BLACKHAWKS TAKE 3-2 SERIES LEAD: The Chicago Blackhawks have secured a Game 5 victory thanks to an empty-net goal from centerman Dave Bolland. Boston made a strong push late, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an early 2-0 deficit. Losing Game 5 puts the Bruins’ backs against the wall—teams winning Game 5 when tied at 2-2 have a 68.2 winning percentage—but teams losing Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final have rebounded to win on four of the past six occasions. The last team to do so? The 2011 Boston Bruins.
BRUINS OUTHITTING BLACKHAWKS: The Bruins always seek to set a physical tone and they’ve most definitely done that tonight. Late in the third period, Boston is outhitting Chicago 48-22. Milan Lucic leads the charge for the B’s, amassing seven hits. Meanwhile, Andrew Ference, David Krejci, Adam McQuaid, and Johnny Boychuk all have five.
CLAUDE JULIEN SHUFFLES D-PAIRINGS: Bruins head coach Claude Julien made some adjustments before his team hit the ice for the third period. Julien split up Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg—who traditionally skate together—after the duo was on the ice for both of Chicago’s goals. Chara is now skating alongside Johnny Boychuk, while Seidenberg is skating with Andrew Ference.
CHARA SCORES; BRUINS TRAIL 2-1: The Bruins are finally on the board. Zdeno Chara finally solved Corey Crawford blasting a slapshot high on the goaltender’s glove-side. The play began thanks to a great shift from the Lucic-Krejci-Horton line, which sustained pressure in Chicago’s end and created the scoring chance. David Krejci held the puck behind the Blackhawks’ net, surveyed the scene, and dished a beautiful pass to Chara, who drove it into the back of the net from 36 feet away.
RASK ROBS BRANDON SAAD: Brandon Saad had a golden opportunity to put the Blackhawks up 3-0 at 2:11, but Tuukka Rask came through with a tremendous save to keep the deficit at two. Saad drove in on Boston’s net fending off Torey Krug. The lefty tried to go forehand to backhand and spotted room in Rask’s five-hole in the process. Saad tried to sneak it in, but Rask turned it aside with a clutch stick save.
8:57 p.m. (CT) - Second Period Snapshots : BOS 0 VS CHI 2
BRUINS TRAIL 2-0 AFTER TWO: The second period has drawn to a close, leaving the Bruins trailing 2-0 entering the third period. Patrick Kane potted his second goal of the night at 5:13 and the Blackhawks outshot the B’s 10-4. Chicago is a perfect 9-0 when leading after two periods this postseason, while Boston is 2-3 when trailing entering the third period.
MCQUAID SENT FOR ROUGHING: The Bruins picked up their second penalty of the night at 15:20. Adam McQuaid was sent to the penalty box for roughing after hitting Andrew Shaw up high. Chicago’s power play was much smoother the second time around, setting up a nice cycle and maintaining pressure in Boston’s end. However, the Bruins PK picked up where it left off and denied the Blackhawks any quality scoring chances, save a Patrick Sharp wrist shot at 16:01. The B’s have now killed off 32 of its last 33 penalties.
CHARA GETS A GOOD LOOK: Since surrendering Patrick Kane’s second goal, the Bruins have intensified their attack and it nearly paid dividends. After Johnny Boychuk leveled Jonathan Toews in front of Boston’s net, the Bruins generated pressure in transition. After Milan Lucic put a wrist-shot on net, a sea of bodies converged on the Blackhawks net. The puck glided out to the slot, where Zdeno Chara scooped it up and had a great look on net but couldn’t sneak it through the traffic.
SEIDENBERG CALLED FOR BOARDING: Dennis Seidenberg was sent to the penalty box at 5:59 of the second period for boarding, giving the Blackhawks the game’s first power play. The Bruins’ penalty kill unit, which killed 30 consecutive penalties before yielding a power play goal in Game 4, didn’t allow the ‘Hawks any comfort in the offensive zone. Chicago struggled to sustain pressure and failed to register a shot on net. Boston is now 60-for-68 on the PK this postseason.
KANE SCORES AGAIN, HAWKS LEAD 2-0: Patrick Kane has given the Blackhawks an insurance goal at 5:13 of the second period. Once again, Kane punched in a second-chance rebound, this time from a Bryan Bickell wrist-shot. Kane chipped the puck in from just 10 feet away, caught Tuukka Rask going low, and roofed it into the back of the net.
HORTON, HANDZUS SENT TO THE BOX: For the second time tonight, a Bruin and a Blackhawk have received matching penalties. Johnny Boychuk and Jonathan Toews received matching roughing minors at 17:56 in the first period for tussling after the whistle. Now, Nathan Horton and Michal Handzus went at 0:49 for tripping and diving respectively. The Bruins maintained pressure in Chicago’s end for much of the four-on-four period, but couldn’t generate any great scoring chances.
8:06 p.m. (CT) - First Period Snapshots : BOS 0 VS CHI 1
‘HAWKS LEAD 1-0 AFTER 1ST PERIOD: The first period is in the books, and the Chicago Blackhawks are taking a 1-0 lead into the dressing room. Patrick Kane scored the game’s lone goal at 17:27 when he punched in a rebound from a Johnny Oduya slapshot. The Blackhawks are 10-3 when scoring first this postseason, but the Bruins have a league-high five wins when allowing the first goal. Boston is 3-0 when trailing after the first period, while Chicago is 6-2 when leading after the first frame. The Bruins are outshooting the Blackhawks 11-8 and outhitting them 23-9.
KANE SCORES; BLACKHAWKS TAKE 1-0 LEAD: The Blackhawks have made it a 1-0 game thanks to a gritty goal from Patrick Kane. Jonathan Toews showed some impressive board work, fending off Zdeno Chara and getting it in deep. Toews dished the puck to Kane, who swung around the back of the net and punched a rebound in at 17:27. Kane now has 18 points this postseason, which leads the Blackhawks.
TUUKKA DENIES PATRICK SHARP: Patrick Sharp leads the NHL in postseason goals and he has brought his scoring touch onto the ice for Game 5. Sharp already has two shots on net—accounting for 50% of Chicago’s shots—and had a beautiful look in the slot. He went down on his right knee and tried to power it past Tuukka Rask, but the Bruins’ goaltender made an explosive cross-crease move to deny Sharp’s chance.
B’S OUTSHOOTING HAWKS EARLY: The Blackhawks have outshot the Bruins in three of four games this series, but Boston has jumped out to a lead in the shots department. With five minutes remaining in the first period, the B’s are outshooting the ‘Hawks by a 7-4 count. Carl Soderberg is the only Bruin with two shots thus far.
SODERBERG MAKES EARLY IMPACT: Taking his first shift since April 28th, Carl Soderberg made his presence felt on the ice. At 5:41, Soderberg intercepted a pass from Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy and put a nice wrist shot on net from 36 feet away. Corey Crawford couldn’t contain the rebound, allowing Soderberg to fire another shot—a slapshot from 34 feet away. Shawn Thornton had a chance to jam it in but Crawford managed to scoop the puck up.
BRUINS, HAWKS EXCHANGE CHANCES: The Bruins and Blackhawks both had their best scoring chances of the first period on back-to-back possessions. Jonathan Toews received a pass from behind the net and had a chance to jam one in, but Tuukka Rask made a clutch kick-save just in time. The Lucic-Krejci-Horton line then generated a chance of its own. Nathan Horton took a feed in the slot and whipped a wrist shot on net that sailed high. Both teams have recorded two shots thus far.
SODERBERG IN; DAUGAVINS OUT: Bruins forward Carl Soderberg—who debuted with the B’s in April after spending several years playing professionally in Sweden— replaced Kaspars Daugavins and skate alongside Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton tonight. Soderberg appeared in six regular season games with Boston and recorded two assists. This would mark his first career NHL playoff appearance. Chicago, meanwhile, is expected to retain the status quo from Game 4. Although winger Marian Hossa did not participate in morning skate this morning, he will skate alongside Michal Handzus and Patrick Sharp as per usual.
6:55 p.m. (CT) - Pregame Snapshots : BOS VS CHI
STARTING GOALTENDERS: Rask (14-6, 1.83 GAA, .941 Save %) vs. Crawford (14-7, 1.86 GAA, .931 Save %). Rask is 21-12 with a 2.12 GAA and .931 Save % with three shutouts in 33 career postseason games. Crawford is 19-15 with a 2.07 GAA and .924 Save % with two shutouts in 35 career postseason games.
BRUINS VS BLACKHAWKS LIFETIME: The Bruins and Blackhawks are squaring off in the postseason for the seventh time—first in the Stanley Cup Finals—with Boston holding a 5-1 lifetime series record. These teams have played 26 postseason games with Boston holding an 18-7-1 advantage and a 109-74 scoring edge. The Bruins are 10-4-1 lifetime vs. the Blackhawks in Boston and 8-3 lifetime in Chicago in the playoffs. The Bruins enters tonight’s game with a 16-14 lifetime record when tied at 2-2 in a best-of-seven series. They are also 15-15 in game 5s of best-of-seven series when tied at 2.
MILESTONES APPROACHING: Bruins forward Jaromir Jagr is one point shy of his 200th playoff point.
2013 SCF IS MAKING HISTORY: This is the first time since 1983 that three games of a Stanley Cup Final series have gone into overtime. The Los Angeles Kings and Montreal Canadiens went into OT three times in ’93 with the Habs emerging with victories on each occasion. The 2013 Bruins are making some history of their own as well. They have joined the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues and the 1998-99 Dallas Stars as the only teams to play eight overtime games in a single postseason. Only the 2001-02 Carolina Hurricanes (9 OT games) and the 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens (11 OT games) played in more overtime games.
GAME 5 BREAKDOWN: Tonight’s game features this postseason’s best home team (10-2) hosing its best road squad (6-3). The Bruins are the only team to accrue a winning mark on the road this postseason…The SCF is tied at 2-2 for the fourth time in the last five years. Teams winning Game 5 of the SCF when tied at 2-2 have gone on to win the Cup 15 times (68.2%). However, teams losing Game 5 have rebounded to win the Cup on four of the past six occasions—including the 2011 Boston Bruins.
JAGR MOVING UP THE PLAYOFF RANKS: Jaromir Jagr skated in his 200th career playoff game in Game 4, becoming the 21st player in NHL history to reach that milestone. He also tallied a pair of assists, vaulting him past Paul Coffey (59-137=196) for 5th place on the all-time playoff points list. Jagr also moved into 9th place on the all-time playoff assists list, tying him with Al MacInnis and Glenn Anderson.
BERGERON HOT ON THE DOT: 2013 Selke Trophy finalist Patrice Bergeron—who led the NHL in the regular season in faceoff percentage (62.1%)—is also leading the league in postseason faceoff percentage. Bergeron’s 62.2% (295/474) success rate is a whole 10 percent higher than the next most proficient player, Chicago’s Jonathan Toews. Only once has Bergeron registered a faceoff percentage below 50% this postseason, coming against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 (13/45, 37.1%). The Bruins’ assistant captain is also tied with David Krejci for the team-lead in goals with nine after potting a pair in Game 4.
BLACKHAWKS NOTEBOOK: Patrick Sharp became the NHL’s leading postseason goal scorer when he netted his 10th in Game 4…Sharp’s goal came on a power play, snapping Chicago’s 0-for-23 slump…The Blackhawks have a league-high 10 home wins this postseason. Chicago has outscored opponents 38-22 at the United Center and has won six of its last seven home games…Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook became the fifth defenseman in NHL history to record two overtime goals in this same postseason, joining Scott Niedermayer, Niclas Wallin, Chris Chelios, and Leo Reise Jr…On June 14, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was named the 2013 Selke Trophy winner… The Blackhawks captured the Presidents’ Trophy after posting a 36-7-5 regular season record, which set an NHL record for most points in a 48-game season.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins power play: 11-for-59 (18.6%, 7th NHL), Bruins penalty kill: 59-for-67 (88.1%, 4th NHL)… Blackhawks power play: 8-for-66 (12.1%, 12th NHL), Blackhawks penalty kill: 67-for-72 (90.3%, 3rd NHL).