack Edwards

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 4, 2013 06:00 AM

Broadcaster Jack Edwards mentioned in his first chat session on Boston.com he'd be up for doing it again, so we had him back on Tuesday.

Review his discussion with fans below.

Edwards is the popular voice of the Boston Bruins on NESN. With the game broadcasts during the Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Finals on national networks, Edwards and the rest of NESN’s experts are delivering complete pre- and postgame coverage on NESN and NESNplus with a one-hour edition of Bruins Face-Off LIVE before every game and Bruins Overtime LIVE after every game. Game 3 coverage will begin at 7 p.m. on NESNplus and conclude with a full postgame show from TD Garden on NESN and NESNplus.

Bruins dismantle Penguins in Game 2, take control of series

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 4, 2013 02:59 AM
PITTSBURGH -- It can't be this easy, can it?

The Bruins were road warriors again in Pittsburgh, but this time they got the job done with a high-precision offense to go along with stellar defense and goaltending.

Boston scored early, often, and now returns home with a two-games-to-none lead after a 6-1 thrashing of the top-seeded Penguins Monday night.

Fans were just getting settled in their seats at the Consol Energy Center when slumping Pens star Sidney Crosby turned over the puck and the speedy Brad Marchand fired one past Tomas Vokoun 28 seconds in the game to get the B's off to the good start they were looking for in Game 2.

"The puck kind of bounced on [Crosby] there and went up in the air and I just came through and knocked it down," Marchand said from his locker after the game. "And when I was going in two sticks were on me so I just wanted to make sure I got a shot off and lucky enough to get in."

Marchand, who brought his A-game after scoring only two goals in the Bruins’ first 13 postseason contests, would score twice during a four-goal first period that left the home crowd stunned as the teams headed to the locker rooms when the first buzzer sounded.

"We wanted to make sure we had a big start, we knew they were going to come out very hard and we wanted to make sure we weathered the storm," Marchand said. "It was nice to get a couple early and we did a good job of not letting up after that."

The Bruins went up 2-0 in the first when Nathan Horton scored at 14:37 on a rebound off Pens net minder Tomas Vokoun.

That goal was followed by fellow linemate David Krejci at 16:31 on a rarely seen, super smooth extended passing play set it up when Horton centered it to Milan Lucic who then floated it to Krejci who hammered the puck home.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma then pulled Vokoun and replaced him with former starter Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Pens' Brandon Sutter scored next on a strong rush up the right side, finishing up top, stick side on red-hot Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask to get the Penguins within two goals and reignite the crowd.

Then came the backbreaker for Pittsburgh.

While Penguins fans were still roaring over the Sutter score, Marchand took the wind out of their sails when he fired one just under the crossbar on Fleury, killing the Pens' momentum 25 seconds after the Pittsburgh score and sending the Penguins faithful into intermission well shaken.

“Yeah, it was good for us,” Marchand said. “They were getting some momentum off that goal there and we did a good job at kind of crushing that and it's always a tough thing when a team scores after another one scores a big goal so we're happy that we were able to do that.”

Milan Lucic, who chipped in with an assist on the terrific third goal of the game by Krejci, could also feel the life being sucked out of the Penguins after the fourth goal.

“Definitely the biggest goal of the game was when we got that fourth one back to get the three-goal lead,” Lucic said. “Especially late in the period. When you’re going in, if they were able to get the last one of the period, maybe they had something to create some momentum off of. But a good, hard, strong play by Jags in the defensive zone to get the puck out of the zone created that opportunity. Marshy made no mistake with his great shot there.”

Patrice Bergeron, who scored the Bruins fifth goal in the third period, also offered high praise for the player known as The Little Ball of Hate.

"[Marchand had] a jump on his step tonight, and when you see that you can tell the way he shoots the puck, also," Bergeron said. "He finds every loose puck, and that first goal was obviously huge. They had a good shift before that breakaway, and it was important to get that first one. And carried that along with that second goal, which was a huge goal again to keep going."

Bruins offensive defenseman Johnny Boychuk rounded out the scoring for Boston in the third when he slammed one home with a purpose to make it 6-1 which cleared out the remaining diehards in the CEC in a hurry.

On the Pens' side it was nothing but frustration and another disappointing night for the stars as Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were held scoreless for the second night in a row.

“Tonight was just terrible. There’s no other way to describe it,” Crosby said. “A loss is a loss. It’s frustrating but you don’t really like giving them one like that. We didn’t do a lot of things to give ourselves a chance to win. This one we have to forget pretty quickly and find a way to dig ourselves out of this hole going to Boston.”

Bruins coach Claude Julien was pleased to see his team get off to a quick start offensively.

"We knew they were going to be a better team, and we had to be better than we were the last game in here," Julien said.  "So we didn't have a better start anyways.  And we got some good bounces go our way and because of that we were able to establish a lead and then we just kind of took it from there.  But sometimes those forecheck bounces go your way, and they did tonight."

Bergeron, who again came through winning 67 percent of the faceoffs, talked about the importance of having four lines contributing throughout the postseason.

"We've been relying on four lines all year and throughout the playoffs and the same thing right here," Bergeron said. "They have a lot of depth as well. So we need to make sure we're ready for what we're up against. And every line is responsible and talks a lot on the ice to communicate. And they're establishing that we all have some good chemistries. We're linemates, so we've gotta keep that going."

An energized Jaromir Jagr, who finished with two assists and was awarded the Army Rangers jacket as the Bruins player of the game, agreed with the four line strategy.

"Probably the key is our coach running four lines," Jagr said. "All four lines, they're able to score goals and defend so this is our advantage. Through my experience, I've never really played on a team where all four lines can play that good so that's a huge advantage in the playoffs."

Bergeron knows that two wins doesn't mean the Penguins will go down without a fight in Boston.

"They have a lot of experience," he said. "They're a team that we know that they're going to try to bounce back and we need to make sure we're ready.  They're a really good team, we respect them and we know it's not over.  We need to make sure we keep it going and stay in the game and take it by moment.  And we've been doing it so far, and it's all about Game 3 now."

Julien said he was not concerned with his team being too comfortable with a 2-0 lead and playing the next two on the home ice.

"If anything, being up 2-0 you've got to be happy," Julien said.  "But the concerns are going to be in our game and after every game, we critique it with the players. And it's not so much about what we're doing well, we've gotta compete to do that, but there's areas you want to improve after every game, and we're a team that's responded well to that."

Marchand also wasn't buying that the Penguins might be dead and buried after losing the first two at home, something they hadn't done since the first two games of the regular season.

"We're happy with the outcome but it's going to be very tough to go home, we know they're going to come out extremely hard and we have to make sure we're ready for that...," Marchand said. “It doesn’t matter what the series is at right now, if they get the next one, they’re right back in it. The next one is the one that’s most important.”

Although he wasn't tested nearly as much as he was in Game 1, Rask was poised and well-positioned in net for the second straight night, turning back 26 shots by the Penguins.

“Tuukka stood tall and made a lot of saves at the right time,” Marchand said. “We just want to make sure we collapse low and try to take away lanes.”

The numbers are also working in the Bruins favor. The last 16 teams to take a 2-0 lead in the conference finals moved on to the finals. The last team to buck that trend was the Penguins, who hope to turn the clocks back to 1991 when they bounced back from a 2-0 deficit against the Bruins to win their first Stanley Cup championship.

“Don’t be complacent,” Bruins defenseman Torey Krug said after the two game road sweep. “We’re not satisfied with just two wins. Two wins doesn’t make a series. We want to go back with the mindset to win a game.”

Puck drops Wednesday night at about 8:18 p.m. for Game 3 at the Garden.

Game 2 live updates: Bruins at Penguins

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 3, 2013 07:55 PM

Join Boston.com's Steve Silva and fellow Bruins fans for a lively discussion throughout Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Get updates and photos, and add your thoughts as the game unfolds.

Tonight's Bruins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 3, 2013 07:38 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Tonight's Penguins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 3, 2013 07:38 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis
Jarome Iginla-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal
Matt Cooke-Brandon Sutter-Tyler Kennedy
Brenden Morrow-Jussi Jokinen-Craig Adams

Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen-Kris Letang
Douglas Murray-Deryk Engelland

Tomas Vokoun
Marc-Andre Fleury

Claude Julien expects Penguins to be better in Game 2

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 3, 2013 01:12 PM
PITTSBURGH -- Bruins coach Claude Julien is not alone in thinking the Penguins are going to bring their A-game to the Consol Energy Center for tonight's Game 2 against his hockey team.

"I expect them to be better," Julien said after Monday's morning skate. "Any time you lose a game in your own building, and also being the team they are, they're going to be better. We expect that. And that's why we need to be better, as well. Post is part of the game and sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don't, and every team has been on both sides of them.
       
"We hit a few posts ourselves the last game. We've managed to score some goals. So that was the difference. So, again, when you have that much firepower in your lineup, you know what you're up against. So we expect them to be better.

Julien admitted that it's going to be extremely tough to take two games in the home arena of the high-flying Pens.

"Well, it's going to be a challenge," Julien said. "They're going to be a better team tonight. And we're going to need to be a better team, and there's certain things in the last game that I thought we have to be better at in this game, and if we do that we're going to give ourselves a chance.

"If we don't, then we're obviously going to give them a great opportunity to tie the series. So it's hard to win games in the Playoffs, gets harder as you move forward. So every time you get a chance you have to make the most of it and don't waste that opportunity by saying at least we won one out of two. You have to go out there every game and challenge and want to win that game because nothing guarantees you those home wins, and I think Pittsburgh knows that.

In a lighter moment, Julien was asked if he would be one of the top six defensemen today if he were the same player he was back when he laced them up back in the '70s and '80s.

"I'd be in the penalty box all night for hooking, clutching and grabbing, I can tell you that much," Julien said. "You know, credit to those guys, from my playing days to now, we know players are in better shape, we know they're bigger, stronger, the equipment's gotten better. The game's gotten faster and that's why we should be excited about our game and stop looking back, because definitely if I take my peak years I couldn't play in this league. That stick was such a good weapon to slow guys down, and we were allowed to do that stuff. Nowadays, if you can't skate and you're not strong, you can't get in the right positions, you can't play in this league."

Watch the video above for some pregame comments from Torey Krug, who said he broke the stick that he used to score all his playoff goals with, Chris Kelly, David Krejci, and defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.

Bruins pushing for 2-0 series lead

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 3, 2013 12:37 PM
The Bruins made life easier in the second round when they took a 2-0 series lead over the Rangers. They would like a repeat of that scenario instead of splitting the first two games against Toronto.

“It’s hard to win games in the playoffs,” coach Claude Julien said. “It gets harder as you move forward. Every time you get a chance, you’ve got to make the most of it. Don’t waste that opportunity by saying, ‘Oh, at least we won one out of two.’ You’ve got to go out there every game and want to win that game. Nothing guarantees you those home wins. Pittsburgh knows that.”

The Bruins will not make any lineup changes. Jaromir Jagr did not participate in the morning skate, but the right wing sometimes forgoes the pregame twirl.

Tonight’s expected lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Game 2 preview: Bruins at Penguins

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 3, 2013 10:01 AM
PITTSBURGH – Good morning from the Consol Energy Center, where the Bruins will look to grab a 2-0 series lead tonight against the Penguins.

No lineup changes are expected for the Bruins. Andrew Ference, who dressed in Game 1 for the first time since the opening round, looked comfortable on the second pairing with Johnny Boychuk.

Pittsburgh might consider a goalie change. Tomas Vokoun was the victim of bad bounces in Game 1. But the first two goals were still stoppable.

Puck drop: 8 p.m.

TV/radio info: NBC Sports Network (Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)

Records: Bruins 1-0, Penguins 0-1

Projected Penguins lineup:

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis
Jarome Iginla-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal
Matt Cooke-Brandon Sutter-Tyler Kennedy
Brenden Morrow-Jussi Jokinen-Craig Adams

Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin
Mark Eaton-Kris Letang
Douglas Murray-Matt Niskanen

Tomas Vokoun
Marc-Andre Fleury

Healthy scratches: Deryk Engelland, Tanner Glass, Dustin Jeffrey, Beau Bennett, Robert Bortuzzo, Joe Vitale, Simon Despres

Projected Bruins lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Healthy scratches: Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Aaron Johnson, Kaspars Daugavins, Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo

Storylines: This is the first time the Penguins lost Game 1 in this year’s postseason. They claimed the opening games against the Islanders and Ottawa. The Bruins have won all three opening games… Neither team scored on the power play in Game 1. The Bruins will have to be wary of post-PP shifts. The Penguins usually respond with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the first shift after each kill… The Bruins are scheduled to return to Boston after tonight’s game… Wes McCauley and Dan O’Halloran will be the referees. Jean Morin and Jonny Murray will be the linesmen.

Bruins reflect on a physically punishing Game 1

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 2, 2013 05:46 PM
PITTSBURGH -- Maybe the Bruins should switch their colors from black and gold to black and blue after a tough physical battle with the Penguins in Game 1.

After the Bruins Sunday skate, center Patrice Bergeron spoke about finding himself in a rare fight with Penguins star Evgeni Malkin as the second period came to a close.

"I guess it's just part of the playoffs," Bergeron said. "We know that the emotions are high, the intensity's high, games are big so I don't know if I'm really surprised but at the same time it just happened."

When asked what initiated the fight on the ice, Bergeron said: "I don't know. I guess just the fact that he grabbed me from the side, we just kept pushing each other. I don't know, there's not one particular thing that started it."

Bergeron was asked if he was surprised to find that Malkin, known for his goal scoring and not punching prowess, was the Penguin he found himself in a scrum with at the end of the period.

"I don't know, I don't fight that much either," Bergeron said. "Like I said, it's part of the emotions and part of the playoffs, so there's not much to say about it."

Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton did have a bit more to add on the fisticuffs between Bergeron and Malkin.

"We had to do [team photos] today for something, so I told him in the last six team pictures I had a shiner," Thornton said jokingly. "So welcome to my world."

Thornton also said he liked what he saw from the usually reserved Bruins center.

"I think everyone knows how much of a fan I am of [Bergeron]," Thornton said. "When he gets that riled up it's usually for a good reason. I like it. He's not afraid to step up when he has to. We're behind him 100 percent and it gets the guys fired up when you see him get that emotionally involved. If you weren't into it, it probably forces you to be into it at that point."

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid also had a rough night, but it wasn't because of any punches landing. The crushing blow came from the Penguins infamous roughhouser Matt Cooke, who was tossed from Game 1 for hitting McQuaid from behind and crushing him into the boards in the second period.

According to Cooke, as he went in on the forecheck, he and McQuaid made eye contact. McQuaid had a different take on the event after Bruins practice today when asked if he was more aware of his surroundings when Cooke is on the ice.

"I think you're aware of whomever you're playing against," McQuaid said. "You gotta know who you're out with and who you're out against and you kind of have an idea of what guys different strengths are so you just have to be aware of that… I know who I was playing against. I wasn't necessarily exactly sure who it was. I knew a guy was coming down on me, guys are going to be forechecking and stuff."

McQuaid was asked if he was disappointed that the NHL didn't request a hearing on the Cooke hit where he may have been suspended.

"Honestly, it's behind me," McQuaid responded. "There's so many things to focus on and get ready for and we just get ready for the next game and that's it."

Julien shared his thoughts on the Cooke check and the players' responsibility not to put themselves in vulnerable positions where they might get hurt on similar plays.

"And I've said it before, and I'm certainly not going to change my mind because it happened to one of our players, but I've always said that we have to educate our players to not put themselves in vulnerable positions," Julien said.  "And I'm not talking necessarily about last night, I'm talking about those kind of things that are happening and right now.  Because the rule says you can't hit somebody from behind.  Sometimes we take advantage of that rule, and it's dangerous.

"And in order to make our game better, I think it's gotta come from both sides.  Players gotta understand that there's somebody coming and don't put yourself in vulnerable position. But the player hitting, have to be aware of it.  And I've been an advocate of that a long time and I still believe in it.

"As far as the Cooke situation, I think the referees had to call that.  And you see his head going into the boards and numbers on numbers.  Had to be called.  Whether it's a 2, whether it's a 5, I'm not going to dispute that.  But more than that I think they had to make the call, and I don't know what the decision, whether it's been made or whether it's going to be made.

"I'll be honest with you, I have no issues if he's not suspended because I'm not convinced it's a suspendable thing, but I'm certainly not going to say that the referees didn't make the right decision, because I think they did in assessing the penalty.

Julien also spoke about Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask and his cool, calm demeanor he's exhibited on the ice during the playoffs and how his goaltending style might compare to the Bruins former No. 1 goalie Tim Thomas.

"When you look at Tuukka when he's at his best he's straight to the puck," Julien said. "Tim is more of a battler. Timmy it wasn't about style, it was about battle. And as I said at the end of the night it's not making saves.  You respect the Dominik Hasek back in the day as much as you respect the guy who is like Patrick Roy, great beautiful goaltender and those two guys had different styles but at the end of the day you take any one of them so we're in that same situation right now where we had Timmy make the save when you had to make the saves and didn't matter how he made them as long as he did, and Tuukka probably technically a little bit more, I don't know if I want to say stable, but he's more of a guy that will follow the puck getting him square it most of the time.

"I told you the other day he's normal. Tuukka's normal, really.  And you know what I'm not going to get into Timmy.  But I know that, I'm just saying Tuukka is normal like when I say normal as I've ever seen in a goaltender, Mike could talk to him during periods and go talk to him about a couple of things.  I wouldn't dare do that with any other goaltender I've had in the past.  They're in their bubble.  But with him he listens and it's no problem, so on and so forth.  So that's Tuukka.  Very relaxed but you've seen the other side of him when things don't go his way, he's got a temper. That to me is normal."

The teams get back to what promises to be another physical battle Monday night at 8:20 p.m when the puck will drop for Game 2.

Matt Cooke explains hit from behind on Adam McQuaid

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 2, 2013 01:19 PM
PITTSBURGH – Matt Cooke, tossed from Game 1 for hitting Adam McQuaid from behind in the second period, didn’t think he deserved a five-minute major.

According to Cooke, as he went in on the forecheck, he and McQuaid made eye contact.

“I see his right shoulder and he looks me right in the eyes,” Cooke said. “I think at the last minute he goes to make a reverse with the puck. I committed to hit him. I don’t drive him through the boards. I make contact. I think it’s a penalty. But I don’t think it’s an ejection or suspension. That’s my opinion.”

McQuaid skated slowly off the ice to the dressing room. McQuaid returned later in the period.

Cooke will not receive supplemental discipline for the hit.

“Initially, it looked like he was maybe hurt,” Cooke said. “But he played a shift after. I think that probably affected their decision.”

Tuukka Rask, Bruins shut down mighty Penguins in Game 1

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff June 2, 2013 04:00 AM
It was worth the wait for Bruins fans after all.

When the two teams finally got around to playing some playoff hockey Saturday night, the Bruins shut down the so-called high-flying Penguins 3-0, led by David Krejci's two goals and Tuukka Rask's spectacular presence in net.

"I think they had a pretty good start and they had some good chances," Krejci said. "We were getting [into] some trouble. We couldn’t get the puck deep, we couldn’t get the forecheck going. After we scored the first goal, it kind of turned around and we started playing in their zone a little more. In the second and third period, we played the way we play."

The Penguins did have their chances, early and often in the first period when they took the game to the Bruins in their fast paced style, dominating the play in Boston's zone.
"We got caught into a run-and-gun type of game," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I think we all know we're not a team that does well in those run-and-gun games."


The tide turned for the Bruins at 8:23 of that first period when Krejci scored his first goal on a pass from Nathan Horton (one goal, two assists on the night). The shot got a piece of Penguins defenseman Paul Martin before trickling in. Returning defenseman Andrew Ference also picked up an assist on the play that saw the puck knuckle through Tomas Vokoun's pads and over the goal line.

Krejci leads the NHL with 19 points in the playoffs (7 goals, 12 assists) but he's not putting himself in a star class with Sidney Crosby (seven goals, eight assists) or Evgeni Malkin (four goals, 12 assists) just yet.

"Those guys, I think they're the best players in the world at this moment," Krejci said. "There's no one like those guys. On the other hand, we don't have guys like that. We have a team."

Horton, who scored the third Bruins goal at 7:51 of the third period, heaped praise on the highly-skilled Krejci.

"It's all of it," Horton said. "His defensive game. He's back in the corners, and when he has the puck, he makes things happen, and that's why you get him the puck as much as possible and you'll have a good night."

Krejci's second goal, at 4:04 of the third period, came when an airborne puck landed right in front of him in the crease and he knocked it in.

Rask turned away 29 shots against a team that had been averaging 4.27 goals per game in the postseason.

“You got to be happy, obviously,” Rask said. “I still thought they had plenty of chances. It’s just one game. If they keep doing that, they’re going to score some goals. It’s going to happen, but I think we did a great job in blocking some shots today and then taking care of those loose pucks in front.”

The teams turned up the heat in the second period when The Villian Matt Cooke picked up a game misconduct when he buried Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid into the boards with a check from behind 92 seconds into the period. McQuaid stayed on the ice after the hit, left the game briefly, but returned to the ice later in the period.

"We all know the history with (Cooke)," Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby said. "It's going to be looked at and scrutinized a lot more because it's him, but I wouldn't go as far to say it's a penalty because it's Cooke."

To say that Cooke will be persona non grata in Boston Wednesday would be a gross understatement.

Crosby, who was shut down by Rask and the Bruins defense all night, almost went head-to-chest with Zdeno Chara at the end of the wild second.

"That's the playoffs, I think if we score a couple goals, we're not talking about that," Crosby said. "We're talking about the chances we created; we did a lot of good things. At the end of the day you've got to execute and at the end of the day it's going to be physical. We expect that and that's the way this series is going to go."

Chara credited the Bruins defense for stepping up in Game 1.

"They got some chances," the Bruins captain said. "But for the most part I thought we played well defensively."

Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun said the Bruins took the Penguins out of their game, and that was the difference.

"They forced more of their game on us than we did ours on them at the end, and it paid off for them," Vokoun said.

Julian took all the physical play and extracurricular shenanigans in stride.

"This is playoff hockey," Julien said. "Those things are going to happen. You don't whine or complain about it, you just deal with it. What we had to deal with tonight was winning a hockey game. That's all that mattered."

The teams get back at it again Monday night for Game 2. It would seem unlikely that the Bruins could shut down the Pens snipers at Consol Energy Center for a second straight game but not many would have predicted a shutout on the road to start the series.

Game 1 live updates: Bruins at Penguins

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 1, 2013 08:00 PM

Steve Silva is in Pittsburgh to bring you the latest from Game 1. Follow his updates and those of selected media via Twitter, and add your comments to the discussion.

Tonight's Bruins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 1, 2013 07:48 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Matt Bartkowski-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Tonight's Penguins lineup

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 1, 2013 07:47 PM
Based on pregame warmups:

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis
Jarome Iginla-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal
Matt Cooke-Brandon Sutter-Tyler Kennedy
Brenden Morrow-Jussi Jokinen-Craig Adams

Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin
Mark Eaton-Kris Letang
Douglas Murray-Matt Niskanen

Tomas Vokoun
Marc-Andre Fleury

Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg reunited in morning skate

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 1, 2013 12:45 PM
During today’s morning skate, Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg took most of their shifts together on the No. 1 pairing. For parts of the last two practices, they had been separated. Chara had been with Johnny Boychuk. Seidenberg was paired with Matt Bartkowski.

We’ll have to wait until the game to see the final pairings. The guess here is that Chara-Seidenberg will stick, most likely against the No. 2 line of Jarome Iginla, Evgeni Malkin, and James Neal. The Chara-Seidenberg whole is better than its parts.

Andrew Ference took some reps with Boychuk this morning. Ference could be close to returning. It’s likely that Bartkowski will dress for Game 1 as Boychuk’s partner.

“You think about it all week and you talk about it,” Claude Julien said of personnel decisions. “Eventually you make a decision. But just because you make a decision doesn’t mean you stick with it. You have a decision, but you also have Plan B if you need to adapt.”

Tonight’s expected lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Matt Bartkowski-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Game 1 preview: Bruins at Penguins

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff June 1, 2013 10:04 AM
PITTSBURGH – Good morning from the Consol Energy Center, where the Bruins and Penguins will kick off the Eastern Conference Final tonight.

The Bruins are not expected to make any changes up front. On defense, Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk have practiced together for parts of the last two days. Matt Bartkowski and Dennis Seidenberg have served as the No. 2 pairing. It’s possible that Chara and Seidenberg will be split to start the series to account for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

As of Friday, Andrew Ference had not been cleared for game play. We’ll assume that Ference will not play tonight. But the veteran defenseman is close to returning.

Puck drop: 8 p.m.

TV/radio info: NBC (Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)

Records: Bruins 0-0, Penguins 0-0

Projected Penguins lineup:

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis
Jarome Iginla-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal
Matt Cooke-Brandon Sutter-Tyler Kennedy
Brenden Morrow-Jussi Jokinen-Craig Adams

Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin
Mark Eaton-Kris Letang
Douglas Murray-Matt Niskanen

Tomas Vokoun
Marc-Andre Fleury

Healthy scratches: Deryk Engelland, Tanner Glass, Dustin Jeffrey, Beau Bennett, Robert Bortuzzo, Joe Vitale, Simon Despres

Projected Bruins lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Matt Bartkowski-Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Healthy scratches: Dougie Hamilton, Aaron Johnson, Kaspars Daugavins, Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo

Storylines: This will be a homecoming for Matt Bartkowski, who hails from Mount Lebanon, a Pittsburgh suburb. Bartkowski, however, could be on the outs if things go sour. Bartkowski would be the first defenseman out if the Bruins decide Ference is a better option… The Bruins will have to practice discipline throughout the series. Pittsburgh’s power play is too deadly (28.3 percent during the playoffs)… James Neal brings a two-game scoring streak into tonight’s match. Neal scored five goals over the last two games. Chara should see plenty of shifts against Malkin, Neal, and Jarome Iginla… Chris Rooney and Brad Watson will be the referees. Jay Sharrers and Pierre Racicot will be the linesmen.

News, analysis and commentary from the following Boston Globe writers:

NHL video

archives

browse this blog

by category