Skip to content

Playoffs Tonight: We’re tied going into Boston

Jun 17, 2013, 8:05 AM EDT

toewscharagetty Getty Images

Game 3: Boston Bruins host Chicago Blackhawks (8:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN/Live Extra)
Series is tied at 1-1

You know two teams are evenly match when they play 185:53 minutes in just two games. However, the fact is that the Boston Bruins now have a slight edge by virtue of having more home games left. The Bruins haven’t lost a game at TD Garden since the first round, but that streak will have to end in order for Chicago to win the Cup.

“We’re extremely excited about the challenge,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We went into Detroit, knew we had to win a game. We put ourselves in a tough spot there. We’re excited about being on the road.”

They’re in this spot because the Blackhawks weren’t able to maintain the same level of pressure throughout Game 2. Chicago came out firing on all cylinders in the first period, but Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask stood tall and held Chicago to just one goal on 19 shots through 20 minutes.

If not for Rask’s contributions, the Bruins might have been out of the game early. Performances like that have become the norm for him in the postseason though. With a 1.73 GAA and .944 save percentage in 18 starts, he’s drawing comparisons to what Tim Thomas did for the Bruins during their 2011 Stanley Cup-winning run.

“I think it’s just as good. No doubt,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “Tim has been a great goaltender for us. When you lose a guy like that, there’s always that fear that you’re not going to be able to replace him.

“Tuukka’s done an outstanding job. To me, he’s been as much of a contributor to our team as Tim was two years ago.”

Rask kept the potential for a comeback alive, but you also have to credit the rest of the team for evening the series. Chris Kelly scored his first goal of the playoffs and Daniel Paille netted the overtime winner, once again highlighting the scoring depth of this team.

Secondary scoring is one area the Blackhawks need to match Boston in, especially seeing as Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Marian Hossa have combined for no goals and two assists in the Stanley Cup Final. That might motivate them to insert in Viktor Stalberg for Brandon Bollig after the latter logged a team-low 8:42 minutes and had a minus-one rating in Game 2.

“(Stalberg) could play,” Quenneville said when asked about the possible switch yesterday.

A move like that might be seen as a minor change, but in a battle of inches, everything matters.

Latest Posts
  1. NHL-to-Vegas talks gaining steam

    Aug 26, 2014, 9:57 PM EDT

    NHL Awards - Show Getty Images

    A recent report has added new fuel to the speculation on that subject.

  2. Johnston will enter camp looking for wingers for Malkin

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

    Dupuis and Hornqvist are two of the main options.

  3. Poll: Who should be Columbus’ next captain?

    Aug 26, 2014, 7:23 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One Getty Images

    Will they go another season without one?

  4. No Vezina repeat, but Bobrovsky remains Jackets’ MVP

    Aug 26, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets' goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, of Russia, is silhouetted as he stands in front of his net before an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) AP

    He’s going into the final season of his bridge contract.

  5. Bishop not 100 percent, aims to be ‘close’ before opener

    Aug 26, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

    Ben Bishop AP

    He’s looking to build off of his breakout campaign.

  6. Oilers remain hopeful Schultz will sign before camp

    Aug 26, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT

    Justin Schultz Getty Images

    The restricted free agent is likely to get a one or two-year deal.

  7. Under Pressure: Nathan Horton

    Aug 26, 2014, 2:49 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    Injuries prevented him from doing much in the first season of his seven-year, $37.1 million deal.

  8. Looking to make the leap: Alexander Wennberg

    Aug 26, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT

    Sweden v United States - 2013 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp Getty Images

    He could follow in Boone Jenner’s footsteps.

  9. Berube: Lecavalier needs to ‘get over’ trade rumors

    Aug 26, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

    LecavalierPhilly Getty Images

    “I have to do a little bit better job managing him and he’s got to buy into the team.”

  10. Report: Moore, Bertuzzi still negotiating confidentiality pact

    Aug 26, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT

    Bertuzzi Moore

    But per Bertuzzi’s lawyer, the settlement has been agreed upon.

  11. Will Johansen be the latest Overhardt holdout?

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:54 AM EDT

    Ryan Johansen Getty Images

    Player agent has a bit of history with his clients missing camp.

  12. After first playoff win, the bar’s been raised in Columbus

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

    Ryan Johansen, James Wisniewski AP

    Can they live up to the heightened expectations?

  13. Penguins aren’t in rush to re-sign Fleury

    Aug 26, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Marc-Andre Fleury AP

    Rutherford thinks highly of the goaltender though.

  14. It’s Columbus Blue Jackets day on PHT

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Brandon Dubinsky Getty Images

    They earned their first playoff win in 2014.

  15. Lidstrom passes on Wings’ coaching gig for now

    Aug 25, 2014, 10:57 PM EDT

    Nicklas Lidstrom Getty Images

    He doesn’t want to move his family at this time.

  16. Leafs going all-in on advanced stats

    Aug 25, 2014, 9:46 PM EDT

    Dubas

    But will there be resistance within the organization?

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Price (1795)
  2. J. Harding (1742)
  3. J. Thornton (1714)
  4. J. Giguere (1510)
  5. J. Spezza (1505)
  1. A. Semin (1496)
  2. C. MacArthur (1490)
  3. M. Staal (1373)
  4. R. Johansen (1107)
  5. S. Crosby (1093)