Stanley Cup Finals Game #6: Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins

2013 Stanley Cup Finals, Game #6
#1 Chicago Blackhawks at #4 Boston Bruins
Blackhawks lead Best of Seven Series 3-2
Monday, June 24, 2013, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBC
TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts
Opening Line: Bruins -130 / Blackhawks +110
Current Line: Bruins -120 / Blackhawks +100
Opening Total: under 4 1/2 -110 / over 4 1/2 -110
Current Total: over 4 1/2 -145 / under 4 1/2 +125

Boston and Philadelphia meet for the second year in a row in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Boston Bruins take on the Chicago Blackhawks in game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Chicago leads the series 3-2 and can clinch their second Stanley Cup in the last 4 seasons.

The Chicago Blackhawks are one win away from their second Stanley Cup in the last 4 seasons as they travel to the Boston Bruins for game six of the Stanley Cup Finals Monday night. Boston needs to win to force a game 7 Wednesday night in Chicago.The Blackhawks won game five in Chicago 3-1 Saturday night to take a 3-2 series lead.

Injuries to key players were the big story in that game. Boston center Patrice Bergeron skated gingerly off the ice early in the second on a seemingly innocuous play. He tried to come back several minutes later but only lasted a few seconds before skating off the ice again. He never returned to the game. He stayed overnight in a Chicago hospital with an undisclosed injury. He is listed as a game-time decision but Bruins’ coach Claude Julien is optimistic Bergeron will play Monday night.

Also in the second, Chicago center and captain Jonathan Toews was leveled by Bruins’ defenseman Johnny Boychuk right in front of the Boston net. Toews, who has had concussions before did not play at all in the third, possibly for precautionary reasons. The injury is officially listed as an upper body injury. He too is officially a game time decision, but will likely play. Boychuk was not disciplined by the NHL.

Patrick Kane scored 17:27 into the first to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead. Kane would score again 5 minutes into the second to make it 2-0. Toews assisted on both goals. Bruins’ Zdeno Chara would score 3:40 into the third to make it 2-1 on a blistering slap shot that no one could have stopped. Chicago would add and empty netter from Dave Bolland to take the win.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford made 24 saves on 25 shots with a save percentage of .960. Boston goalie Tuukka Rask made 29 saves on 31 shots for a saver percentage of .935. Chicago went 0 for 2 on the power play and Boston didn’t have any power plays. Chicago won 33 face-offs to Boston’s 24.

Chicago is coached by Joel Quenneville. In the playoffs the Blackhawks are scoring 2.77 goals per game and allowing 2.09. Chicago is averaging 34 shots per game and is allowing 30 per game. Chicago has struggled on the power play in the playoffs converting only 8 out of 68 chances or 11.8%. Chicago has only allowed seven power play goals in 72 times shorthanded or 90.3%. The Blackhawks have two shorthanded goals in the playoffs. Chicago has won 46.9% of their face-offs. Chicago is averaging 9.1 penalty minutes per game.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford is 15-7 in the playoffs with a 1.83 goals against average. He has a save percentage of .932 and has one shutout. He has allowed 44 goals with 649 shots faced. He was the back-up goalie on the Blackhawks’ Cup run in 2010.

Right wing Patrick Kane has 9 goals and 10 assists. Right wing Marian Hossa has 7 goals and 9 assists. Hossa is probable with an upper body injury, after missing game 3 earlier in the series. Center Patrick Sharp has 10 goals and 6 assists.  Left wing Brian Bickell has 8 goals and 8 assists. Defenseman Duncan Keith and Toews both have 2 goals and 10 assists.   Center Michal Handzus has 11 points. Center Andrew Shaw has 9 points.  Center Michael Frolik has 3 goals and 6 assists. Defenseman Steve Montador is out for the season with a concussion but he hasn’t played since early March.

Boston is coached by Claude Julien. The Bruins are averaging 3.00 goals per game and giving up 2.10 in the playoffs. Boston is averaging 36 shots per game and giving up 35. The Bruins are 11 for 59 on the power play or 18.6%. Boston has allowed 2 short handed goals. The Bruins are 8 for 69 on the penalty kill in the playoffs or 88.1%. The Bruins have one short  handed goal.  The Bruins have won 55.2% of face-offs, which is the best among playoff teams. The Bruins are averaging 10 penalty minutes per game.

Goalie Tuukka Rask is 14-7 in the playoffs with a 1.83 goals against average. He has allowed 43 goals on 730 shots faced. His save percentage is .941 and he has three 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 25 and 9 respectively.  Right wing Nathan Horton has 7 goals and 12 assists. He injured his shoulder in game one but has played every game in the series. Left wing Milan Lucic has 6 goals and 12 assists. Left wing Brad Marchand has 4 goals and 9 assists.   Defenseman Zdeno Chara has 3 goals and 12 assists. he has been on the ice for 6 of the last 7 Blackhawks’ goals.  Center Patrice Bergeron has 9 goals and 6 assists. Rookie defenseman Torey Krug has 4 goals and 2 assists. Veteran right wing Jaomir Jagr has 10 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 6 assists in the playoffs. Center Gregory Campbell broke his leg against the Penguins and is out for the season.

Chicago is 7-2 against Northeast teams, 10-3 against teams with winning records and against Eastern Conference teams, 42-13 after the opponent allows 2 goals or less, 38-13 after a win, 51-19 overall, 40-16 after allowing 2 goals or less, 5-2 in Stanley Cup Finals games, 38-17 on one day rest, 22-10 in Monday games, and 24-11 in road games. The under is 5-2 in the last 7 in this series.

Boston is 7-1 at home, 5-1 on one day rest, 11-4 overall, 5-2 after the opponent allows 2 goals or less, and 35-16 in Monday games.

Every game in this series has been decided by 2 goals or less, and 3 of the 5 have gone into overtime. That tells me this is a pretty even series. Keep an eye on the Toews and Bergeron injuries. Still, I think Boston wins to force a game seven. That is a little selfish on my part because I and other hockey fans want to see another game as every game has been fantastic so far.

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