|Tuukka Rask: Torey Krug turnover ‘terrible’||06.13.13 at 1:44 am ET|
CHICAGO — Tuukka Rask was the victim of some bad luck Wednesday night, as the Bruins’ two-goal lead in the third period was erased by a Torey Krug turnover and a puck that bounced off Andrew Ference‘s skate. After the Blackhawks won in triple overtime, it was the Krug turnover that left him most frustrated.
With the Bruins holding a two-goal lead with just over 12 minutes left in regulation, Krug sent a long pass from the Bruins zone in the direction of Kaspars Daugavins in the neutral zone, but it was intercepted by Andrew Shaw. The Blackhawks winger sent it across to Bolland, who beat Rask. A little more than four minutes later, a Johnny Oduya shot from the point went off Ference’s skate in front and past Rask.
“We had the game,” Rask said. “We were up 3-1 in the third and then a terrible turnover leads to a second goal, and a tough bounce leads to a tying goal and we just gave it away. We’ve got to be better than that.”
Krug did not play for the rest of regulation after his turnover, though he eventually got shifts in the first overtime and worked his way back into more of a rotation as the game progressed. He was on the ice for Shaw’s game-winner and finished the game with a minus-2 rating.
Rask faced 63 shots in the game (the most he’s seen in his career) and made 59 saves. Asked about the team’s first experience playing Chicago this season, Rask said, “We definitely didn’t play our best game. We turned the puck over too many times and didn’t manage the puck good enough.”
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|Stanley Cup finals Game 1 postgame notes: Blackhawks 4, Bruins 3 (3OT)||06.13.13 at 1:25 am ET|
Andrew Shaw scored off a double deflection at 12:08 of triple overtime to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday night at the United Center in Chicago. It was the longest overtime game in Stanley Cup finals play since Petr Klima beat the Bruins in triple overtime in Game 1 of the 1990 finals at Boston Garden.
With 52 minutes, eight seconds of overtime play, it was the fifth-longest finals game in history and the longest since Detroit beat Carolina on June 8, 2002, a game that took 54 minutes, 47 seconds. The longest game in finals history came on May 15, 1990, at Boston Garden when Petr Klima scored at 55:13 of overtime.
Tuukka Rask made 59 saves while Corey Crawford stopped 51 shots for the Blackhawks.
Milan Lucic scored Boston’s first two goals of the Stanley Cup finals, staking Boston to a 2-0 lead midway through the second period. Lucic scored on a pretty assist from Nathan Horton just over 13 minutes into the game.
Lucic scored on a shot from between the circles just 51 second into the second period.
• The game was the longest of this postseason at 52:08 of overtime and stands as the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup final history.
• The Bruins played their 123rd lifetime playoff overtime game, and they now have a 53-67-3 record in playoff overtime. They are 4-2 in overtime in this postseason. It was their 64th on the road and that record now stands at 23-40-2.
• It was Boston’s 21st multiple-overtime playoff game in their history and second of this postseason. It was the sixth game in their history to go into three or more overtimes and they now have a 3-2 mark in triple-overtime games and an 0-1 record in a six-overtime game. It was the fourth-longest game in Bruins history.
• The Blackhawks played their 84th lifetime playoff overtime game, and they now have a 45-39 record in playoff overtime. They are 4-1 in overtime in this postseason. It was their 43rd on home ice, and that record now stands at 27-16.
• It was Chicago’s 20th multiple-overtime playoff game in their history and second of this postseason. It was the seventh game in their history to go into three or more overtimes and they now have a 4-3 mark in triple-overtime games. It was the third-longest game in Blackhawks history.
|Blackhawks win extra long Game 1 over Bruins||06.13.13 at 1:02 am ET|
CHICAGO — The Bruins’ third-period blown lead was long forgotten by the time the Blackhawks took Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. Andrew Shaw sealed the 4-3 Chicago win 12:08 into triple-overtime to give the Blackhawks the early series lead.
The game was reminiscent of the regular season: The Blackhawks looked like the squad that was the best team in the league in the regular season, while the Bruins brought back a regular-season habit of giving up a third-period lead by letting Chicago come back from two goals behind.
Milan Lucic opened the series’ scoring 13:11 into the first period and made it 2-0 just 51 seconds into the second period, but the Blackhawks got on the board shortly after when Brandon Saad broke Tuukka Rask‘s scoreless streak at 149:36. Patrice Bergeron made it 3-1 with a power play goal at 6:09 of the third period, but the Blackhawks stormed back to tie it with goals from Dave Bolland and Johnny Oduya, the latter of which was a slap shot from the point that bounced off Andrew Ference‘s skate and past Rask in front.
By scoring four goals, the Blackhawks got twice as many goals past Rask in one game than the Penguins did in the entire Eastern Conference finals, as Pittsburgh scored just twice in the four-game series.
Game 2 of the series will be played Saturday before the series moves to Boston for Games 3 and 4 next week.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Nathan Horton left the ice with what appeared to be an upper-body injury and went down the tunnel during a Bruins’ power play in the first overtime and did not return to the game. With Horton out, Tyler Seguin took shifts in his place. Seguin had multiple bids to end the game while playing with David Krejci and Lucic. Read the rest of this entry »
|Matchups, smatchups: Claude Julien not worried about Blackhawks lines||06.12.13 at 2:14 pm ET|
CHICAGO — Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville appears set to keep Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane separated to begin the Stanley Cup finals, but the Bruins are confident they’ll be able to deal with the spread-out star power.
As Kane said Tuesday, the Blackhawks have a strong top six regardless of whether Toews and Kane are together. If they’re on different lines, that means Toews is playing with Marian Hossa, so the Bruins will have their hands full either way. Claude Julien is confident the B’s can match up with the Blackhawks no matter what Quenneville throws at them.
“It doesn’t,” Julien said when asked about how Quenneville’s new lines impacts their preparations. “We just have to react to it in a way whoever is on the ice. Whoever is on the ice has to be aware of the other team’s players on the ice.
“In our system, everybody knows our game without the puck is important. I think that’s what has gotten us this far, we’ve respected that, back‑checked. Our numbers coming back have continued. Whether I have my fourth line out,you can talk about like [Chris] Kelly and [Daniel] Paille, I don’t think anybody is worried about their game defensively, and Shawn Thornton who has done a great job on that line as well. There’s a lot of trust in our coaching staff when those guys are out there, even when they put a top line on.”
The guess here is that Julien will counter the Sharp-Toews-Hossa line with the Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg pairing and the David Krejci line, while putting the Patrice Bergeron line and Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk pairing against the Bickell-Handzus-Kane line. Of course, look for Julien to find ways to get Chara out there against both lines whenever he can. Julien matches lines as well as anybody in the business, but at the end of the day it’s Chara who makes the biggest impact in matchups.
“That’s why I talk about the matchups up front. Not the end of the world,” Julien said. “You’ll probably see, as every other series, our back end matches up a little more aggressively than our front end.
“Joel already knows that, too, by the way.”
|Torey Krug taking unlikely shot at Stanley Cup in stride||06.12.13 at 2:02 pm ET|
CHICAGO — Usually, the Stanley Cup marks the end of a long journey from a group of guys who have spent the whole season with that gigantic trophy in mind. Even if a player was acquired at the trade deadline, his attention shifted in the regular season from winning it with one team to winning it with another.
Torey Krug is in a different situation. After playing essentially the whole season in Providence, Krug’s mindset less than a month ago was winning the Calder Cup as the AHL’s top team. Yet here he is, a contributor on a team that is four games away from the Cup, and the 22-year-old blueliner admits that he never even thought about the Cup this season. After all, why would he?
“I worked all season toward the regular season championship down there,” Krug said after Wednesday’s morning skate. “I obviously want to put myself in a position to compete in the National Hockey League, and now that I’m here, you’re always working towards [the Stanley Cup]. Every team has that in sight. I’m just trying to contribute every game here.”
Krug obviously has contributed. Stepping in due to injuries on the blue line for the second round against the Rangers, Krug became the first defenseman in NHL history to score four goals in his first five playoff games. His performance earned him a concrete spot in Boston’s lineup, as he took Wade Redden‘s spot once the veteran defenseman was healthy and contributed a pair of assists and a plus-2 rating in the Bruins’ sweep of the Penguins.
Now that he has the chance to win the Cup on a team for which he played just one regular season game this year, Krug is grateful for where he is at this point in his career. Tyler Seguin said Tuesday that he didn’t fully appreciate what it meant to be in the Cup finals two years ago as a rookie, but Krug isn’t letting the fact that he’s young confuse him about just how special an opportunity he has.
“I haven’t gone through something like this before, so those feelings will arrive when they come, but as far as understanding that it is rare — there’s guys that obviously haven’t made it to a Cup final through their whole careers — obviously [Jaromir Jagr] has waited a long time to get to the position where he is right now,” Krug said. “I understand how rare it is, but the emotions and the feelings will come afterward.”
Emotions aren’t a big part of the undersized defenseman’s game. The young Steve Zahn lookalike is Johnny Boychuk-like in that he’s outgoing but calm at the same time. Matt Bartkowski, who played with him in Providence, predicted every bit of this success when the B’s called Krug up because he knew the pressure of the Stanley Cup playoffs wouldn’t get to him. Krug himself says he can’t remember the last time he was nervous.
“I don’t really sit in the locker room or get sick to my stomach,” Krug said. “My heart’s not beating too fast. Maybe the first couple shifts I’m a little jittery here and there, but I never sit there. You hear of guys puking before games and stuff like that, but my nerves are pretty calm.”
|Bruins, Blackhawks lines unchanged in morning skate||06.12.13 at 12:49 pm ET|
CHICAGO — The lines for both the Bruins and Blackhawks were unchanged from Tuesday as the teams held their morning skates in anticipation of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Bruins’ lineup was the same it has been since Game 4 against the Penguins:
Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Marchand – Bergeron – Jagr
Daugavins – Peverley – Seguin
Paille – Kelly – Thornton
Chara – Seidenberg
Ference – Boychuk
Krug – McQuaid
For the Blackhawks, it appears Brandon Bollig will be in on the fourth line with Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger, meaning that Viktor Stalberg is out. Playing Bollig in place of Stalberg substitutes size and grit for speed.
Sharp – Toews – Hossa
Bickell – Handzus – Kane
Saad – Boland – Shaw
Bollig – Kruger – Frolik
Keith – Seabrook
Oduya – Hjalmarsson
Leddy – Rozsival
|Doc Emrick on M&M: Tuukka Rask gives Bruins ‘check mark’ over Blackhawks||06.12.13 at 12:34 pm ET|
NBC Sports play-by-play caller Mike “Doc” Emrick joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday morning to break down the Stanley Cup finals between the Bruins and Blackhawks.
Emrick said he expects the series to be almost dead even, and he did not offer a prediction for who would raise the Stanley Cup in the end. However, he drew a comparison between this series and the 1995 finals between the Devils and Red Wings.
“The edge is very difficult to call,” Emrick said. “I know there have been various surveys done and I think one very extensive one in Canada came out 50 percent to 49.2 percent, and at that point I didn’t even ask who had the 50 percent because it becomes — it is pretty much the way that everyone here is thinking. It is just too tough to call.
“I remember a similar thing that happened when we had a 48-game season in 1995 and we went into the final with a favorite team and a non-favorite one because the New Jersey Devils were not a good scoring team. They had a good goaltender and they played good defense. And the Red Wings were lights out. I mean, they were the biggest offensive juggernaut going and they banged their way through Chicago to get to the final and then New Jersey shut them down in four straight games with a defensive scheme.”
Emrick continued that comparison between the current series and the 1995 finals while discussing Zdeno Chara’s impact on Tuukka Rask’s play. Emrick compared Chara’s dominance to that of hall-of-fame defenseman Scott Stevens.
“I think if you were to ask that question to Marty Brodeur, he would say that Scott Stevens’ years were some of his best, because when you have somebody out there that is a presence that takes care of business as well as Scott did and as well as Zdeno Chara does and covers even more distance than Scott would ever hope to just because of his raw size.” Emrick said. “I think you’re making a very good comparison there and I think you’re also giving appropriate credit to the defense in front of [Rask].”
While he praised Chara for his defense, Emrick was sure to give credit to Rask, saying that he gave the Bruins an advantage between the pipes over Corey Crawford.
“If you want to put a check mark in one particular category that I think solidly goes to Boston, it is goaltending,” Emrick said. “And again, we have the leading goals-against average is one guy and the other is second. And the leading save percentage is the other guy and the one guy is second. So you can waffle back and forth. It seems to me the way that Rask has been playing, that is a check mark to the Bruins.
“As [NBC Sports color commentator] Eddie Olczyk always says, ‘Without goaltending you have got no shot.’ And they’ve sure got goaltending.”
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