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Game Five Preview: BOS @CHI

by Eric Russo / Boston Bruins
– Defense will be number one on the list of priorities for the Bruins in Game Five against the Blackhawks tonight. The B’s had numerous breakdowns in their own end in Game Four – allowing a playoff-high six goals – and could not contain Chicago’s top-end offensive talent.

Patrick Kane tallied a goal and an assist, Jonathan Toews potted just his second goal of the playoffs, and Patrick Sharp also scored.

The Bruins aren’t too concerned about the defensive lapses as they prepare for Game Five. They feel that many of the mistakes they made in Game Four are easily correctable.

“I feel fine with it,” said forward Tyler Seguin of the team’s defensive game plan. “I think that we are a very consistent team in our D zone, so I think [Wendesday] night wasn't a night to remember in that part.

“But we’re a team that can definitely bounce back, and a team that, again, we’re successful when we’re staying at an even keel after wins or losses. We’re learning from it. We did video [Thursday] morning, and now were moving on.”

While the Blackhawks brought their A-game offensively, the B’s contributed to the outburst by drifting away from their system.

“I think it was both,” said goalie Tuukka Rask. “I think they played a good game. They had legs right off the bat. We didn’t and we had some mental mistakes. The layers weren’t there and we kind of got caught standing still a lot of times. So I think it was both.”

“I think partly we take our own responsibility,” added defenseman Adam McQuaid. “We veered away from our system a little bit at times, and made some uncharacteristic plays and decisions.

“We go over things, and [will] get back to our system and make sure that we’re committed to that.”

On the other hand, the Bruins were able to go toe to toe with the Blackhawks offensively, scoring five goals of their own. That is one positive the B’s will take into Game Five.

“It’s nice to get that many goals on [Corey] Crawford,” said Brad Marchand. “He’s played very well so far in the series. He made a lot of really good saves [Wednesday] night, too, though. So it’s nice to get five goals, but we definitely need to pick up our defensive game. We can’t allow that many opportunities.”

SPECIAL TEAMS COMPARISON: The Bruins went 2 for 5 on the powerplay in Game Four, with Patrice Bergeron and Rich Peverley notching the goals. The B’s are now 11 for 59 on the power play this postseason (18.6%).

Patrick Sharp’s power play goal, which gave Chicago a 5-4 lead at the time, snapped the Bruins’ penalty kill streak at 30 straight. The streak dated back to Game Five of the semifinals against the New York Rangers.

The Blackhawks are 8 for 66 on the power play this postseason (12.1%).

BETWEEN THE PIPES: Although Tuukka Rask allowed six goals in Game Four, but still managed to make a number of other key saves for the Bruins throughout the game. He saved 41 Blackhawk shots. Rask still leads the NHL in goals against average (1.83) and save percentage (.941). The first goal, scored by Chicago’s Michal Handzus, snapped Rask’s home playoff shutout streak (a new Bruins playoff record) at 129:14.

Corey Crawford made 28 saves for the Blackhawks in Game 4, but did allow five goals.

LOOSE ENDS: Patrice Bergeron added two goals in Game Four, making him the goals (4) and points (4) leader in the Stanley Cup Final....The 6-5 win by the Blackhawks snapped Boston’s home playoff winning streak at 7 games...Patrick Sharp’s goal in Game Four was his 10th of the postseason, which overtakes Bruins forward David Krejci who has 9. Krejci still leads in playoff points (24) and assists (15)...Chicago took 3-1 and 4-2 leads in Game Four. The leads were their first two-goal leads of this series and it was the first time the Bruins had trailed by two goals in a game since Toronto’s 4-1 third period lead in game seven of the first round...Game Four featured the most goals both teams allowed in a game during this postseason. The Bruins had not allowed five goals against in a playoff game since a 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay on May 25, 2011, a span of 34 games. The Blackhawks had not allowed five goals against in a playoff game since a 5-3 loss to Philadelphia on June 4, 2010, a span of 35 games...The Game Four loss for the Bruins was their first Stanley Cup Final defeat at TD Garden, which opened in 1995. The Bruins first Cup Final at the new building was in 2011; the B’s won all three homes games in that series and the first home game of this year’s Final...The 11 combined goals in the game were the most in a Cup Final since 2010 (Chicago 7, Philadelphia 4).

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