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News and notes: Do-or-die time for Bruins

Jun 24, 2013, 10:59 AM EST

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four Getty Images

Game 6: Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins, 8 p.m. ET (watch on NBC and live online) – Blackhawks lead series, 3-2

Tonight in Game 6 at TD Garden, the Blackhawks will try to win their fifth Stanley Cup title in their 87th NHL season, while the Bruins will try to avoid elimination and force a Game 7 in Chicago on Wednesday evening.

Patrice Bergeron, who leads the Bruins with four goals this series and is tied for the team lead with David Krejci with nine goals this postseason, will likely be a game-time decision after suffering an undisclosed “body” injury in Game 5. Bergeron left the game after playing only 49 seconds in the second period and was taken to a local hospital for observation. He was released Saturday night and traveled home with the team Sunday morning. If Bergeron is unable to play in Game 6, head coach Claude Julien may have a difficult challenge putting together his forward lines. Carl Soderberg, who made his NHL postseason debut on the fourth line with Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton in Game 5, could be slotted on the second line alongside Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr. Another leading candidate would be Tyler Seguin, who centered the line with Marchand and Jagr when Bergeron missed six games with a concussion in early April.

The Hawks also face a possible injury dilemma. Jonathan Toews, who edged Bergeron for the Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward this season, missed the entire third period after absorbing a hard hit to the shoulder region – one of 53 hits registered by the Bruins in Game 5 – by defenseman Johnny Boychuk in the attacking zone. The team is optimistic that Toews’ “upper-body injury” will not force him out of Game 6, but if he is unable to play, former Junior Bruin and Boston College Eagle Ben Smith may be reinserted into the lineup. Smith replaced the injured Marian Hossa in Game 3, but had zero points in 10:23 of ice time.

The Blackhawks, who are 18-4 overall (8-2 on the road) in Games 5-7 under Joel Quenneville since he took over as the head coach during the 2007-08 season, clinched their two most-recent Stanley Cup titles – 1961 and 2010 – on the road. The Bruins, however, have recently been in this situation before in the Cup Final. The B’s were down three-games-to-two to the Canucks in 2011, won Game 6 at home (5-2), then captured the Cup in Vancouver two nights later.

SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE

  • The Blackhawks have won five straight postseason Game 6s on the road, including a 4-3 defeat of the Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinal series on May 27 (last loss: May 1995 at TOR).
  • The Bruins have won four straight postseason Game 6s at home (last loss: May 1998 vs. WSH).

DID YOU KNOW?

On Jan. 19, the Chicago Blackhawks opened their regular season with a 5-2 defeat of the Los Angeles Kings. With a win tonight or in Game 7, the Hawks could become only the second team since the NHL gained control of the Cup in 1927 to open their season against the reigning Stanley Cup champions, and finish it by raising the Cup themselves. The Detroit Red Wings began their 2007-08 season by defeating the reigning Cup champs, the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2 in a shootout. (It was the Ducks’ third game of the season.)

Note: The 2005-06 Carolina Hurricanes began their winning campaign by knocking off the most recent (2004) Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-2. However, the title was considered vacant due to the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.

LINKS

  1. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    This is a series has a vibe to it that if they played 100 games, we’d have a 50-50 tie.

    Look out for a game 7, after that … I honestly don’t know.

  2. nunan - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I think it’s highly likely the Bs win tonight. They ALWAYS step up when their backs are against the wall..it’s what makes them so exciting/dramatic to watch. It’s kind of the hallmark of this current group. Game 7 is a crap-shoot but I would be surprised if they didn’t win tonight, at home. A game 7 between these two teams may conclude the best stanley cup in recent memory – two original 6 teams with a ton of character, where every game has been tight.

  3. hockeyflow33 - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Even if you’re a Blackhawks fan you must be expecting this to go 7 plus an overtime or two

    • alexbaymac - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      I am a Hawks fan but I don’t like their chances if they allow a Game 7. I may be wrong, but I expect them to close it out tonight. I know they’d love to win the cup on home ice, but just like in ’10 with the Flyers (& I’m NOT comparing the B’s & the Flyers, btw!), why give the Bruin’s a chance to get back in it? CLOSE IT OUT! TONIGHT !!!

  4. rosloe62 - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    The Hawks need to win tonight will the Bruins are in a do or die situation. Anything can happen in a game 7. Especially with Bergeron and Toews one hit away from ending their seasons. If you look at the stats, each team has a good reason to be excited.

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