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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 7:25 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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."

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 3:37 PM

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

One-on-one: Weekes and Crawford

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 2:06 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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."

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 1:43 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 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."

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 12:19 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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."

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 11:24 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 9:55 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 9:12 PM

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

Hossa, Chara put friendship aside for Final

CHICAGO -- There is a street in a small city in Western Slovakia that might have divided allegiances during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

On one side of the street in Trencin, Slovakia lives Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. On the other side resides Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa.

“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).

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 7:40 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Stalberg skates as extra at Blackhawks practice

CHICAGO -- Viktor Stalberg again appears to be out of the regular group of Chicago Blackhawks forwards.

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).

Brandon Bollig, who didn't play at all against the Kings, played left wing on the fourth line while Dave Bolland was bumped up to play on the third line with Brandon Saad and center Andrew Shaw.

"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."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 6:45 PM

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

Blackhawks' Keith grateful to be back in Final

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith has heard the stories and has even spoken to legendary Hall of Fame member Bobby Hull about the unfortunate set of circumstances.

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."

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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