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Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 2:06 AM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Leddy odd man out on Blackhawks blue line

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.

"Nick is fine," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said when asked if Leddy was OK.

Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 2:00 AM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Game 4 win brings back 2010 memories for Chicago

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."

Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 1:53 AM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Hossa provides boost in return to Hawks lineup

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]."

Posted On Wednesday, 06.19.2013 / 1:32 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Seguin hot streak keyed by talk with Julien

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.

Posted On Wednesday, 06.19.2013 / 1:21 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks reunite Toews, Kane, Bickell

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."

Posted On Wednesday, 06.19.2013 / 1:06 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Hossa doesn't skate, but expected to play in Game 4

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."

Posted On Wednesday, 06.19.2013 / 12:31 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins again ratcheting up defensive play

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins are doing it again.

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.

Posted On Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 4:27 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Hawks using confidence gained from rally vs. Wings

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."

Posted On Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 1:26 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Power play, faceoffs doom Blackhawks in Game 3

BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville didn't have to look too far to figure out why his team was blanked in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night at TD Garden.

"You can talk about [faceoffs] and the power play," Quenneville said. "Those were basically the differentials in the game."

The Blackhawks were 0-for-5 on the power play with four shots on goal. They lost 40-of-56 faceoffs.

Not surprisingly, they couldn't score and the Boston Bruins won the game, 2-0, to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"Our power play tonight was definitely not good," Quenneville said.

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Yeah, it was a pretty special moment for me. Today was my Dad's [55th] birthday. I have a lot of family in town, so it was a special moment for me to score my first one today. A win definitely would have capped it off, but you can't have everything.

— Sabres rookie Jack Eichel after scoring a goal in his National Hockey League debut
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