NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game #2: Boston Bruins at Chicago Blackhawks

2013 Stanley Cup Finals, Game #2
#4 Boston Bruins at #1 Chicago Blackhawks
Blackhawks Lead Best of Seven Series 1-0
Saturday, June 15, 2013, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBC Sports
United Center – Chicago, Illinois
Opening Line: Blackhawks -155 / Bruins +135
Current Line: Blackhawks -150 / Bruins +130
Opening Total: under 5 -110 / over 5 -110
Current Total: under 5 -135 / over 5 +115

The Chicago Blackhawks won game one of the Stanley Cup Finals in triple overtime against the Boston Bruins. Game Two si Saturday night in Chicago.

The Chicago Blackhawks won game one of the Stanley Cup Finals in triple overtime against the Boston Bruins. Game Two si Saturday night in Chicago.

If game one of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals is any indication, we are in for a fantastic series. After sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals by a combined score of 12-2, the Boston Bruins picked up right where they left off  in game one at the Chicago Blackhawks. Boston took an early 2-0 lead with 2 goals by Milan Lucic, one with just under 7 minutes to go in the first period, and the other a minute into the second. David Krejci assisted on both, and Nathan Horton assisted on the first. Horton would later leave the game with a shoulder injury and is questionable for game two Saturday night.

Chicago would get back in the game two minutes after Lucic scored his second with a goal from Brandon Saad, his first of the playoffs assisted by Marion Hossa. Neither team would score again for the rest of the second.

Boston would take a 3-1 lead on a power play goal from Patrice Bergeron six minutes into the third, assisted by Lucic and Tyler Seguin. Chicago would make it 3-2 on Dave Bolland’s first playoff goal assisted by Andrew Shaw two minutes later. Chicago would tie it up with less than 8 minutes to go in regulation on a goal from Johnny Oduya. Neither team would score again in regulation. Although they both had chances.

Neither team would score in the first or second overtimes either. Boston had 2 power plays in the two overtimes as Chicago was whistled twice for too many men on the ice. Those kind of things happen when you are so exhausted and the shifts get shorter and shorter. Chicago goalie Corey Crawford made some fantastic saves in the overtimes. He stopped a 2 on 1 breakaway in the first, and also stopped shots from Thorton before his injury, Rich Peverley and Seguin. Horton would also hit the post in the first overtime. Late in the second overtime, the Bruins would hit the post while on the power play with under 10 seconds left.

The game would not end until just under 8 minutes left in the third overtime. Blackhawks’ center Andrew Shaw would score off a deflection from Bolland. It was the first triple overtime game of the 2013 playoffs, and the fifth longest game in Stanley Cup Finals history.

Both goalies were incredible Wednesday night. The Bruins’ Tukka Rask made 59 saves on 63 shot attempts. Crawford made 51 saves on 54 shots. Boston was 1 for 3 on the power play and Chicago was 0 for 3. Boston won 58 faceoffs and Chicago won 56.

Boston is coached by Claude Julien. The Bruins are averaging 3.12 goals per game and giving up 2 in the playoffs. Boston is averaging 37 shots per game and giving up 35. The Bruins are 8 for 48 on the power play or 16.7%. Boston has allowed 1 short handed goal. The Bruins have killed 48 of 55 penalties in the playoffs or 87.3%. The Bruins have one short  handed goal.  The Bruins have won 55.7% of faceoffs, which is the best among playoff teams. The Bruins are averaging 9.9 penalty minutes per game.

Goalie Tukka Rask is 12-5 in the playoffs with a 1.78 goals against average. He has allowed 34 goals on 590 shots faced. His save percentage is .942 and he has two shutouts. Rask was on the Bruins’ practice squad during their Cup run in 2011.

Center David Krejci leads the playoffs in points and goals with 23 and 9 respectively.  Right wing Nathan Horton has 7 goals and 11 assists. Left wing Milan Lucic has 5 goals and 11 assists. Left wing Brad Marchand has 4 goals and 9 assists.   Defenseman Zdeno Chara has 2 goals and 9 assists.  Center Patrice Bergeron has 6 goals and 6 assists. Rookie defenseman Torey Krug has 4 goals and 2 assists. Veteran right wing Jaomir Jagr has 7 assists. He is playing the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 21 years, a record among the four major sports.  The Bruins need to get more production from talented young center Tyler Seguin who only has a goal and 3 assists in the playoffs. Center Gregory Campbell broke his leg against the Penguins and is out for the season.

Chicago is coached by Joel Quenneville. In the playoffs the Blackhawks are scoring 2.83 goals per game and allowing 2. Chicago is averaging 34 shots per game and is allowing 29 per game. Chicago has struggled on the power play in the playoffs converting only 10 out of 54 chances or 13%. Chicago has only allowed four power play goals in 61 times shorthanded or 93.4%. The Blackhawks have one shorthanded goal in the playoffs. Chicago has won 47.2% of their face-offs. Chicago is averaging 9.2 penalty minutes per game.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford is 13-5 in the playoffs with a 1.73 goals against average. He has a save percentage of .936 and has one shutout. He has allowed 34 goals with 528 shots faced. Like Rask, he was the back-up goalie on the Blackhawks’ Cup run in 2010.

Right wing Marian Hossa has 7 goals and 8 assists.  Center Patrick Sharp has 8 goals and 6 assists. Right wing Patrick Kane has 6 goals and 8 assists. Left wing Brian Bickell has 8 goals and 5 assists. Defenseman Duncan Keith has 2 goals and 9 assists.   Centers Jonathan Toews and Miachael Handzus both have 9 points. Center Andrew Shaw has 9 points as well.   Center Michael Frolik has 3 goals and 4 assists. Defenseman Steve Montador is out for the season with a concussion but he hasn’t played since early March. Left wing Daniel Carcillo is questionable with an illness Saturday night.

Boston is 5-1 against teams with winning records and overall, 6-2 against Central Division teams, and 2-7 in Saturday games. The over is 7-3 in the last 10 in Chicago in the series.

Chicago is 5-0 against Northeast teams, 8-1 against Eastern Conference teams, 12-3 in Saturday games, 49-17 overall, 41-15 at home, 37-14 after a win, 5-2 in Stanley Cup Finals games, 9-4 on two days rest, and 43-21 against teams with winning road records.

Boston knows they blew a golden opportunity to steal home ice in game one. They had 2 goal leads in both the second and third periods. Not to mention all those near misses in the overtime periods. However, they can’t afford a hangover from that game as they could find themselves down 0-2 if they do. I think Boston finds a way to win game 2 in another close game.

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