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Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Hawks rue missed opportunities to put Game 2 away

Sunday, 06.16.2013 / 2:08 AM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- They weren't in the mood to use excuses afterward, even though one seemed obvious for the Chicago Blackhawks to take following Saturday night's Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

After dominating the first period and continuing to play well in the first 10 minutes of the second, it all went away from them in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins at United Center that evened this best-of-7 series at one game apiece.

It looked like their legs were spent after the previous two games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs each went multiple overtimes, but the Blackhawks refused to accept that crutch.

"No excuse there at all," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said. "You've got to keep your shifts short. We're rolling four lines. That shouldn't be a problem. We just kind of let them play their game and we didn't make them earn it. That's a little disappointing considering that."

Whatever the problem was, it started about midway through the second with the Blackhawks still leading 1-0 and trying to push for the all-important next goal. After out-shooting the Bruins 19-4 in the opening 20 minutes, Chicago just seemed to progressively run out of gas.

Mid-game turnabout may have changed Cup Final

Sunday, 06.16.2013 / 1:58 AM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- When the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins battled for nearly six full periods in Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, it was as if they had played two different contests. The Bruins dominated early; the Hawks rallied to win in triple overtime.

Game 2 on Saturday night at United Center also looked a lot like two different games -- but this time, the first one lasted only 20 minutes. After the Blackhawks completely dominated the first period, the Bruins were able to radically alter the course of events and eventually snatch a split in the series with a 2-1 overtime victory.

If the Bruins are able to win three more games this season and capture the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years, what transpired between the first and second periods might be remembered years from now as "The Talk."

Hard work pays off for Bruins' Kelly

Sunday, 06.16.2013 / 1:39 AM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Good things come to those who wait.

But good times were few and far between for Boston Bruins' Chris Kelly when it came to scoring goals this season as the club's fourth-line center. It never mattered to the 32-year-old forward, however, that he only struck for three goals in 34 regular-season games, so long as he could contribute in other ways.

After a dismal opening period in which the Chicago Blackhawks thoroughly dominated the Bruins to open a 1-0 lead, it was Kelly's goal with 5:02 remaining in the second that pulled the visitors even to get his team going. His line would then combine for the game-winner by Daniel Paille 13:48 into the first overtime to give the Bruins a 2-1 victory and even the Stanley Cup Final, 1-1.

"I think it's even more important to play the other parts of the game when you're not contributing offensively," Kelly said. "I think you need to pick up other aspects of your game. Everyone would love to score and score consistently but, for whatever reason, I haven't. I try to stay positive."

Key facts and figures from Game 2

Saturday, 06.15.2013 / 11:53 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

John Kreiser - Columnist

For the second time in as many games, the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks had to go past 60 minutes to determine a winner. But unlike Chicago's 4-3 triple-overtime victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins needed only 13:48 of extra hockey to leave United Center with a 2-1 victory on Saturday night.

Daniel Paille's game-winner evened the series as the teams head back to Boston for Game 3 on Monday night (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Here are some of the key facts and figures from Game 2:

0 -- Playoff victories by Chicago against Boston at home that did not go into overtime. Boston is 8-3 at Chicago in the postseason, and all three of the Blackhawks' victories went into overtime -- including their 4-3 triple-overtime win in Game 1.

1 -- Stanley Cup Final games worked by referee Wes McCauley. The son of former NHL referee John McCauley officiated in the Final for the first time in his career on Saturday.

2 -- Consecutive years in which Games 1 and 2 of the Final went into overtime -- the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils did it last year. Before that, it hadn't happened since Toronto and Montreal played OT in all five games of the 1951 Final.

Bruins forward Horton playing in Game 2

Saturday, 06.15.2013 / 8:22 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins right wing Nathan Horton is in the lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center (NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Horton revealed he would play following his team's morning skate at United Center, where he was in his regular spot on the right wing on a line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci.

"I feel good," Horton said then. "There are no setbacks and I'm ready to go. In the playoffs, everyone is playing physical and everyone has bruises. I'm good to go."

Other contributions help Toews deal with slump

Saturday, 06.15.2013 / 2:30 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Considering how Jonathan Toews has played and the results he's gotten in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, there is some irony in the Chicago Blackhawks captain being awarded the Selke Trophy on Friday night.

By receiving enough votes to win the Selke, Toews is being honored for his defensive game and using his skills to win faceoffs, to play on the penalty kill, to be a plus-player, and to turn strong defense into a puck-possession game that leads to dangerous offensive chances. Few, if any, do all of those things better than Toews in the NHL, so it makes sense for him to be a natural fit for the award.

The two things the voters for the Selke don't (or at least shouldn't) take into account is how many goals a player scores or how many he helps to create; these are also two aspects of the game that Toews was so good at in the regular season yet has found problematic in the playoffs.

Puck possession, matchups among Game 2 questions

Saturday, 06.15.2013 / 12:26 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- The teams have had two days to rest, and now the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are ready for an encore to their scintillating start to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

Chicago prevailed in Game 1 at United Center, but more than 112 minutes were necessary. The Bruins took a two-goal lead, then the Blackhawks dominated the rest of regulation at even strength.

Boston had more of the best chances in the extra time, but a point shot hit Chicago forward Dave Bolland’s stick and then Andrew Shaw’s leg before finding the back of the net to set off a delirious celebration at The Madhouse on Madison.

It was a contest that won’t soon be forgotten. What happens in the second chapter for these two clubs? Here are five key questions to be answered Saturday in Game 2 (8 P.M. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS):

Seguin ready for bigger role, if needed, for Bruins

Friday, 06.14.2013 / 6:25 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic said he believes Tyler Seguin is on the verge of breaking out of his goal-scoring slump.

If it happens to occur while skating beside him on the team's top line with red-hot center David Krejci, so be it.

"I think he's on the verge," Lucic said of Seguin. "Especially after all the chances he had last game (when Nathan Horton sustained an injury in the first overtime). Hopefully, he can build off that and break through in Game 2 [on Saturday]."

Seguin and Horton were splitting line rushes with the top unit Friday during Boston's practice at United Center in preparation for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Blackhawks rookie Saad picking up his game in Final

Friday, 06.14.2013 / 6:00 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Brandon Saad's first full tour through the Stanley Cup Playoffs is almost a condensed rewind of his first regular season in the NHL.

"It's a mirror image," Saad said Friday after practice at United Center.

The Chicago Blackhawks aren't complaining about that at all, not after Saad's performance in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday. He scored his first goal of the playoffs and was a factor in all three zones in the 4-3 come-from-behind, triple-overtime win against the Boston Bruins.

Blackhawks switch PP personnel, searching for shots

Friday, 06.14.2013 / 5:02 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Still searching for answers to a stagnant power play, the Chicago Blackhawks made a couple of tweaks at practice Friday morning at United Center.

Coach Joel Quenneville shifted a few players into different positions, but the biggest change the Blackhawks could make sounds much simpler: shoot the puck more often. The Blackhawks put three shots on goal during three fruitless power plays during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, including one shot against Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask during 1:17 of 5-on-3 play.

The Blackhawks, who won 4-3 in triple overtime, saw their conversion percentage on the man-advantage in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs drop to 13 percent (7-for-67).

Heading into Game 2 Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), the question becomes, how do they fix it?

“I think it’s just playing it smart,” Chicago center Dave Bolland said. “For us, it’s keeping it simple. It’s not making the pretty play. It’s not trying to make that extra, pretty move. It’s just keeping it simple, getting bodies to the net and getting pucks to the net. Those are the main things about having a successful power play.”

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