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. Blues ink Brodziak, Harrold to one-year contracts

    Jul 2, 2015, 9:45 PM EDT

    Kyle Brodziak Kyle Brodziak

    Doug Armstrong dipped into the free agency pool Thursday evening for some depth signings.

  2. Oshie on trade from St. Louis: ‘Changes had to be made’

    Jul 2, 2015, 7:50 PM EDT

    T.J. Oshie T.J. Oshie

    He’s looking forward to playing with Ovechkin and Backstrom in Washington.

  3. Report: Voynov remains suspended by the NHL after taking plea

    Jul 2, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    Slava Voynov Slava Voynov

    There’s no “timetables for next steps,” according to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

  4. Kessel on moving on from Toronto: ‘It’s a different world there’

    Jul 2, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT

    Phil Kessel Phil Kessel

    The 27-year-old is looking forward to a fresh start in Pittsburgh.

  5. Ducks bring back d-man Holzer with one-year, $750K deal

    Jul 2, 2015, 3:34 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks Headshots Getty Images

    Acquired from Toronto at last year’s trade deadline.

  6. NHL-KHL fail to reach player-transfer deal

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:57 PM EDT

    khl_logo

    Leagues will continue to respect each other’s contracts. But that’s it.

  7. Voynov takes plea, gets 90 days in jail plus probation

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:52 PM EDT

    Pleads no contest to misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse.

  8. Sharks hire Boughner, Hedberg as DeBoer’s assistants

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

    Windsor Spitfires v Niagara Ice Dogs Getty Images

    Boughner coached against DeBoer in the OHL, Hedberg played for him in New Jersey.

  9. Curtains on Broadway: Martin St. Louis calls it a career

    Jul 2, 2015, 1:46 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four Getty Images

    Former Hart Trophy winner announced his retirement on Thursday.

  10. Caps landing ‘affordable’ Williams a sign of the new free agency

    Jul 2, 2015, 1:29 PM EDT

    150702_JustinWilliams Getty Images

    “At some point Justin became more affordable to us, and we started to lean his way.”

  11. Kassian vows to give it all for Habs: ‘As you grow older, you mature’

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT

    Zack Kassian Getty Images

    “At the end of the day, nobody wants to get traded two times. But it’s a learning curve.”

  12. Shattenkirk’s agent downplays trade rumors

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT

    Kevin Shattenkirk AP

    But reports suggest Edmonton, Columbus and Philly are interested.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Richards (2525)
  2. D. Hamilton (2057)
  3. S. Gagner (1895)
  4. C. Talbot (1868)
  5. E. Etem (1787)
  1. P. Kessel (1762)
  2. Z. Kassian (1760)
  3. A. Niemi (1729)
  4. A. Sekera (1689)
  5. C. Pronger (1611)