In a final show of sportsmanship following one of the most exciting Stanley Cup Final series in recent memory, the Chicago Blackhawks are paying tribute to the city of Boston.
In a full-page open letter published Friday in the Boston Globe (view it here), Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz and President/CEO John McDonough said "thank you" to the Boston Bruins organization and the city of Boston.
The ad read as follows:
"Hockey is a tough game. As impressed as we were by the strength, talent and competitive spirit of the Boston Bruins on the ice, we were deeply touched by what happened off the ice. Rarely have we experience the hospitality you afforded us throughout the playoff series between two incredibly gifted teams.
Fresh off winning the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will be a guest on "Late Show with David Letterman," on Wednesday (11:35 p.m. ET, CBS).
Kane tied for second among all players with nine goals and 19 points in 23 playoff games. He had three goals and an assist in the Cup Final against the Boston Bruins, including the game-winning goal in Game 5 to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 series lead.
Also scheduled for the show Wednesday are actor Jamie Foxx, musical guest Wale and a Top Ten List presented by The Backstreet Boys.
Bolland's winner on cover.
(Click to enlarge) Courtesy: SI
The Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup win Monday against the Boston Bruins will be rewarded with a regional cover of this week's edition of Sports Illustrated.
The team's remarkable come-from-behind 3-2 win against the Bruins in Game 6 of the Final showcases Dave Bolland's game-winning goal with 58.3 seconds left in regulation, 17 seconds after Bryan Bickell had tied the game.
The banner headline reads "First City," a play on Chicago's "Second City" nickname, and includes the cover line: Chicago's spectacular coda to a remarkable NHL postseason.
With just over four minutes remaining in the first period, Bruins forward Shawn Thornton's shot deflected up and into Shaw's eye. The 21-year-old lay prone on the ice favoring his eye as blood poured onto the ice and the TD Garden crowd grimaced at replays of the injury.
Shaw quickly made his way to the Chicago dressing room, where he absorbed more stitches than he could keep track of before returning to the bench for the second period. He barely missed a shift.
BOSTON -- After the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012, they managed to retain their entire roster and much of their coaching staff for this season. One of their only defections was assistant coach Jamie Kompon, who left the Kings to join the Chicago Blackhawks.
A year later, Kompon is the only person who can claim the distinction of being a two-time defending Stanley Cup champion. The Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 Monday in Game 6 to wrap up the Final.
"We had a great team effort from the onset, working back with Joel [Quenneville] and [assistant coach Mike Kitchen]. 'Getting the band back together' as we called it," Kompon told NHL.com. "It was instant chemistry. That chemistry carried on with the team. They responded unbelievably. Their resilience and attitude, it was phenomenal."
BOSTON -- No team wins the Stanley Cup without injuries, but they rarely, if ever, disclose them while the ride is ongoing.
The Chicago Blackhawks' doctors and trainers were certainly busy throughout the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and coach Joel Quenneville revealed some of what they had to deal with shortly after Dave Bolland's goal in the final minute completed Chicago's historic come-from-behind 3-2 Cup-clinching win against the Boston Bruins in Game 6 Monday at TD Garden.
Quenneville said Marian Hossa was dealing with a bad back; Michal Handzus had injuries to his hand and knee; and Bryan Bickell, who scored the tying goal Monday, suffered a Grade 2 knee sprain at the end of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings. All Quenneville would say about Jonathan Toews, who played in Game 6 after sitting out the third period of Game 5, is that "he got his bell rung, he was fine."
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara has a Norris Trophy, several All-Star Game appearances and a Stanley Cup championship on his resume. The 6-foot-9, 255-pound blueliner is widely regarded as the best shutdown defenseman in the NHL.
So that he was on the ice for 10 of the Chicago Blackhawks' last 12 goals over the course of the last three games of the Stanley Cup Final was a major shock. There had to be a physical reason for Chara's struggles.
Toews scored for the Blackhawks 4:24 into the second period to tie the game 1-1.
He was held out of the third period in Game 5 on Saturday but took part in the morning skate Monday at TD Garden and pronounced himself fit for duty as the Blackhawks try to claim the Stanley Cup for the second time in four seasons.
"I feel great. I'm excited. There's no question about where I am physically," Toews said. "I think that was just the coaches being cautious, not letting me get back on the ice in the third period the other night. We got to the point where I was ready to go again. I'll be ready to go tonight."
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is in the lineup for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on Monday (NBC, CBC, RDS), delivering on the confidence of his coach, Claude Julien, who said Monday morning Bergeron would be able to play.
"Well, it's a tough one, for sure," Ference said Monday after the Bruins morning skate. "I've been on both sides, where I had a chance to win in Game 6 and didn't and ended up losing, and then vice versa. It's a difficult game to win. At this point of the series there's no secrets between each other. Everybody knows the stakes and what you're going to get out of each other. And it's just a matter of that razor-thin line of success or defeat. It just depends on individual performances and small little details, that if you're showing up for your first hockey game tonight you wouldn't be able to see. But everybody in the room knows what they have to do and you hope that's enough to put you over the edge."
BOSTON -- With nine goals allowed in the past two games, eight with a goaltender in the crease, the Boston Bruins defense has been much leakier than it had been previously in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
So as they try to avoid elimination Monday in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), the Bruins are going to have to do a better job of containing some of the Chicago Blackhawks' best players, including Patrick Kane.
Kane has scored three goals in the past two games.
"Well, it takes an extreme amount of awareness of everybody on the ice," Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference said after his team's morning skate. "Our defensive game relies on a five-man unit picking up their assignments and just being ultra-aware of positioning and where the threats are. So like I said, you're not asking anybody to do anything that they've never done before. Everybody knows what it takes. We've played against some pretty amazing offensive players and teams, and I think you're asking everybody to play defensively to the potential that they've shown."
BOSTON -- Two days after leaving Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in Chicago with an injury that necessitated a trip to the hospital, Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron is expected to play in Game 6 on Monday against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
Bergeron did not take part in the team's morning skate Monday, but it's likely he'll be on the ice when the puck drops.
"Patrice will dress for warm-up tonight and I'm feeling confident that he will play," Bruins coach Claude Julien said following the team's morning skate.
BOSTON -- With all the huge plays he has made through his career, it's hard to believe that Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane is still only 24 years old. Indeed, he was only 21 in 2010 when he scored one of the wildest -- and most unusual -- Cup-winning overtime goals in NHL history.
He has added to that resume of big goals since then, particularly in the past two weeks. So with all that history on his side, it's no wonder the hockey world will have at least one eye on Kane when he takes the ice with a chance to clinch a Stanley Cup championship Monday in Game 6 (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden.
"You know, we were just kind of talking about that. I don't know, I think the stars would have to be aligned right for it to happen like that again," Kane said Sunday afternoon shortly after the team arrived in Boston. "I think the biggest thing is trying to help contribute any way I can. Help this team get a win, especially the situation we're in. We have a great opportunity. I'll do whatever I can to help the team win, and it would be a great feeling."
BOSTON -- Most NHL players go their entire careers without coming within a single victory of hoisting the Stanley Cup.
But heading into Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS), that's where the Chicago Blackhawks find themselves as they lead the Boston Bruins 3-2 in their best-of-7 series.
Eight players from the current Chicago team were in Philadelphia on June 9, 2010, when they held a 3-2 series lead on the Philadelphia Flyers in the Cup Final and wrapped up the series with forward Patrick Kane's overtime winner. The wisdom gained from that game and the calmness it inspires in the Blackhawks are huge asset three years later.
"It's a similar feeling, especially having the series tied 2-2 and taking Game 5 at home and coming on the road for Game 6. But, you have to be careful," Kane said Sunday. "Even a couple of years ago, Boston was down 3-2, they won at home and then won game 7 in Vancouver. This team is capable of coming back. For us, I know it's a big game, but you want to play like it's any other game."
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is "day-to-day," coach Claude Julien said Sunday afternoon during his team's availability at TD Garden. Julien would not reveal the nature of the injury, saying only that it was a "body" injury.
Bergeron was hurt at some point during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. He took just two shifts in the second period and did not return for the third period. After the game, he was taken to a local hospital for "observation," according to the team.
Linemate Brad Marchand said Bergeron returned to the hotel Saturday night and joined the team for a post-game meal, reporting that he was "crushing" some food, including some french fries.
Asked to describe Bergeron's mood at the meal, Marchand said: "He's always in a good mood, but he was good."
Bergeron flew home with the team Sunday, but was not made available to the media.
The only question is, will they be able to draw off past experiences in an all-out attempt to win their second Stanley Cup Final in three years?
Back in 2011, the Bruins rallied from a 3-2 series deficit by winning the final two games of the championship round against the Vancouver Canucks by a combined 9-2 score. They did so without the services of wing Nathan Horton, who sustained a frightening upper-body injury in Game 3 that sidelined him the remainder of the series.
The Bruins find themselves in a similar predicament following a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the Cup Final on Saturday at United Center. The series shifts to TD Garden for Game 6 in Boston on Monday with the Bruins trailing the best-of-7 series, 3-2.
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews did not play in the third period of Saturday's Game 5 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final because of an upper-body injury.
Toews, the Blackhawks captain, was on the receiving end of a huge hit from Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk midway through the second period, but he continued to play until the end of the period. He sat on the bench for the third period, but did not take a shift while the Blackhawks were able to protect the lead and claim a 3-1 win at United Center to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.
"We're hopeful he'll be ready next game, upper-body," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "We'll see how he is tomorrow. I checked on him a couple times there. I think he wanted to play, but we'll see."
Told earlier Saturday that he would be making his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in the pivotal game of a best-of-7 series that has been played at a furious and physical pace, Soderberg knew he would have to overcome the handicaps associated with not playing since April 28.
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron left Saturday’s Game 5 at United Center in an ambulance and was taken to a hospital after playing 49 seconds in the second period. He did not finish the period on the bench and did not come out for the third period.
Boston went on to lose the game, 3-1, and trails 3-2 in this best-of-7 series that shifts back to TD Garden on Monday for Game 6 (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
"No update; I think there's no concern until you get an update," Bruins coach Claude Julien said during his postgame remarks. "As far as we're concerned he's just getting evaluated right now, so not much I can say on his situation."
Hossa missed Game 3 because of an upper-body injury but played in Game 4 after not skating that morning. The Blackhawks did not practice Thursday, and Hossa stayed off the ice during the team’s Friday workout.
"He's fine. He'll play," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said after the morning skate Saturday. "We'll say he should be better."
Perhaps a more intriguing question for those involved is whether there have been any surprises.
"I don't think so," Bruins rookie defenseman Torey Krug told NHL.com. "They are a team that basically is what you see is what you get. They play north/south hockey and it's pretty fast and they like to play with the puck. Obviously, we're a team that has no secrets … we go out and we want to do our job.
"It's been a series of what we expected, and we're ready for it to go a long way."
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have allowed more power-play goals to the Boston Bruins through the four games of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final than they did against the three other teams they eliminated coming into this series.
Chicago's success rate prior to facing the Bruins was 94.8 percent (55 of 58), tops in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it is 71.4 percent (10 of 14) in the Cup Final heading into Game 5 Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).
Is there something to it, or is that 23 percent drop more of an aberration than it might seem?
The Blackhawks said they feel it's more of the latter than the former.
"I think our penalty kill's been pretty good," Chicago center Dave Bolland said Saturday after the morning skate. "They've had four goals, but you're going to have breakdowns. It's going to happen. I think we've still stayed strong. We've still stuck to our game plan. We haven't gotten away [from] it. We've had some goals against, but I think those are going to come. You have to go over those and see what happened, but I think overall our PK has been pretty good."
CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien would not reveal who will play fourth-line left wing for the Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
Daugavins has played in all four games of the Cup Final; Soderberg, who signed with the Bruins late in the regular season, has not played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They rotated with Shawn Thornton and Rich Peverley during line rushes in the morning skate Saturday, with Daugavins going first.
"We're trying to find the best fit possible so I have to look at whether I feel comfortable staying with Daugavins or, as you know right now it's been between Soderberg and Daugavins," Julien said. "They're two different players. Size-wise they're different. One is obviously real gritty along the walls [Daugavins], and the other one is probably more of a playmaker [Soderberg]. There is a difference there, and that's where I have to make my decision, what I feel I may need for [Game 5]."
It was two days ago that Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell sprinkled a little fuel onto the fire when he declared Chara "doesn't like getting hit."
"Not a lot of guys attempt it, but to get a hit on him and to see him fall down, it's rare," Bickell said.
There isn't a player in the NHL who relishes being on the receiving end of a thunderous body check. Bickell, who was in Chara's face for much of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, had a first-period hit on the 6-foot-9 defenseman that sent him to the ice and, in effect, may have set the physical tone for the entire game.
Bickell, a 6-foot-4, 233-pound left wing for the Blackhawks, likely will continue to target Chara in Game 5 Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
CHICAGO -- In case you haven't noticed, the Boston Bruins are suddenly becoming a force to be reckoned with on the power play.
That's certainly music to the ears of coach Claude Julien. Though the Bruins had the worst power play percentage of any Stanley Cup champion when they won in 2011, there's no question coaches and players would feel more at ease if success with the man advantage came with regularity.
Despite the fact the Chicago Blackhawks entered the Final owning the best penalty-killing efficiency (94.8 percent) in the 2013 playoffs, the Bruins have managed four power-play goals in 14 opportunities. To put that in perspective, the Blackhawks had allowed three power-play goals in 58 times short through the opening three rounds.
Obviously, the Bruins hope the trend continues Saturday when they visit United Center for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). The best-of-7 series is tied, 2-2.
"We've added some new personnel in there and we're moving the puck well and playing with a lot of confidence," Julien said. "Like anything else, confidence is a big part of the game. When you start feeling it, you try and hold on to it as long as you can, and right now I think our guys are feeling it. We feel confident about how we're handling the puck and moving it around and we're making some good decisions and it has gotten better.
"For all the struggles we had with it, what better time than now to be pretty decent on it."
CHICAGO -- Despite the ongoing discussion and analysis of his glove side, and why the Boston Bruins appear to be targeting it, Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford said after practice Friday he has not talked to goalie coach Stephane Waite about any adjustments.
Crawford would not rule out the possibility of he and Waite sitting down to discuss potential technical adjustments before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
Boston has scored eight of its 12 goals in the Cup Final on Crawford's glove side.
"Sometimes you need your goalie coach to look and see," Crawford said. "As a goalie, it's tough sometimes to really know if you're fine, if there's nothing to change or if there's something to change. Sometimes you need that extra set of eyes to figure that out for you.
"If there is an adjustment we can make that will help us, yeah, for sure [we will make it]."
After being a healthy scratch in the opening two games of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins, he was reinserted into the lineup for Games 3 and 4 in Boston and proved effective on a line with Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad.
Stalberg, who has averaged just under 11 minutes of ice time in 17 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, told NHL.com he expects to be in the lineup for Game 5 Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
The Saad-Shaw-Stalberg line combined for three shots, seven hits and two blocked shots in a 6-5 overtime victory against the Bruins in Game 4 Wednesday at TD Garden that evened the best-of-7 series 2-2.
"However you want to quantify or qualify that line, it's a very dangerous line for us," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "They're all dangerous when they have the puck, and they all can make plays around the net. It's a line we hadn't gone to all year, but it's a line that is dangerous both on the attack and in the [offensive] zone, and defensively they do the right things."
CHICAGO --Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa did not participate in practice Friday at United Center but he is expected to play in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
Hossa was a late scratch Monday for Game 3 against the Boston Bruins. He practiced Tuesday, sat out the morning skate Wednesday but was in the lineup for Game 4 at TD Garden and had one assist and four shots on goal during 19:07 of ice time in Chicago's 6-5 overtime win. Hossa has an unspecified upper-body injury.
Rookie Carl Soderberg wore a merlot-colored sweater along with Shawn Thornton and Rich Peverley during the 35-minute session in preparation for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. EST, NBC, CBC, RDS). The rest of the Bruins lines remained the same from Game 4.
The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2.
"Just trying something else here," Julien said before boarding the bus in front of a throng of fans outside the Garden. "Again, I'll make that decision [Saturday]. But just get a different look at what that would look like, that's all."
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy appears to be going through one of those turbulent dips in the ongoing maturation process of a talented young player.
The 22-year old played 2:37 over four shifts in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, which the Blackhawks won 6-5 in overtime against the Boston Bruins to even the best-of-7 series 2-2 heading into Saturday’s Game 5 at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
Leddy took one shift in the first period, two in the first nine minutes of the second, and one early in the OT that lasted 12 seconds.
After the game, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Leddy was fine from a health perspective. Quenneville was again asked Thursday about the decision to sit Leddy so long.
"In the course of a game, I think every game is different," Quenneville said. "We went into the game, I think we were waiting to see how things played out, certain matchups you're looking for in the course of a game. And we're on the road, sometimes you can't get it, and sometimes the score reflects it, and sometimes you get deeper in the game and you're going to wait and see -- but I think that was probably the case last night with the lead. Later in the game we didn't go to him too much, but we'll definitely visit with him as we go along here before the next game."
CHICAGO -- The answer, in case anybody's wondering, is that Ray Emery will not start in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
Barring an unforeseen injury to Corey Crawford in practice Friday or during Saturday's morning skate, Emery will remain on the bench for the next chapter of what's already been a memorable Final.
Crawford, who allowed five goals in Chicago's 6-5 overtime win Wednesday that evened the best-of-7 series 2-2, will instead get a shot at redemption, something he's done a couple of times already this season following tough games.
Joel Quenneville was asked Thursday if he'd even consider starting Emery, who went 17-1-0 in the regular season, and the Blackhawks coach squashed the notion quickly.
"No, not at all," Quenneville said. "No, we're very comfortable with Corey. Corey has been rock solid all year for us, and when he's got the [start], he's been outstanding, and he's the biggest reason why we're here [right now]."
BOSTON -- In a Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins that has been flush with indelible moments, there might not be a more surreal sight than that of 6-foot-9 Bruins captain Zdeno Chara riding his bicycle to and from practice.
It's a regular routine for one of the League's premier defenseman, who first fell in love with bicycling as a child when his father helped train cycling teams in their native Slovakia. Among the League's best-conditioned athletes, Chara is dedicated to his cycling regimen.
"He's been riding more than me lately. I think it's pretty fun," said Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, himself a big cycling enthusiast. "During the offseason, it definitely has helped us with our training and whatnot. Both him and I like to take it to an extreme, as far as what kind of hills we're climbing."
BOSTON -- In a 6-5 game, there were obviously plenty of offensive chances players cashed in during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at TD Garden.
However, two Boston Bruins forwards missed great opportunities to turn the game in their club's favor. Instead the Bruins fell to the Chicago Blackhawks and now the teams head to the Windy City for Game 5 on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) at United Center with the best-of-7 series tied 2-2.
Boston's Chris Kelly hit the left post with enough room in the net to fit a St. Bernard in the closing minute of the second period with the Bruins trailing 4-3. Rich Peverley had just threaded a cross-ice pass to his linemate.
The goal horn sounded, but play continued.
"No, I knew I didn't score. But the horn kind of threw me," Kelly said Thursday on his team's off day at the Garden. "I thought the period was over. And then I looked up and I think there was 40 seconds left. But no, it didn't throw me off to think I had scored. I knew I didn't score."
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien admitted he wasn't a very happy man the morning after his team's 6-5 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 that squared the Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece heading back to United Center for Game 5 Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
But despite a loss in which their defense appeared uncharacteristically porous, Julien and his troops came away with some positives. Most notably, the Bruins' ability to come back from several deficits.
"We scored five goals. We should be happy with that," Julien said before the team boarded a flight to Chicago on Thursday. "The goals that we gave a lot of times were just guys not being in the right place where they should have been. Instead of stopping in our positions, we did a lot of curling last night, which is usually a sign of our team struggling."
BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks have played a lot of extra hockey lately. They played some more Wednesday night while essentially using five defensemen.
Nick Leddy took four shifts in Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, logging a total of 2:37 of ice time in a 6-5 overtime victory against the Boston Bruins that evened the best-of-7 series at two wins each. Three of the four games have gone to overtime.
BOSTON -- Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at TD Garden, in which the Chicago Blackhawks topped the Boston Bruins 6-5 in overtime, was an exciting back-and-forth affair that will go down as one for the ages.
The prior time a Stanley Cup Final game was decided by a 6-5 score in overtime, the New York Islanders defeated the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 of the 1982 Final. But the Blackhawks don't have to look too far back to recall the lst 6-5 non-overtime game in the Final.
It was in Game 1 of the 2010 Final, when Chicago topped the Philadelphia Flyers, setting the stage for a wild series the Blackhawks would win in six games. Following Game 4 in Boston, some Blackhawks players from that 2010 Cup team started recalling the similar game against the Flyers.
"We've had some back-and-forth games. Game 1 in the 2010 Final in Philly was a similar kind of story," said forward Patrick Sharp, who scored Chicago's third goal in that 2010 game. "I know [Chicago coach] Joel [Quenneville] probably had a high heart rate there. Probably wasn't too happy with the chances we were giving up. But at the end of the day, I'm sure he's proud of the way we competed and battled and fought for each other."
BOSTON -- Throughout the day Wednesday, heading into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden, the expectation was that forward Marian Hossa would return to the Chicago Blackhawks lineup, even when he skipped the morning skate after being a surprise scratch in Game 3 on Monday. Hossa, however, didn't make the decision he was good to go until moments before the puck dropped.
Regardless of when he got the green light to play, Hossa's return gave the Blackhawks a noticeable boost in a 6-5 overtime win against the Boston Bruins that evened the best-of-7 series at two games apiece. Perhaps just as important, it gave Chicago coach Joel Quenneville some much-needed flexibility with his lineup.
"I felt so-so, but the decision was for me to play and I'm glad I could help a little bit," Hossa said. "We have a couple of days off so it's nice, but we have to be ready for the next game [Saturday]."
BOSTON -- After opening the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs with four points in his first 16 games, Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin is getting hot at the perfect time. Entering Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden with his Bruins leading the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1, Seguin is riding a three-game point streak, his longest such run in two months.
The 21-year-old also has set up Boston's two game-winning goals in that time, both of which were scored by Daniel Paille, the latest addition to a recently-formed line featuring Seguin and center Chris Kelly. By his own admission, Seguin is playing his best hockey of the postseason.
"It feels good. I feel like I'm working hard," Seguin said. "I feel like I just wanted to work a lot smarter in this series. Focus on little things. I think that my line has definitely raised their game in this series."
Seguin's improved play has been sparked in part by teaming with Paille, whose speed has complimented Seguin's game nicely. But it was a recent meeting with Bruins coach Claude Julien that helped Seguin understand exactly what the team needed from him. A meeting that a nervous Seguin initiated.
BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks, desperate for offense after scoring once in the previous two games, will go back to a line in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) that worked pretty well for them at the end of the last round.
Jonathan Toews skated between Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane on the team's top line during the morning session Wednesday. That trio played together near the end of the Western Conference Final, and Kane produced a hat trick in the series-clinching Game 5 victory against the Los Angeles Kings.
"We had some success against L.A. Whatever the combinations are, we've got to find a way to score," Toews said. "We have confidence as a line, with [Bickell and Kane] we can make things happen. We were close last game. We didn't get on the score sheet. Obviously that's not good enough."
BOSTON -- Marian Hossa is expected to be back in the lineup for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
Hossa, who missed Game 3 against the Boston Bruins with an upper-body injury, did not skate Wednesday morning at TD Garden, but coach Joel Quenneville did not see that as a reason to keep him out of the lineup.
"[Hossa] is expected to play tonight," Quenneville said. "He is fine."
With their relentless team defense, the Bruins are shutting down another of the League's elite offensive teams.
After a bit of a blip in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, when they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in triple overtime, the Bruins have allowed one goal in their last two games to take the series lead heading into Game 4 Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden.
The Bruins' suffocating defense mostly has carried over from the Eastern Conference Final, when Boston limited the Pittsburgh Penguins to just two goals in four games. The Penguins had been averaging more than four goals per game entering that series.
BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks haven't scored a goal in more than 120 minutes of game time and have lost two straight to trail the Boston Bruins 2-1 in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Final.
Most teams would be struggling with their confidence after a pair of humbling losses to a streaking Boston team that has won 11 of their last 13 games. But the Blackhawks are not most teams.
Most teams don't open the season with a 21-0-3 streak that was among the best starts to a season in NHL history. Most teams don't come back from a 3-1 series deficit against a Detroit Red Wings team poised to upset the top-seeded, Presidents' Trophy-winning Blackhawks in the Western Conference Semifinals. These Blackhawks have won big games before, and they have all the confidence in the world that they can do it again.
"It kind of gives you confidence. But to be honest with you, what happened in the regular season is a long time ago," forward Patrick Sharp said. "We certainly feel proud of what we accomplished, we feel like we deserve to be where we are and we can draw on past experience."
However, CBC analyst Glenn Healy reported that Chara needed stitches in the back of his head after warmups. Chara played nine shifts totaling 6:58 in the first period and was on the ice for every one of Chicago captain Jonathan Toews' eight shifts.
Chara had to leave the ice midway through the period, but it appeared to be an equipment issue. He still played nine shifts and saw 6:58 of ice time. Lucic, who apparently came away unscathed from the collision, played six shifts totaling 4:52 in the first period.
Hossa was injured during warmups, according to the Blackhawks. However, coach Joel Qunneville said after the game that was not the case. Hossa is tied with Patrick Sharp for the team lead with 15 points in 19 games. He has seven goals and eight assists.
BOSTON -- The lanky, athletic figure came around the corner just seconds after you heard the final clanks of the bottom of his crutches hitting the waxed floor.
Once Gregory Campbell, with his surgically repaired right leg elevated and half protected by a plastic brace, made it to the front of the TD Garden elevators Monday morning, those waiting to go up just a couple floors were reminded what real toughness is.
Most then decided to walk up the steps while the Boston Bruins center waited. After all, everyone looks like a wimp when standing next to the guy famous for playing more than 50 seconds of a penalty kill with a broken leg.
Campbell has been out of the lineup with a broken right fibula ever since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last Monday he underwent surgery for the damage Evgeni Malkin's slap shot caused in that dramatic Bruins win.
As they prepared for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks with the series tied 1-1, the Bruins were visited by Campbell for the first time since his surgery.
BOSTON -- Typically after a game or two in a series, Brad Marchand starts to wear on the opposition so much so that they begin to either use the word hate to describe the antagonizing Boston Bruins left wing or at least show their frustration with him through their on-ice reactions.
So, heading into Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), the question posed to Marchand was this:
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said he's making the change in order to get more speed and energy into the Blackhawks' lineup as they look to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. Stalberg is a speed guy, while Bollig is more of a physical player.
Bollig averaged 8:51 of ice time in Games 1 and 2, but his misplay of the puck along the wall in overtime of Game 2 directly led to Daniel Paille's winning goal.
"I think that he's a threat off the rush," Quenneville said of Stalberg. "I think Bollig gave us a couple real strong games. I thought he did a nice job. [With] Viktor, we're just looking for more. I think offensively, defensively, giving us some more in both those areas."
BOSTON -- While Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien had to do some juggling with his bottom-six forwards during his teams Game 2 overtime win Saturday in Chicago, at least he was able to keep his top-two lines together in their usual alignment.
Prior to the second game of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, it looked like Julien might've had to start the game with a new top six because of Nathan Horton's injury status. Not only did Horton play, he performed well enough to stay in his usual spot on a line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
Horton logged 21:29 of ice time.
Horton, Krejci and Lucic figure to again be together when the Bruins host Game 3 of the Cup Final Monday night (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden.
BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks’ reward for winning the Presidents’ Trophy was home-ice advantage throughout the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and with that meant the first two contests of each series were held at United Center.
While the Blackhawks reached the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in four years, each time they have left the comforts of home for the first time in a series, they have begun the two-game road trip with a loss. Chicago has been great at home this postseason -- 10-1 before a Game 2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday night -- the Blackhawks are hoping to avoid an 0-4 postseason in Game 3s on Monday night at TD Garden.
“Yeah, I knew that stat coming in,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said. “I think when you're at home the first two games, sometimes you get a little bit too comfortable at home. Then you come on the road, maybe it's like a rude awakening when you come and play on the road. We've had three series to figure that out, learn it. It was a huge Game 4 against L.A. to come back and win that one. We definitely want to be better tomorrow, especially in the first game on the road.”
When asked if Viktor Stalberg could play Monday night, Quenneville responded, “He could play.” When other coaches say something like that, it is usually them trying to be coy about their plans. Quenneville’s track record suggests that “could play” is very often code for “will play.”
Stalberg was a healthy scratch for the first two games of the Cup Final. It was the second time he’s been scratched during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was also held out of the lineup in Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings.
BOSTON -- Having already competed in 38 Stanley Cup Playoff games in just three NHL seasons, Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin has had plenty of ups and downs in his young career. So you can't really blame him for his demonstrative celebration after setting up Daniel Paille's overtime winner in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.
After Paille beat Corey Crawford to even up the best-of-7 series, Seguin swung his arm around emphatically before throwing himself into the wild Boston celebratory scrum. It's a new goal celebration that inspired laughter from one of his toughest critics.
"My little sister kind of made fun of me for it. At the time, you don't know what you're doing. I was just excited and did a windmill hand thing," said Seguin, who was wearing a microphone during the game and was caught using some salty language following the winning goal. "She just thought it was hilarious. Obviously, I told her I never swear."
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks already had a 1-0 first-period lead, were dominating play and thought they had doubled their advantage when they saw the puck slide into the Boston Bruins' net. Instead, referee Wes McCauley, who was peering through the top of the net from behind the cage, quickly waved his arms to call the play dead and the NHL's Situation Room upheld the call on the ice after conducting a video review.
It would have been the all-important second goal of what was a dominating first period. Instead Chicago never scored again en route to a 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
CHICAGO – There were signs of slight improvement on their first power play Saturday night, but the Chicago Blackhawks reverted back to bad habits in the next two during their 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
After going 0-for-3 in a triple overtime Game 1 victory on Wednesday, the Blackhawks watched another trio of man-advantage situations go by the wayside in Game 2 with just two combined shots on goal – and both of those coming on the first power play of the game.
Chicago is now 0-for-6 in the series on the power play and its conversion rate dipped to 12.3 percent (7-for-57) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not helping matters is the success rate of the Bruins’ penalty kill, which is snuffing out power plays at a clip of 87.9 percent (ranked fourth in the postseason).
CHICAGO -- The puck ripped off of Jaromir Jagr's stick and clanged off the crossbar, bounding up into the mesh protecting the fans sitting behind the goal line to stop play 1:28 into overtime Saturday night at United Center.
Jagr couldn't help himself -- he let out a primal scream, uniquely showing his frustration for barely missing the winner and extending what is becoming a borderline ridiculous scoring drought for the future Hall of Fame right wing of the Boston Bruins.
The 41-year-old hasn't scored a goal in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs; in fact, he hasn't turned on the red light since April 21 against the Florida Panthers.
CHICAGO -- After keeping his team within striking distance with a stellar first period between the pipes, Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was rewarded with his first win in the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.
Rask, who stopped 18 of 19 shots in the opening 20 minutes when the Chicago Blackhawks completely dominated, turned away 15 shots the remainder of the contest to help lead the Bruins to a 2-1 overtime win in Game 2 at United Center. The series shifts to TD Garden in Boston on Monday with the series tied, 1-1.
"We definitely were in survival mode there for a bit," Rask said. "It looked like they had more guys out there than we did [in the first]. They were bouncing on every single puck in front of net, had a lot of chances.
Prior to Game 2 on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), the Chicago coach put his team through its morning skate with the same forward lines that finished the series opener Wednesday.
Rookie Brandon Saad is on the top line with captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, where Shaw played almost the entire regular season and to start the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with left wing Patrick Sharp fitting back into the second line and power forward Bryan Bickell slotting back into left wing on the third line.
"It was six periods [in Game 1], so we got a pretty good assessment of what they're up to," Quenneville said of the Bruins. "I think we got a little bit more comfortable with our own line rotation as we were going along. I think every game is different. We know we're playing a real good team here. We've got to be at our best. Every game is different. I think the lines right now look like they were for most of the regular season."
It was a tad surprising to see Keith and his partner, Brent Seabrook, logging big minutes against Marchand's line with center Patrice Bergeron and Jaromir Jagr. Only because top-line Bruins center David Krejci leads all scorers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 23 points in 17 games.
Despite that, Marchand didn't see it that way.
"Keith and Seabrook pretty much played the whole game," Marchand said. "They were matched against everybody."
Marchand, who is fourth on the team in scoring with 13 points, isn't exaggerating either. Keith actually led all players in ice time (48:40) for Game 1, while Seabrook logged 39:12.
"Personally, I didn't feel that great at the start of the game," Keith said Friday at United Center. "I felt better as the game went on. I don't know if that is because we had the three days off between rounds. We hadn't had three days off in that entire [Western Conference Final]. I felt better at the end of the game, but I was definitely feeling it yesterday.
"Yeah, I definitely noticed it. I think anybody who didn't notice it would be lying, but when you play almost two games, you notice it."
CHICAGO -- Forward Nathan Horton returned to the ice Friday during practice as the Boston Bruins resumed preparations for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
Horton and Tyler Seguin split line rushes with the top unit alongside center David Krejci and wing Milan Lucic. Boston coach Claude Julien reiterated to the media after practice that Horton remains day-to-day with an undisclosed injury he sustained in the first overtime of Game 1 Wednesday. A decision on whether he is in the lineup will be made Saturday.
Horton wasn't made available to the media after practice.
"He's day-to-day and that's where he is," Julien said. "That's why he practiced [Friday] and we'll have to make a decision on Nate [Saturday]. But it was encouraging to see him out there today, and if he feels good, he's in the lineup."
CHICAGO -- If anyone knows what the Boston Bruins are going through in the aftermath of a draining triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday at United Center, it would be team president Cam Neely.
When Andrew Shaw banked an already deflected shot off his knee pad and past Tuukka Rask for the winning goal 12:08 into the third overtime to give Chicago a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Neely felt a very familiar pain as he watched from the team's management box.
Twenty-three years earlier, Neely -- then a star power forward with the Bruins -- lived through a similar nightmare in Game 1 of the 1990 Final. The Bruins and the Edmonton Oilers were locked in a 2-2 tie past the 15-minute mark of the third extra period at Boston Garden when Edmonton's Petr Klima, who had played sparingly throughout the game, scored the game-winning goal.
That game ended 55:13 into overtime; it's the longest game in Stanley Cup Final history.
"Mentally, it wasn't tough to recover from that," Neely said Thursday at the Bruins' hotel. "Physically, it was the same for both teams."
CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug isn't about to let one mistake get the best of him. He realizes there are more games to be played in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final -- and more opportunities for a little redemption.
The rookie knew he'd be a target of the media Thursday, one day after an ill-advised pass ultimately led to a critical goal for the Chicago Blackhawks, who rallied to defeat the Bruins 4-3 in triple overtime in Game 1 at United Center.
But the 22-year-old was stoic, answered every question as best he could, and appeared already geared up for Game 2 of this best-of-7 series Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
"The best players forget mistakes like that and you learn from them," Krug said. "I have a short-term memory, so for me, it was kind of get ready to get back out there when my name is called and in overtime, I was ready to go."
CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is 34 years old and he's been in the NHL since 1999, so he knows how to handle tough breaks, such as the one that went against him Wednesday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya scored a game-tying goal with 7:46 remaining in regulation that went into the net off Ference's left skate. Thursday, Ference said he immediately shook it off and went about the business of trying to win the game.
"You'd drive yourself crazy," Ference said when asked if that puck-off-the-skate goal haunted him after the Bruins' 4-3 triple-overtime loss. "I might have when I was 22 or something like that, but at this point it was out of my mind on the next shift. At this point you almost kind of shake your head at it and say, 'What can you do?' You hope somewhere down the line you shoot one off of one of their feet.
"That's the way playoffs go. There are certain plays you can control and there are certain plays you wouldn't change a single thing you did and the puck goes in. I'm not wasting any energy thinking about that."
Not only did he have his first goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs there for the taking with Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford sprawled on his back and out of position, but he could have ended what would become the longest game of the postseason.
As it turned out, Daugavins would miss wide left and Boston would lose Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final by a 4-3 score a little over two minutes later when Andrew Shaw deflected home a puck at 12:08 of the third overtime.
After taking a feed from Tyler Seguin with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the sixth period, Daugavins skated across the crease and went forehand to backhand before attempting a shot that trickled harmlessly wide.
"I got great feed from [Seguin] back door, and when I got the puck, I was going to shoot, but it felt like [Crawford] had the pad down," a disappointed Daugavins said.
CHICAGO -- Two of the finest centers in the game today are prepared to go head-to-head for the first time this season on Wednesday at United Center when the Chicago Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews and Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron prepare to face-off in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
Still, while the two Selke Trophy nominees are preparing to do battle on the ice, they certainly have a great deal of respect for each other off of it -- for how long remains to be seen.
"I know Patrice Bergeron on a personal level, played with him at the [2010 Winter] Olympics and watched him win a Stanley Cup," Toews said. "He's one of those guys who flies under the radar because he doesn't score as many points as he probably could be if he was just focusing on being an offensive player 100 percent of the time."
CHICAGO -- While the Chicago Blackhawks are expected to tweak each of their forward lines for Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), the Boston Bruins will keep the status quo.
Boston coach Claude Julien has established a track record of preferring to keep his lineup intact so far this postseason. He's had to adjust for injuries -- the most recent being to forward Gregory Campbell -- but the Bruins used the same 12 forwards from Game 2 of the first round until Kaspars Daugavins replaced Campbell for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final.
"We've been together for a long time now," Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said. "Most of us know each other and it doesn't matter who is paired up or who is playing together up front. I'm sure some guys like to play with certain guys, but we've been rotating a lot, especially on the back end."
"For the most part, I think we've had a lot of balance throughout the season with myself and [Toews] on different lines," Kane said. "You look at that top line with Hossa, Sharp and Toews -- they don't get much better than that. I think it's about balance."
For Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, there will be a little more than bragging rights on the line when the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins drop the puck Wednesday for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
In a show of friendly competition, the governors placed a well-intentioned wager on the outcome of the series. Under terms of the bet, the losing team's state governor will spend a day volunteering at a food bank of the winning governor's choice. If the Bruins win, Quinn will work at the Greater Boston Food Bank. If the Blackhawks win, Patrick will volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
"Gov. Patrick is skating on thin ice by betting against the mighty Chicago Blackhawks," Quinn said in a statement. "But the Greater Chicago Food Depository can always use extra help, so after he works a shift there, I'm happy to take Gov. Patrick to the United Center to see the Stanley Cup return home."
During media day here at United Center on Tuesday, the agitators and big fan favorites couldn't resist the opportunity to speak about the other when the questions came fast and furious.
"We're both agitators," Shaw said. "We both play physical and we're always chirping. He's perfected it, and that's what I'm trying to do to my game. We both walk a fine line, and I've always looked up to him and admired him. It's going to be great to actually play against him once."
CHICAGO -- The Boston Bruins have been all but unbeatable since their monumental comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Boston won eight of nine games in the conference semifinals and finals, moving them into the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks. Game 1 is scheduled for Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
There's no question that if Boston regains the Cup it won in 2011 that the 5-4 overtime victory against the Maple Leafs at TD Garden on May 13 will go down as the turning point of its season. The Bruins were just over 10 minutes away from losing a series they led 3-1 -- they lost Games 5 and 6, then fell behind by three goals in Game 7.
"When we got down to Toronto 4-1 in the third period, no one talked about it but knew that if we lost that game, no one would know who's coming back [on the roster]," Bruins forward Tyler Seguin said during media day at United Center on Tuesday. "We didn't know if we'd stick together one more year. But the boys dug down deep and won that game, and we've been a great hockey team ever since."
“It's going to be really interesting,” Hossa said. “Obviously we are good friends. He's my neighbor. He lives right across the street. But this coming up two weeks, that has to go on the side and we just have to play the roles. I’m going to play my game, he's going to play his game. I'm sure right after we'll be friends again. It's going to be hard two weeks, hard battle. It's going to be also fun and I really looking forward to it.”
Game 1 is Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
After playing all five games of the Blackhawks' Western Conference Final victory against the Los Angeles Kings, Stalberg wasn't among the top 12 forwards at Chicago's workout Tuesday before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
"We had a discussion about it," Stalberg said on media day Tuesday, referring to a conversation with Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. "I don't want to get into what was said in that, but I think this is what he wanted. He wanted a tougher lineup against them for the first game, so we'll take it from there. It's how it is right now."
Bottom line is, the world-class blueliner knows opportunities like this don't happen very often.
Hull recently told Keith that after winning the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 1961, he expected many more to follow, but that wouldn't happen over his next 11 seasons in Chicago. It's a conversation Keith remembers well. In fact, the Blackhawks wouldn't hoist the Cup again until 2010.
"I've heard that story and talked to Bobby Hull quite a bit about how they thought they would win several but never ended up getting back again and winning another," Keith said. "I take a lot of pride in being here and I'm excited about the opportunity. I'm going to try to make the most of it."
CHICAGO -- Practice Monday was optional for the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center, which meant only a handful of options for TV crews and writers looking for players to interview.
Blackhawks rookie Andrew Shaw was one of those available afterward and he chatted about a number of different subjects, ranging from his own improbable path to the NHL to playing against 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final to a photo of he and Patrick Kane celebrating Chicago's double-overtime victory Saturday in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings.
The picture, which shows Kane sliding on his knees with arms extended and Shaw hugging him from behind, is making its way around the Internet via social media.
Here are a few of the more notable snippets from Shaw's media session Monday:
Now, the left wing not only is heading to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final as a member of the Boston Bruins, he seemingly is part of their top 12 forwards in the aftermath of Gregory Campbell's broken fibula sustained in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The 24-year-old said he feels blessed he was plucked off the waiver wire by Boston on March 27.
"Well, obviously I was lucky to get out of there [Ottawa] and come to a great organization, and I wasn't thinking this far," Daugavins said after the Bruins practiced at TD Garden on Monday. "Like at the time, I was just hoping to get some ice time and play and prove that I can be in this League. And we picked up in the playoffs, so it's awesome. It's like a big bonus right now."
With Campbell out for the remainder of the postseason, it's likely Daugavins will continue to fill Campbell's spot when the Cup Final begins Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.
It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.
— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness