BostonBruins.com – The Stanley Cup will be at TD Garden on Monday night. But the Bruins will have to prevent it from being handed out to the Chicago Blackhawks on their home ice. The Black & Gold suffered their second consecutive loss of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night, a 3-1 defeat to the Blackhawks in Game Five at the United Center.
The Bruins made a strong push in the first half of the third period, cutting the Blackhawks lead to 2-1 on a bomb from Zdeno Chara, but it wasn’t enough. Patrick Kane scored two goals to lead Chicago and Dave Bolland added an empty-netter with 14 seconds remaining to seal the game.
Things were made tougher for the Bruins when they lost Patrice Bergeron early in the second period. The B’s alternate captain played just two shifts in the middle frame and did not return at the start of the third period. He was later transported to a local hospital for observation.
After the game, B’s Head Coach Claude Julien had no information on Bergeron’s condition.
“Well, no update. I think there's no concern until you get an update,” said Julien, when asked if he was worried about Bergeron. “As far as we're concerned, he's just getting evaluated right now. Not much I can say on his situation.”
The B’s bench boss also did not have an idea of when the injury occurred.
“It's just an injury that wasn't able to let him finish the game,” Julien explained. “He may be in next game. I'm not going there.”
“It was a loss,” said center David Krejci, of Bergeron leaving the game. “You miss your best faceoff man and one of your best players. I feel we had some pretty decent chances, but I believe with Bergy in the lineup we would’ve got that second goal. I think we were pretty close a couple times.
“It’s sad to see him go down. I don’t know how he feels right now, I don’t know if he’ll be back next game or not, but we definitely missed him in the third period.”
Chara, though, gave life to the B’s early in the final frame. Milan Lucic collected the puck at the right half-wall and shuffled the puck behind the net to Krejci. Krejci handled the puck behind the cage and then sent a saucer pass to the captain at the left point. Chara let go a wicked one-timer that whistled past the glove of Corey Crawford at 3:40.
“We just played better in the third,” said Julien. “We started playing versus sitting back too much. We weren’t as good as we could’ve been in the first two. We were better in the third and gave ourselves a chance.”
The Bruins had a number of scoring opportunities the rest of the way, but could not get one past Crawford. As a result, they will play for their season on Monday night back at the Garden.
“We’ve been down this road before,” said Krejci, when asked if the Bruins will draw off of their experience from the 2011 Final, in which they also trailed 3-2 heading back to Boston.
“In past years we’ve been missing some key players and other players stepped up. This is the time of the year when other guys are going to step up. It’s do or die for us. We have to force a Game Seven.”
Kane opened the scoring at 17:27 of the first period. Johnny Oduya took a slap shot from the left point that deflected off the stick of Dennis Seidenberg, breaking it in half. Kane then picked up the loose puck just outside the crease and backhanded it into an open net. Tuukka Rask was caught out of the net while trying to corral the deflection.
Just 5:13 into the second period, Kane added his second tally of the game and ninth of the postseason. Brian Bickell had his initial shot blocked away, but he picked up the rebound, circled the net, and found Kane. Kane was not picked up and found himself all alone out front, where he beat Rask with a backhander.
“They scored two goals and it’s tough to come back against a team like that, especially in their building,” said Krejci on the difference in the game. “Obviously we wanted to get the first one. They got the first, they got the second. We’ve got to do everything we can to try to get the first goal in Game Six.”
One bright spot for the Bruins was the play of Carl Soderberg, who started the game on the fourth line, alongside Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton. When Bergeron was lost for the game, Soderberg was moved up to replace him at center. Soderberg, making his postseason debut, registered two shots on net in just over 14 minutes of ice time.
“He showed me enough to be able to move into Bergy's (Bergeron’s) spot,” said Julien. “I thought he played well, and although there wasn't maybe the chemistry that you see with that line usually because it's his first time, certainly not disappointed in the way he played tonight.”
Now, the Bruins must win on their home ice Monday night to keep their season alive.
“We’re just going to worry about Game Six,” Krejci explained. “We’re not going to give them anything easily. If they want to win the Cup, they’re going to have to fight for it, because we’re going to be ready and we’re going to fight for Game Seven.”