Game 3: Blackhawks vs. Bruins Preview

2013-06-16T034425Z_1669580209_TB3E96G0ADW9T_RTRMADP_3_NHL-STANLEY

Stanley Cup Finals

Game 3: Chicago Blackhawks @ Boston Bruins

Series: Tied 1-1

Game Time: 8:00 PM

Location: TD Garden

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

The Black and Gold return to Boston with momentum on their side after stealing home ice advantage from the Blackhawks in game 2. The Bruins were able outlast Chicago in overtime Saturday, tying up this Stanley Cup Finals series at one game apiece.

It looked as if the Bruins would be forced to dig themselves out of hole upon returning home but Tuukka Rask saw things otherwise. Rask held the fort, denying a fierce Chicago attack in the first period of game 2. His heroics inspired the Bruins, as they made a charge, ultimately walking away 2-1 victors.

Though Rask wasn’t the only bright spot in the win. Chris Kelly, Tyler Seguin, and Daniel Paille were united as a line and they accounted for both Boston scores. Claude Julien’s line shuffling paid off and look for the Bruins to utilize the dynamic trio on Monday night.

This series has featured a boatload of physical action and that should continue in game 3. The “hate factor” is on the rise. Boston handed out 50 hits last time out. Milan Lucic led the way with 10 of them. These Original Six clubs clearly intend on playing different styles. If the Bruins continue on in roughing up the play, it could prove beneficial once again and give way to increased offensive chances.

Thus far four overtime periods have been played in this series and the competition could not be any more even. In all actuality, Boston should have won game 1 and Chicago should have won game 2. But one thing is for certain and it’s the fact that goaltending will be the determining factor moving forward.

Both Corey Crawford and Tuukka Rask have been outstanding. With that being said, special teams could play a huge role. The Blackhawks power play has been dreadful, being stifled try after try by the mighty Bruins penalty kill. Boston’s power play has been close on numerous occasions. Jaromir Jagr seems to be creating chances at will. If they can somehow pot a few with the man advantage, Chicago could be in series trouble.

For the most part Claude Julien has out done Joel Quenneville with the on ice match-ups. Boston has last change at home and they could very well dictate play by simply exploiting mismatches in game 3.

Julien is 12-1 in game 3’s in his career. Boston was undefeated at the Garden during the 2011 Stanley Cup. Lucky number 13 could be on the way for Julien and the Bruins, as they are group who feed off the raucous Boston crowd. Paille looked back on 2011 saying, “I remember two years ago how loud it was. I can’t wait to hear it again.”

It’s safe to assume the Bruins lineup is going to remain status quo with the third line being Paille, Kelly, and Seguin.

*As an aside, Jaromir Jagr has been doubted and criticized by many, especially Mike Millbury. Millbury spoke about Jagr saying, “He can’t skate in this series. He doesn’t hustle to get to the right place.” That just might push the decorated veteran over the edge. Jagr had a team high 5 shots and hit a post in the overtime of game 2. He’s also been a one-man cycle in the offensive end. Jagr is the guy to watch Monday night.

 The Bruins projected lineup is as follows:

Lucic-Krejci-Horton

Marchand-Bergeron-Jagr

Paille-Kelly-Seguin

Peverley-Daugavins-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk

Ference-Seidenberg

Krug-McQuaid

Rask/Khudobin

Frank O’Laughlin – Senior NHL Contributor – TitleTown Sports Network

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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