Game 4: Blackhawks vs. Bruins Preview

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Stanley Cup Finals

Game 4: Chicago Blackhawks @ Boston Bruins

Series: Bruins lead series 2-1

Game Time: 8:00 PM

Location: TD Garden

TV/Radio: NBC/98.5 The Sports Hub

The Black and Gold will be looking to take a commanding 3-1 series lead when they take to the Garden ice Wednesday night. Boston straight up suffocated the Blackhawks in game 3. Without question the Bruins are locked in right now. History is also on their side. Since the Stanley Cup moved to a seven game format in 1939, the team winning game 3 after splitting the opening two contests has went on to win it all 21 of 25 times.

Boston’s defense canceled out Chicago’s stars in game 3. Dennis Seidenbeg, Zdeno Chara, and company, closed off the center of the ice. The Hawks were forced to the outside and couldn’t generate a thing. The Bruins toughness and grit was not matched. Tuukka Rask was lights out, as he posted another key shutout.

Chris Kelly, Tyler Seguin, and Daniel Paille continued their dominance since being patched together in game 2. What Claude Julien referred to, as “hunch,” is looking more like a genius move. The Bruins makeshift third line has provided some much needed secondary scoring. Their power play is showing signs of life as well. Jaromir Jagr has been dominating the puck and he nicely set up Patrice Bergeron for a pivotal score in game 3.

Paille has now notched a game-winning goal in two straight games. Kelly has looked rejuvenated and Tyler Seguin is playing with determination and passion.

The Bruins won 40 of 56 draws in game 3. Bergeron won a game high 24 face-offs, while Michael Handzus of the Hawks was 0-for-10. They controlled the possession time and played their game for the majority of the tilt.

Boston successfully carried out the game plan they had utilized in beating Pittsburgh, New York, and Toronto. If the Blackhawks don’t come to their senses, they too could fall victim to a Bruins team that has begun to frustrate them.

Chicago’s power play was again brutally ineffective, all thanks to a stingy Bruins penalty kill. The Blackhawks have had their fair share of power plays. Boston just continues to come up with clutch plays and has now killed off 25 straight penalties.

Brad Marchand and the Bruins are not satisfied. They like where they’re at, but understand there’s always room for improvement.

“I think there’s still areas where we can improve, but for the most part we played a pretty good game,” Marchand said. “We’re doing some things right, there’s still that up going down the stretch.”

Tempers are flaring, the intensity is on the rise, and game 4 figures to be another heated battle in a series that has not disappointed. The Bruins will look to replicate Monday’s effort and ride the energy of a raucous Garden crowd to victory.

Expect the Bruins lineup to remain status quo. Marian Hossa is “likely” to dress for Joel Quenneville’s club.

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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