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Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Rask, Bruins have off night in Game 4

Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 1:44 AM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Could it be that Tuukka Rask is mortal after all?

The Boston Bruins goaltender had turned in a superhuman performance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night at TD Garden. Rask had surrendered one goal to the Chicago Blackhawks in his prior two games and had a shutout streak of 122:26 dating to the second period of Game 2. With his performance through three games, he had taken over the League lead in save percentage (.946) and goals-against average (1.64) for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Then Game 4 happened.

Michal Handzus snapped Rask's shutout streak at 129:14 with a shorthanded goal 6:48 into the game, and Brent Seabrook scored on the last of the 47 shots Rask faced in the Blackhawks' 6-5 overtime victory that evened the best-of-7 series 2-2 heading back to United Center for Game 5 Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Seabrook an OT hero again for Blackhawks

Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 1:20 AM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Brent Seabrook
Defense - CHI
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 4
SOG: 37 | +/-: -1
CHICAGO -- For the second time in three weeks, the efforts of defenseman Brent Seabrook to get the puck through the shooting lane resulted in an overtime winner -- one Chicago Blackhawks fans will be raving about for years.

Seabrook's game-winner, 9:51 into overtime, gave Chicago a 6-5 victory against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night to even the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece.

Game 5 is Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) to kick off what has evolved from a best-of-7 series to a best-of-3.

Key facts and figures from Stanley Cup Final Game 4

Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 1:00 AM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Chicago Blackhawks have turned a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Final into a best-of-3 series -- and they'll have two of them at raucous United Center.

The Blackhawks blew a pair of two-goal leads and a couldn't hold one-goal advantage in the third period before beating the Boston Bruins 6-5 in overtime Wednesday in Game 4 at TD Garden. Brent Seabrook's goal 9:51 into OT got the Blackhawks even in the series and gave them the chance to win the Cup by holding serve at home.

It was an up-and-down contest, replete with goals and scoring chances that were uncharacteristic of two of the best defensive teams in the NHL.

NHL coaches dissect Chicago's dormant power play

Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 5:27 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOSTON -- As one Western Conference coach was saying during a telephone conversation Tuesday afternoon, power plays are an interesting science because there are times when you feel confident and the puck just goes in, but there are other times when the harder you try the worse it looks.

"To me, that's where the Chicago Blackhawks are at right now," the Western Conference coach told NHL.com. "They've gone from probably talking about it to death to trying different things. Now they look flustered on it and it shows in the poise with which they play."

The Blackhawks are 0-for-11 on the power play in the Stanley Cup Final and they trail the best-of-7 series to the Boston Bruins, 2-1. They are 0-for-20 on the power play dating back to Bryan Bickell's goal in the second period of Game 2 of the Western Conference Final.

Strength in the middle Boston's blueprint for success

Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 5:02 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- It is a simple plan, but not the easiest to execute: Teams in most sports want to be strong in the middle of the playing surface.

For baseball teams, it is about defense up the middle -- catcher, shortstop, center field. In soccer, successful clubs look for strength in central defense and central midfield, and build out from there. A basketball team with an elite center is almost by default a playoff contender.

This idea works in hockey as well, and the past two Stanley Cup champions have adhered to a similar blueprint. Find a goalie. Find an elite defenseman (or two). Find an elite center (or two). Figure the rest out.

The 2013 Boston Bruins look a lot like the 2011 edition that won the Cup. They have replaced Tim Thomas with Tuukka Rask, but otherwise the key components to the backbone of their stifling defense -- center Patrice Bergeron and defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg -- remain the same.

Whirlwind Game 3 for Smith as Hossa's replacement

Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 4:33 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- For Chicago Blackhawks forward Ben Smith, Monday morning before Game 3 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins started like every other day during this extended playoff run.

Smith, who had last suited up for Chicago on April 27 and hadn't played in a Stanley Cup Playoff game since April 26, 2011, skated with the team's extras Monday morning. Not expecting to play, he didn't dress for team warm-ups and was preparing to ride a stationary bike during the opening period.

That's when the announcement came that star forward Marian Hossa would be scratched due to an upper-body injury. And just like that, Smith got the call for Game 3, enjoying a return to TD Garden that was almost as glorious as it was unexpected.

Five changes Blackhawks could make in Game 4

Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 4:13 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks haven't scored a goal in more than 122 minutes and they trail the Boston Bruins, 2-1 in the best-of-7 series, heading into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

The Blackhawks have to make adjustments. They need to be better in several different areas if they want to break out of this death grip that the Bruins have them in and even the series before it shifts back to United Center for Game 5 on Saturday.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is no doubt dissecting Game 3, poring over video to find where his team can improve and what advantages it can look for in Game 4.

Here are five changes the Blackhawks will likely be exploring as they devise a game plan to win Game 4:

Quenneville: Hossa 'likely' to play in Game 4

Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 3:40 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Marian Hossa
Right Wing - CHI
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 15
SOG: 65 | +/-: 8

Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday that injured forward Marian Hossa was "likely" to play in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Hossa was a late scratch in Game 3, pulled from the lineup after taking part of the pre-game warmup. The Blackhawks said Monday night that Hossa had an upper-body injury and was "day-to-day." He was replaced by Ben Smith, who hadn't played in a Stanley Cup Playoff game this season and just one regular-season game.

Smith, who did not take part in the warm-up, said he rushed to get warm and ready for the game.

Tuesday, Quenneville said Smith was ready and he did not take part in the pregame skate for strategic purposes.

Campbell still trying to inspire in new role as observer

Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 2:50 PM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Even if Gregory Campbell truly is the Boston Bruins' 2013 version of Nathan Horton, he doesn't plan to follow Horton's complete game plan from the 2011 run to the Stanley Cup championship.

Horton, who was knocked out of the Stanley Cup Final that season by an open-ice hit in Game 3, famously brought a bottle of water from TD Garden to Rogers Arena in Vancouver and sprinkled the water on the ice prior to the Bruins' win in Game 7.

"I don't think I will," Campbell said Tuesday when asked if he'd repeat Horton's actions in Chicago. "If I don't have the same success as Nathan, it won't look very good on me."

It'd be difficult to ruin Campbell's reputation, which is now glorious and world-known, after he gutted out more than 45 seconds of penalty-kill time on a broken leg after he blocked a shot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. On the morning after the Bruins took a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, Campbell spoke to the media for the first time since his injury June 5 and the ensuing surgery last Monday.

Goal drought is a concern for Blackhawks

Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 1:54 AM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Until the past couple of days, the Chicago Blackhawks' season has been all but flawless.

The Blackhawks breezed through the regular season, going 24 games without a regulation loss and coasting to the Presidents' Trophy as regular-season champions. Chicago did have to overcome a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinals. But after winning three in a row to eliminate the Red Wings and eight of nine overall, they've hit some serious troubles against the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.

After a 2-0 loss Monday in Game 3 at TD Garden that put Chicago in a 2-1 hole in this best-of-7 series, one number stood out to show how poorly the Hawks are playing: 122 minutes, 26 seconds.

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The old saying in hockey is 'weather the storm.' I put the notion in their heads that we don't want to weather the storm, we want to push just as hard and matched their work ethic. I thought our guys exceeded that in the first period.

— Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins after their loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday
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