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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Monday, 06.24.2013 / 4:01 PM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes on Bruins: Rask must deliver all-world effort

The Boston Bruins need an all-world performance from Tuukka Rask in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

I thought Rask was amazing in Game 5, but he has to be all-world in Game 6 on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). You can expect the Chicago Blackhawks to be unbelievable knowing that the Stanley Cup is on the line. I think Rask is going to have to be unbelievable and steal the game for the Bruins.

Boston as a team has to be really good defensively, and they've kind of gotten away from it in the past couple games. The Bruins have gotten away from some of the little things.

It is not just in the defensive zone, but starting there, it begins with sealing off in front of the net. Sealing out Chicago forwards in front of Rask, and making sure they front those guys, has to be a priority. They can’t allow the Chicago forwards two and three opportunities off an initial point shot or a deflection.

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Posted On Monday, 06.24.2013 / 4:00 PM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes on Blackhawks: Don't change a thing

In Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, the Chicago Blackhawks need to play the same game they played in Game 5 and the same game they played in Game 4.

No different -- no different offensively, no different defensively. On the offensive end, the hunger they've shown and the willingness to compete they've shown against the Boston Bruins has been remarkable.

You can pick any example from Jonathan Toews, but more importantly it is Bryan Bickell on that line doing exactly what he was doing before the start of this series. That opens things up. I call Bickell a space creator because he opens things up for Patrick Kane and for Toews to be able to make plays.

More often than that, if you look at the goals that line has scored in the past two games, Bickell will be there first and then Kane will follow, or vice versa. My point is, the Blackhawks are getting layered screens and layered traffic in front of Boston goalie Tuukka Rask.

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Posted On Monday, 06.24.2013 / 12:56 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins' Ference understands both sides of Game 6

BOSTON -- Most players in the Boston Bruins dressing room were part of the 2011 team that avoided elimination in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final then won the Cup on the road two nights later.

But few in black and gold know what it's like to be in the Chicago Blackhawks' position, which is leading the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 Monday at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Defenseman Andrew Ference is one who's been on each side.

In addition to helping the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, Ference played for the Calgary Flames in 2004. That season, the Flames were at home for Game 6 and did not finish the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning won Game 7 as well.

"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."

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Posted On Monday, 06.24.2013 / 12:36 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins' focus: defensive awareness, more physicality

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."

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Posted On Monday, 06.24.2013 / 12:35 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: The Blackhawks will win tonight

As we wait for the puck to drop tonight for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Chicago Blackhawks are right on the cusp of their second championship in four seasons. While it's been a great series so far, and these are two great teams, I have a feeling it may be pretty tough for the Boston Bruins to keep this thing going to a Game 7 on Wednesday.

Here are a few of my thoughts as we get ready for Game 6 tonight:

Bergeron's absence changes the game: Bruins coach Claude Julien said Monday he was "confident" Patrice Bergeron would play Monday night, and he had better hope so, because if Bergeron is out of the lineup, I just think it'll be too big a loss to overcome. When you look at what's happening here, the Bruins have lost two games in a row, they're not playing great, Zdeno Chara is struggling, Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr aren't doing much right now. And then you look at the other side of the coin. Chicago is starting to play the best hockey it's played all series, Patrick Kane is on fire, Bryan Bickell is playing well, the Sharp line is playing well, defensively they look rock solid and Corey Crawford has been much maligned, but all the guy does is win and now he's one win away from the Stanley Cup. I just think mentally and physically, the loss of Bergeron would be too much to overcome.

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Posted On Monday, 06.24.2013 / 12:29 PM

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

Bergeron expected in Bruins lineup for Game 6

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.

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Posted On Monday, 06.24.2013 / 11:50 AM

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

Julien 'confident' Bergeron will play in Game 6

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron did not take the morning skate Monday, but will take the pre-game skate according to coach Claude Julien, who is "confident" Bergeron will be able to go in Game 6 against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

"Patrice will dress for warmup tonight and I'm feeling confident that he will play," Julien said.

Carl Soderberg skated in Bergeron's place on the second line in between Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand at the morning skate.

The Bruins trail the best-of-7 series, 3-2.

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Posted On Sunday, 06.23.2013 / 4:59 PM

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

Blackhawks' Kane has a knack for big goals

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."


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Posted On Sunday, 06.23.2013 / 4:38 PM

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

Blackhawks optimistic Toews will play in Game 6

BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Sunday he is "optimistic" captain Jonathan Toews will be able to play in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins on Monday night at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) despite an upper-body injury.

Toews sat on the bench but did not play during the third period of Game 5 on Saturday night at United Center.

"Johnny is doing much better today," Quenneville said Sunday at TD Garden. "He's progressed, and we're optimistic that he'll be playing tomorrow night."


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Posted On Sunday, 06.23.2013 / 4:34 PM

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

Blackhawks' goal is to remain focused

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."


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Quote of the Day

I don’t know if it was more relief for me that [Stamkos] scored or the power play scored. It was a whole compilation of Alka Seltzer.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Steven Stamkos broke a long scoring drought and Tampa Bay's struggling power play scored four times in Game 2 at Montreal