Game 2: Bruins vs. Blackhawks Preview

Marcus Kruger, Milan Lucic

Stanley Cup Finals

Game 2 Preview: Boston Bruins @ Chicago Blackhawks (CHI leads series 1-0)

Game Time: 8:00 PM

Location: United Center

TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network/98.5 The Sports Hub

The Boston Bruins will be looking to avenge their disheartening game 1 loss when they take to the ice Saturday evening. Boston is well rested and focused, now two days removed from that triple overtime, pulse-pounding affair. Evening this Stanley Cup series would do wonders for the Black and Gold, as the series will be shifting back to Beantown following the game.

Boston’s biggest question mark is whether or not Nathan Horton will be in the lineup. Horton seemed to have re-aggravated an existing injury Wednesday and was forced to leave the game. He did skate with the Bruins in practice on Friday, though Claude Julien did not indicate anything further more than saying, “If he feels good, he’s in.”

Milan Lucic spoke about Horton skating just one day removed from the incident, saying, “Obviously it’s a positive thing he was able to skate. He’s going to do everything in his power to play.”

Carl Soderberg will likely crack the lineup if Horton is a no go. Soderbereg skated on Boston’s third line in Friday’s practice. Expect Tyler Seguin to get bumped up to the top line in that event. Seguin got several reps in at right wing on the Bruins top line.

Julien’s club uncharacteristically blew a late two-goal lead and failed to close out the opening contest. They may be disappointed but certainly not discouraged. “Last game is last game, we’ve turned the page on that” said Claude Julien.

If the Bruins have hopes of evening this best-of-seven matchup there’s a few things they must address. Most importantly they need to watch the turnovers. Controlling the puck will be key, considering how quickly the Hawks can jump out into transition.

Boston needs to find away to get some secondary scoring. Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin, and Jaromir Jagr have all had their chances. Now they must finish. Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley have been invisible on the offensive end. A little here and there from them could go a long way.

If the Bruins can once again get off to a strong start, then their chances of emerging victorious are seemingly high. The leadership and accountability throughout the lineup will have everyone aware no lead is safe. Tuukka Rask is pretty much a steady guarantee that the Bruins can count on for a solid outing.

By no means will it be a walk in the park, but Boston is more than equipped to knot things up at one apiece. They’ve been remarkably consistent throughout the playoffs and it should be no different in this case. Look for the Bruins to bring it right from the opening draw.

“We believe in ourselves,” said Torey Krug. “They make it a seven game series for a reason.” Krug’s undoubtedly correct, while him and his teammates know that one game means nothing. Boston is not to be counted out.

Assuming Nathan Horton dresses, here is the expected Bruins lineup:

Lucic-Krejci-Horton

Marchand-Bergeron-Jagr

Paille-Daugavins/Soderberg-Seguin

Peverley-Kelly-Thornton

Chara-Seidenberg

Ference-Boychuk

Krug-McQuaid

Rask/Khudobin

Frank O’Laughlin – Lead NHL Contributor – Titletown Sports Network

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