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News and notes: How are the Bruins stopping Chicago’s power play?

Jun 19, 2013, 12:20 PM EDT

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News and notes entering Wednesday’s Stanley Cup Final showdown — will Boston continue to stymie the power play?

Game 4: Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins, 8 p.m. ET (watch on NBC and live online) – Bruins lead series, 2-1

In Game 3, Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron scored second-period goals and Tuukka Rask stopped all 28 Blackhawks shots he faced in a 2-0 Bruins win. Tonight, the Bruins will look to win their eighth straight game at TD Garden – tying a franchise record for consecutive home wins in a single postseason (1990) – and take a three-games-to-one series lead to Chicago with the chance to clinch the Cup.

The Bruins, who lead a Stanley Cup Final series for the first time since 1974, when they won Game 1 vs. the Philadelphia Flyers (note: their only series “lead” in 2011 came after clinching the Cup in Game 7), look like the better side heading into Game 4. Since the first intermission of Game 2, Rask (49 straight saves) and company have shut out the Blackhawks, and the new third line of Daniel Paille (two game-winning goals) – Chris Kelly (one goal, one assist) – Tyler Seguin (two assists) has found a scoring touch that had been lacking for the most part this postseason. Patrice Bergeron scored his second goal of the series (both of which have been power-play goals) in Game 3 and raised his faceoff percentage to 69.7% (69-of-99) this series.

Boston’s penalty kill, which has not skipped a beat since PK standout Gregory Campbell was lost for the season with a broken fibula in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, has stopped all 11 Chicago power plays, extending its kill streak to 27 and raising its postseason success rate to 88.9%. While playing with the man disadvantage for almost a full period (18:54) this series, the B’s have as many blocked shots (eight, led by Dennis Seidenberg, with four) during that time as shots on goal allowed.

The Blackhawks did not lose three straight games during their Presidents’ Trophy-winning campaign. Now, they hope to avoid losing three straight for the second time in their last three playoff series. Marian Hossa, tied for the team lead with 15 points, is expected to play after leaving pre-game warmups and being scratched prior to Game 3. Head coach Joel Quenneville refused to specify the nature or cause of Hossa’s injury, other than affirming that it was an upper-body injury. (TSN later reported that his ailment is neck-related.)

With Hossa out, Quenneville tried several different power-play combinations – only Michal Handzus and Hossa’s replacement, Ben Smith, did not see any power-play time – but none were able to break through. Six Blackhawks were on the ice for four or more minutes of 5-on-4 hockey, but only three had a shot on goal.

Player

Power-play time on ice

Shots on goal

Goals

Michal Rozsival

4:52

0

0

Duncan Keith

4:29

0

0

Patrick Kane

4:28

0

0

Andrew Shaw

4:26

1

0

Patrick Sharp

4:23

2

0

Jonathan Toews

4:19

1

0

DID YOU KNOW?

Two nights after becoming the fifth-highest scorer in NHL postseason history (197 points), Bruins forward Jaromir Jagr will become the 21st player (19 skaters, 2 goaltenders) to appear in 200 playoff games. It will be only his 14th Cup Final game, fewest among the group.

GARDEN GREATNESS

Since Patrice Bergeron scored the game-tying goal (4-4) at 19:09 of the third period in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. Toronto, the Bruins have been dominant at home. Here are some numbers which illustrate their dominance at TD Garden:

  • Outscored opponents (TOR, NYR, PIT, CHI) by a 17-6 margin
    • 4 goals for, 0 goals against since 8:51 of second period in Game 3 of Eastern Conference Final
  • Trailed for 15:50 of 427:55 (3.7%)
    • Trend: have not trailed since 3:48 of second period in Game 5 of Eastern Conference Semifinals
  • Tuukka Rask: 0.84 GAA (6 goals allowed), saved 205-of-211 (.972) shots, 2 shutouts
    • Rask trend: 87 straight saves since 8:51 of second period in Game 3 of Eastern Conference Final
  • Patrice Bergeron: 3 goals (2 OT-GWG), 4 assists, 97-of-158 (61.4%) on faceoffs
    • Bergeron trend: 41-of-54 (75.9%) on faceoffs since Game 4 of Eastern Conference Final
  • Penalty kill: 23-for-24 (95.8%)
    • PK trend: 15 consecutive kills since Game 5 of Eastern Conference Semifinals

DID YOU KNOW?

Since the Stanley Cup Final went to a best-of-seven format in 1939, teams that won Game 3 after splitting the first two contests won the Cup 21 of 25 times. Of those 25 teams, 12 had the chance to extend their series lead to three-games-to-one at home, and six – including the last three since 1989 – lost. The last team to win Game 4 at home while up two-games-to-one was the 1986 Montreal Canadiens.

Year Team Opponent Game 4 result Series result
2004 Calgary Flames Tampa Bay Lightning L, 1-0 Lost in 7
1991 Minnesota North Stars Pittsburgh Penguins L, 5-3 Lost in 6
1989 Montreal Canadiens Calgary Flames L, 4-2 Lost in 6
1986 Montreal Canadiens Calgary Flames W, 1-0 Won in 5

LINKS

  1. bakedbees - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    The hard work of a unselffish multi-layered system where the team is more important then the individual perhaps..

  2. stoopidfool - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Meow says shaw

  3. stratomaticfan - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    How are the Bruins stopping Chicago’s power play?

    They’re just that damn Good!

  4. nostredummass - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    It’s amazing how few people credit the Bruins, their system, their balance etc etc. They mouth the words, then express their disbelief that “better” teams aren’t doing…well…better. It’s a common theme in hockey. A game where the best “defenseman” wins the Norris because of how many goals he scores, and not how well they play defense. You might blame Bobby Orr for that, I guess. Still…Orr was an amazing 2-way player….an incredible defensive force…and mentioning the likes of Erik Karlsson and (ugh) PK Subban in the same breath is Blasphemous. I digress.

    Maybe folks are finally waking up to what the Bruins are all about: a complete hockey game. It’s like a road accident between a Volvo and some shiny new sports car…only one guy is walking away with all his parts.
    2 Years ago the Bruins took on the Canucks and won. The Sedins were absorbed and neutralized by a system that basically sets 6 players against whatever number of stars other teams can get on the ice. And this system has had another 2 years to gel. The only drawback is that EVERY player on the team has to be playing at maximum effort for the system to work. We’ve ALL seen what happens when there’s a spoke or two missing…that “B” can get a mite wobbly. Still…it’s time to face the fact that this Bruins team…despite it’s workman-like not-so-flashy nature…is as good a team as this league has seen in a long time. And for those folks who simply cannot appreciate the karmic beauty of a great defensive performance, it’s time you realised there’s more to hockey than scoring goals.

    • joestemme - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Couple of things:

      1. Yes, team play is often downplayed in the media and online in favor of spectacular individual plays and players. You can call it the ‘Sportscenter-ization’ of sports. It drove me crazy during both Bonds and McGuire’s roid-induced Home Run title chases. The Giants/Cardinals would lose 7-1, but, the only Sportscenter highlight would be a solo homer by the roid boys – NOT, the 7 runs (or the pitching) of the team That Actually Won The Game!

      2. After this playoff run, the ‘hidden’ Bruins stars like Bergeron, Krejci and Rask will be ‘outed’. They should take their rightful places alongside Chiara as true superstars of the sport.

      P.S. I get your point about rewarding Offensive minded guys for the Norris, but Orr isn’t a great example because he was also an insanely talented defensive player who could rush the goalie on one end and still get back and break up the play on the other.

  5. Jackson Scofield - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Stopping our powerplay isn’t much of an accomplishment to be honest

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