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Blackhawks visit Bruins for 1st time since Cup victory

by Corey Masisak

BLACKHAWKS (42-16-15) at BRUINS (49-17-6)


Last 10: Chicago 6-3-1; Boston 9-0-1

Season series: The Chicago Blackhawks won the first game of the season between the teams, 3-2 in a shootout on Jan. 19, and have won four straight against the Boston Bruins dating back to Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

Big story: The Blackhawks return to the site where they lifted the Stanley Cup in June with a chance to clinch a spot in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blackhawks can clinch a playoff spot if they get at least one point against the Bruins, or if the Phoenix Coyotes lose to the New Jersey Devils in any way.

The Bruins can win the Atlantic Division and guarantee themselves at least a top-two spot in the Eastern Conference if they beat the Blackhawks in any fashion and have the Tampa Bay Lightning lose to the New York Islanders in any way. Boston also can win the division if they get one point against the Blackhawks and the Lightning lose to the Islanders in regulation.

Team Scope:

Blackhawks: Chicago is 9-6-2 since the start of February, but the Blackhawks have defeated some of the best teams in the League. They've knocked off the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues and Pittsburgh Penguins in that span and lost to San Jose Sharks in a shootout.

One player who did not face the Bruins last season was 19-year-old rookie Teuvo Teravainen, who made his NHL debut in a 4-2 victory Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars. Teravainen skated between Brandon Saad and Ben Smith and saw 11:39 of ice time.

"I liked him," coach Joel Quenneville said. "His awareness at both ends was very good. Good start."

Bruins: Boston is no longer chasing history with a long win streak, but the Bruins will continue to try and secure the top seed in the Eastern Conference and possibly the Presidents' Trophy. They are 19-2-3 since the shootout loss at United Center in a nationally televised game on Jan. 19.

That was billed as a Stanley Cup Final rematch, but this will be the first time the Bruins have faced the Blackhawks at home since coughing up a one-goal lead in 17 seconds near the end of Game 6.

"Nobody in the dressing room is going to forget that we played them in the Finals last year," coach Claude Julien told reporters. "No one is going to forget any of that, but I think tomorrow is not about remembering that, more than knowing it's going to be a good game between two good teams, and we should look forward to it."

Who's hot: Forward Patrick Sharp has six points in the Blackhawks' past five games. … Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask is making a strong push for the Vezina Trophy. He has allowed six goals in his past five starts and nine in his past seven.

Injury report: Chicago will not have forward Patrick Kane (lower body) or defenseman Michal Rozsival (lower body) against the Bruins. Forward Bryan Bickell (undisclosed) is coming on the road trip and could play against Boston, Ottawa or Pittsburgh. Boston is without defensemen Dennis Seidenberg (knee) and Adam McQuaid (leg).

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