Skip to content

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

Jun 18, 2013, 12:00 AM EST

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. Horton shows some improvement, future remains cloudy

    Jan 31, 2015, 2:48 PM EST

    Columbus Blue Jackets v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    He has a degenerative back injury that might lead to career-ending surgery.

  2. Goalie nods: Smith gets shot at revenge vs. Senators

    Jan 31, 2015, 1:56 PM EST

    Ottawa Senators v Arizona Coyotes Getty Images

    He gave up five goals against them on Jan. 10.

  3. This will be a milestone night for several Flyers

    Jan 31, 2015, 12:57 PM EST

    Jakub Voracek Getty Images

    Meanwhile Philadelphia will try to win its fourth straight game.

  4. Red Wings, Islanders face off in unlikely battle for the East

    Jan 31, 2015, 11:57 AM EST

    Jaroslav Halak, Pavel Datsyuk AP

    They’ve surpassed the early season expectations.

  5. Bettman willing to consider making cap data public

    Jan 31, 2015, 10:11 AM EST

    Gary Bettman AP

    But he seems very reluctant on the matter.

  6. Kane, Sharp lead Blackhawks over Ducks

    Jan 31, 2015, 2:00 AM EST

    Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane

    Anaheim has now lost two straight in regulation for the first time since November.

  7. Miller sends ex-Buffalo mates to 14th straight loss

    Jan 31, 2015, 1:15 AM EST

    Carolina Hurricanes v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Sabres conclude January with an 0-12-0 record.

  8. Video: Jarome Iginla records his 1,200th NHL point

    Jan 30, 2015, 11:35 PM EST

    Ottawa Senators v Colorado Avalanche Ottawa Senators v Colorado Avalanche

    He’s now tied with Dino Ciccarelli on the all-time points list.

  9. Video: Despres’ OT winner lifts the Pens over the Devils

    Jan 30, 2015, 11:00 PM EST

    Simon Despres Getty Images

    Kris Letang has assisted on Pittsburgh’s last seven goals.

  10. Blackhawks plan on keeping Darling in the mix

    Jan 30, 2015, 9:30 PM EST

    Chicago Blackhawks v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    He’s a restricted free agent after this season.

  11. Leafs won’t turn to prospect William Nylander for help

    Jan 30, 2015, 8:45 PM EST

    William Nylander William Nylander

    The 18-year-old is playing in his 3rd career AHL game tonight.

  12. Canes’ Khudobin yanked after allowing 2 goals on 3 shots

    Jan 30, 2015, 8:00 PM EST

    Carolina Hurricanes goalie Anton Khudobin (31) takes a break during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Phoenix Coyotes, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker) AP

    Was 6-0-0 in his previous seven appearances entering tonight.

  13. New state of hockey? Talks underway for ASU games at Coyotes’ arena

    Jan 30, 2015, 5:16 PM EST

    PNI coyotes main 0102 Getty Images

    “We would be thrilled to have them play at our venue.”

Featured video

Kings come back in third to top Blackhawks
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (3573)
  2. S. Crosby (3010)
  3. T. Hall (2817)
  4. P. Rinne (2566)
  5. M. Brodeur (2527)
  1. K. Letang (2462)
  2. T. Johnson (2443)
  3. C. Price (2422)
  4. M. Richards (2252)
  5. P. Hornqvist (2250)