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Posted On Thursday, 06.13.2013 / 6:51 PM

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

'Hockey breaks' don't worry Bruins heading to Game 2

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."

Posted On Thursday, 06.13.2013 / 6:09 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins' Horton termed 'day-to-day' by Julien

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton is day-to-day heading into Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Horton was injured with about seven minutes left in the first overtime of Game 1 Wednesday after a seemingly routine push to the chest of Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Bruins coach Claude Julien addressed Horton's condition Thursday. The Blackhawks won Game 1, 4-3, in triple overtime.

"You look at what he's accomplished and he's a big part of our team," Julien said. "He had a bit assist on the [Milan] Lucic goal on Wednesday. He's listed day-to-day right now, so we'll see."

Posted On Thursday, 06.13.2013 / 5:43 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks could alter defense matchups in Game 2

CHICAGO -- An interesting strategic matchup went overlooked in the aftermath of the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 triple-overtime victory against the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Throughout the nearly six periods in Game 1 Wednesday night, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville opted not to match his top defense pair of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook against the Bruins' top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton.

Posted On Thursday, 06.13.2013 / 3:35 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Daugavins misses glorious opportunity to win Game 1

CHICAGO -- It will probably be replayed in the head of Boston Bruins forward Kaspars Daugavins over and over.

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.

Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 7:25 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Toews, Bergeron set to go head-to-head in Game 1

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."

Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 2:06 PM

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

Bruins sticking with same lineup for Game 1

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."

Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 1:43 PM

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

Blackhawks to split Toews, Kane to start Game 1

CHICAGO -- After combining on the double-overtime goal that put the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will be on separate lines at the start of Game 1 against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Toews will center Chicago's first line, with Patrick Sharp on his left and Marian Hossa on his right. Kane will be back on the right side of Michal Handzus, with Bryan Bickell on the left wing. Toews, Kane and Bickell were a line for the second half of Game 4 and all of Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings.

"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."

Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 12:19 PM

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

Governors place friendly wager on Cup Final

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."

Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 11:24 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Marchand, Shaw appear to be mirror-image pests

CHICAGO -- While Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final remains a few hours away Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), it's never too early for the Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand and the Chicago Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw to begin waging a personal war of words.

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."

Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 9:55 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Comeback started Bruins on path to Final

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."

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He's been one of our top players all year. Tonight he was by far our best player. There wasn't anybody in the same universe as him.

— Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz on goalie Braden Holtby, who made 33 saves to shut out the Edmonton Oilers 1-0
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