NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, June 24th
(All times Eastern)
(1-W) Chicago Blackhawks (3-2) at (4-E) Boston Bruins (2-3), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks will try to clinch their second
Stanley Cup since 2010 when they visit the Boston Bruins in Monday's Game 6
battle at TD Garden.
Chicago, which ended a 49-year championship drought when it lifted the Cup
three years ago, was down 2-1 to Boston in this best-of-seven series before
taking Games 4 and 5 to move within one win of another title.
After winning a wild 6-5 overtime decision in Game 4 last Wednesday in Boston,
the Blackhawks notched a 3-1 decision in Saturday's matchup in the Windy City.
Patrick Kane scored a pair of goals in Game 5 and Corey Crawford stopped 23-
of-24 shots to earn the pivotal win.
Chicago, the top seed in the West, is trying to become the first Presidents'
Trophy winner to claim the Stanley Cup since Detroit beat Pittsburgh in 2008.
The last time a team other than the Red Wings won the Cup after posting the
league's best record in the regular season was when Colorado won it all in
Kane scored a goal in the first and second period of Game 5 and Dave Bolland
wrapped up the win with an empty-netter in the final moments. Crawford,
meanwhile, bounced back from a rough outing in Game 4, when he surrendered
five goals on 33 shots and had to answer questions about a perceived weak
"I think it was a big effort by everyone to come back, play defensively, block
shots, sacrifice our bodies to block those pucks and quickly get on to
offense," said Crawford. "Another good game, I think, moving the puck, moving
our feet, and getting into the zone."
Chicago is 4-5 on the road in this postseason, but has a chance to claim the
Cup away from home just like it did when it took Game 6 in Philadelphia on
June 9, 2010. The Blackhawks recorded a 4-3 overtime win over the Flyers, with
Kane providing the game-winner in the extra session.
Outside of Chicago having a chance to clinch the Cup, the biggest storyline
heading into Game 6 involves the status of key players from both teams, as
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews and Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron -- the last
two winners of the Selke Trophy -- both were injured in Game 5.
Toews, who won the Selke this season, took a hit high to the back by Johnny
Boychuk in the second period. He skated several more shifts in the frame
before sitting out the final 20 minutes.
However, both Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville and Toews himself said
the team captain is "100 percent ready" to play in Game 6.
The Bruins played half of the second period and all of the third without
Bergeron on Saturday. The forward left the game with an undisclosed injury and
was taken to a local hospital for observation. He was released from the
hospital on Saturday and was able to fly home with the team.
The nature of Bergeron's injury has not been disclosed, but Bruins head coach
Claude Julien said on Monday that he was confident the valuable two-way
forward would play in Game 6.
Toews has two goals and 10 assists in these playoffs, while Bergeron has nine
goals and six helpers.
Zdeno Chara scored the lone goal for the Bruins in Game 5, while Tuukka Rask
turned away 29-of-31 shots for Boston, which also won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
Boston can look to its recent past for inspiration, though, as the team lost
Game 5 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Vancouver to fall into a 3-2 hole,
only to rally with wins in Game 6 and 7 to take home the championship.
"Well, it's pretty obvious. It's do or die," said Julien. "We've been there
before, and we've done well in that situation. So we've got to, again, win the
The Bruins are 8-3 on home ice in the 2013 playoffs. If they pick up a ninth
win at TD Garden on Monday, then the teams will meet on Wednesday for a
decisive Game 7 in Chicago.
This series marks the first time Original Six franchises have met in the
Stanley Cup Finals since 1979, when Montreal defeated the New York Rangers in
Boston has won five of the six postseason meetings with Chicago.
06/24 12:43:04 ET