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Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Blackhawks' Crawford comes up big in Game 5 win

Sunday, 06.23.2013 / 1:45 AM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO – Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford gave up one goal on Saturday night, which sailed past his glove side high into the top right corner of the net off the stick of Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.

It was the Bruins' sixth straight goal that beat Crawford to that side of his body in this 2013 Stanley Cup Final, the 11th of their 13 goals scored there in the best-of-7 series and like the five they potted in Game 4 on Wednesday, this one didn't matter either.

Crawford and his teammates didn't let Chara's goal early in the third period of Game 5 rattle them – despite having their lead cut to 2-1 to make it another tight game. Together they gritted out a big 3-1 victory at United Center and took a 3-2 series lead heading into Game 6 on Monday at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Chicago's top line comes up big again in Game 5

Sunday, 06.23.2013 / 1:31 AM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- As the coach of the home team, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville had the advantage of choosing which players to put on the ice after Boston declared its intentions throughout Game 5 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

So when Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien delivered his starting lineup and it included defensive dynamos Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, Quenneville had the option of keeping his top line away from that group.

He didn't, and the Chicago Blackhawks' trio of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell continued to win the battle against Boston's top defenders in a 3-1 victory that moves his team one win away from claiming the Stanley Cup for the second time in 36 months.

"They have had two good games in a row, and the way the goals were scored, they were scored close around the net," Julien said. "Kane scored three goals in the last two games, and he's very good at kind of finding those quiet areas and sliding into the right spot. That's why he's a good player and scores a lot of goals. We just maybe have to have a little bit more awareness around our net because both goals were scored the same way."

Bruins felt absence of Bergeron in Game 5

Sunday, 06.23.2013 / 12:55 AM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- The Boston Bruins have dealt with their share of injuries and lineup adjustments during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but overcoming the loss of center Patrice Bergeron to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in the Final might be asking a little too much.

No one is certain exactly when and how Bergeron was injured during the second period of Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Blackhawks in Game 5 at United Center. On his first shift, 55 seconds into the second period, he won a defensive-zone draw and skated into the Blackhawks' end and to the end boards before quickly skating to his bench. He had been on the receiving end of a body check delivered by Chicago defenseman Michal Rozsival with 8:36 remaining in the first period.

"I don't know how he feels right now … I don't know if he'll back next game or not, but we definitely missed him in the third period," center David Krejci said.

Bergeron attempted to return a few minutes later but left the ice 16 seconds later. He remained at the end of the bench and didn't come out with his teammates for the third. The Bruins confirmed that Bergeron was taken to a local hospital via ambulance for further observation. They later added a statement that Bergeron was released from the hospital and would fly back to Boston with the team.

Hossa, Ference helping former coach battle Parkinson's

Saturday, 06.22.2013 / 11:43 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

Don't ask Nashville Predators advisor Brent Peterson to take sides in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

With the Chicago Blackhawks leading the Boston Bruins 3-2 in the best-of-7-series, the former coach and player considers Bruins president Cam Neely and Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville longtime friends.

What's more, he has loyalties to a player on each team. Peterson coached the 1998 Portland Winterhawks, the Western Hockey League and Memorial Cup champions, which featured Chicago's Marian Hossa and Boston's Andrew Ference. They're two of Peterson's favorite people, so picking one over the other is a struggle.

But not nearly the struggle Peterson's daily life can be.

Key facts and figures from Game 5

Saturday, 06.22.2013 / 11:09 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

John Kreiser - Columnist

The Chicago Blackhawks had to hang on in the third period, but they're just one victory away from their second Stanley Cup in 36 months. The Blackhawks got two goals by Patrick Kane and 24 saves by Corey Crawford as they held off the Boston Bruins 3-1 Saturday in Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.

A victory by the Blackhawks in Game 6 on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) will return the Cup to Chicago, which ended a 49-year drought by winning it all in 2010.

Here are some of the key facts and figures from Game 5:

0 -- Minutes in this series in which either team has led by three or more goals. Both teams have had two-goal leads in two of the games (Boston in Games 1 and 3, Chicago in Games 4 and 5), but neither has been able to push the margin to three goals.

1 -- Losses by Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask this spring in a game after allowing four or more goals. Rask had allowed four or more goals four times this spring before surrendering six in Game 4; he had won the following game all four times before Saturday.

Trio of Bruins lead's Conn Smythe race

Friday, 06.21.2013 / 9:52 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

CHICAGO -- Suddenly, the four-round marathon that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs has morphed into a best-of-3 sprint to the finish line.

After four games of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, the favored Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins are tied at two games apiece with Game 5 in the best-of-7 series Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

So many players on each side have been responsible for delivering his team to within two wins of the championship. So thought it would be interesting to revisit the race for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Four members of the staff -- senior managing editor Shawn Roarke, managing editor Arpon Basu, senior writer Dan Rosen and staff writer Corey Masisak -- voted for their top three candidates prior to Game 5.

Here is how the voting went, awarding three points for a first-place vote, two for a second-place vote and one for a third-place vote:

Bruins' Seguin finding other ways to contribute

Friday, 06.21.2013 / 9:34 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final got off to an inauspicious start for Boston Bruins right wing Tyler Seguin.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad stripped Seguin of the puck at the left point during a penalty kill and skated off on a 2-on-1 that Michal Handzus finished at 6:48 for a 1-0 Blackhawks lead.

"I knew the guy was there but I still almost got surprised by him," Seguin said a day later. "I've been very good at being hard on my stick, but he stripped me there [and] I was flat-footed so I couldn't catch up with the play. It was just one that you'd like to have back."

Although the Bruins went on to lose 6-5 in overtime, and the 2-2 series shifts back to Chicago's United Center for Game 5 Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), Seguin didn't let that early glitch ruin his night.

Analysis: Why Bruins are shooting at Crawford's glove

Friday, 06.21.2013 / 9:01 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford escaped Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final with a win Wednesday. His glove hand hasn't gotten off as easily.

After giving up all five goals in the 6-5 overtime win against the Boston Bruins on his glove side, and with 10 of 12 goals surrendered in the series going in to his left, Crawford's glove has become a hot topic and an easy target. It's one the Bruins certainly seem intent on exploiting, resuming with Game 5 Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

"Last series they were talking about my blocker," Crawford told the media with a smile Friday. "Both sides are bad, I guess."

Crawford is right, to an extent.

In an age when most goaltenders employ some variation of the butterfly, dropping to his knees to take away the bottom of the net but leaving the upper corners exposed, shooting high to either side is a common practice, and perhaps, as Crawford's teammates suggested, too much has been made of the trend toward his glove in this Cup Final.

Bruins look to Seidenberg for in-your-face style

Friday, 06.21.2013 / 8:16 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara likes to refer to teammate Dennis Seidenberg as the warrior.

Dennis Seidenberg
Defense - BOS
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1
SOG: 28 | +/-: 4
There's nothing flashy about his game. He's just that hard-nosed, in-your-face type of player who always seems to have an opposing forward off-balance or questioning their direction when they reach his domain.

"He logs a lot of minutes, he plays a physical game and he's willing to play whatever role we ask him to do," Chara said of his usual defense partner.

The extent of Seidenberg's offensive contributions in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this spring has been minimal, a single assist he acquired over a month ago in a 2-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. It means absolutely nothing to those familiar with what he generates on the ice.

Bruins counting on five players to bounce back

Friday, 06.21.2013 / 7:57 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Two years ago, the Boston Bruins returned to the road during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final after two thorough beatings of the Vancouver Canucks that evened the series at two games each.

The 2013 Final has reached the same point -- the Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks are tied 2-2 as Game 5 at United Center approaches Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) -- but how the teams got here was different. There have been swings of domination, but they have happened in specific games rather than over the course of two full games like in 2011.

Boston is the team looking to be better in Game 5 this time around after dropping a 6-5 overtime decision to Chicago at TD Garden on Wednesday. There was an extra day to sift through the video and find answers to how the Blackhawks were able to solve the Bruins' typically tight defense.

Now that the series is best-of-3, here are five players the Bruins need to be better if they are going to claim the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons:

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