Skip to content

Bruins go ‘above and beyond’ to take 2-1 series lead

Jun 18, 2013, 12:00 AM EDT

Patrice Bergeron Getty Images

The Boston Bruins won the battles in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Their reward was a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks and a 2-1 lead in the series.

Faceoffs are a kind of battle, and the Bruins won 40 out of 56 of those tonight. That’s a success rate of 71.4 percent, and it came against players like Jonathan Toews and Michal Handzus, two of the best faceoff men in the game.

Boston’s star two-way center, Patrice Bergeron, went 24-4 in the circle — that’s 85.7 percent — and scored a power-play goal for good measure.

Toews, this year’s Selke Trophy winner and the 2010 playoff MVP, went a mediocre 8-11 and hasn’t scored in his last 10 games.

Handzus went an embarrassing 0-for-10, with eight of those losses to Bergeron.

Of course, the most important battle of the night was won by Game 2 hero Daniel Paille. Early in the second period, he out-worked Chicago center Dave Bolland in front of the Blackhawks’ goal and snapped the puck past Corey Crawford for the opening score of the contest. And that play was preceded by Bruins forward Chris Kelly winning a battle with Nick Leddy.

The NHL doesn’t track battles, other than faceoffs. But it’s those feats of determination that so often decide games.

“We got to make sure that every play is critical,” said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, “every shift is important, value being out there and doing the right thing.”

Meanwhile, Bruins coach Claude Julien thinks his team is “playing the best hockey of the season right now.”

“I think it’s the energy in the game, the effort,” said Julien. “You see our guys, like I said, they’re back-checking, having layers, so when somebody makes a mistake, you have somebody covering up.

“We’re blocking a lot of shots. The commitment is totally there.

“Throughout a whole season, it’s not easy to have that full commitment. But I think when you get to this stage, players start feeling it. They go above and beyond.

“That’s what you’re seeing from our team right now.”

Latest Posts
  1. Ghost Time: Flyers recall Gostisbehere from AHL

    Oct 24, 2014, 5:47 PM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Highly-touted rearguard on his way to the bigs.

  2. With 3-on-3 overtime, only two out of 16 AHL games have gone to shootout

    Oct 24, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    AHLlogo

    Hey, maybe the NHL should try 3-on-3 overtime.

  3. BizNasty signs with the Devils (the ones in Wales)

    Oct 24, 2014, 3:55 PM EDT

    Paul Bissonnette Getty Images

    Returns to the Cardiff team he played for during the lockout.

  4. Goalie nods: Gibson returns for Anaheim

    Oct 24, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT

    John Gibson Getty Images

    All the news and notes from the blue paint…

  5. Trotz calls Healy’s comments on Ovechkin (and Ovechkin’s mom) ‘disrespectful’

    Oct 24, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

    Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

    “Anytime you go personal with family…to me, that’s very disrespectful to the player and our profession.”

  6. Roy ‘not nervous about Xs and Os,’ says slumping Avs need to be better individually

    Oct 24, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT

    Patrick Roy Patrick Roy

    “Everybody understands the system, everybody knows what we expect.”

  7. Hextall: ‘There’s not a lot out there’ to bolster depleted Flyers defense

    Oct 24, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT

    Flyers Draft Hockey AP

    “We’ve got to do our research here and come up with the best solution we can.”

  8. Dallas getting greener on D, but Ruff says issues are on him

    Oct 24, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT

    Lindy Ruff Lindy Ruff

    “I’m going to focus on the good and try to clean up the bad parts. That’s my job.”

  9. Chara has PCL tear, out 4-6 weeks

    Oct 24, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Click to see Boston’s schedule through the end of November.

  10. Video: Hitch hammers the Blues: ‘This is a wake-up call’

    Oct 24, 2014, 10:59 AM EDT

    St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Six Getty Images

    “We’ve given up more odd-man rushes in six hockey games than we did in two months last year.”

  11. Report: Granlund extension in the works

    Oct 24, 2014, 9:06 AM EDT

    Mikael Granlund #64 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on February 1, 2013 in Anaheim, California.
(January 31, 2013 - Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    The Wild center becomes a restricted free agent after this season.

  12. PHT Morning Skate: Ovechkin has a mishap while curling

    Oct 24, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 7.23.57 AM

    With time off in Calgary, players participate in team building event.

Featured video

Caps' 'culture change' proving positive

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Spezza (3394)
  2. E. Kane (2958)
  3. P. Stastny (2884)
  4. P. Datsyuk (2723)
  5. M. Gaborik (2663)
  1. V. Hedman (2640)
  2. E. Staal (2616)
  3. J. Drouin (2582)
  4. S. Varlamov (2419)
  5. J. Franzen (2298)