The Chicago Blackhaws and Boston Bruins are set to do battle for Game 3 tonight in Boston.
The Blackhawks took the series lead in Game 1 in a triple-OT thriller. However the Bruins took the always important Game 2 on the road in another OT contest. In a series filled with star players it was the Bruins role players that stepped up in Game 2. Chris Kelly scored his first of the playoffs from Daniel Paille in the second period that knotted the game at 1. Both Tuukka Rask and Corey Crawford played very and the score stayed at 1’s until 13:48 of the first overtime when Paille put one home to tie the series at 1-1 heading back to Boston.
Chicago dominated the Bruins in the first period on Saturday. They outshot Boston 19-4 after one and had a 1-0 lead, they also have a goal waived off in the first. The Bruins made great adjustments during the first intermission and limited the Hawks to just nine more shots in the second and third period combined. Their top-pair of Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara continues to shutdown the Blackhawks in 30-plus minutes of ice time.
Tonight the Bruins will be back at TD Bank Garden for Game 3 where they are 7-2 in the playoffs. As for Chicago they are 3-4 on the road.
Boston has done a great job in the first two games shutting down the Hawks top-6 forwards. Jonathan Toews has yet to record a point in the Finals while their top-6 have combined for seven points.
Viktor Stalberg will draw back into the Blackhawks lineup after being a healthy scratch in Game’s 1 and 2. He will replace the Brandon Bollig and skate on the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik.
“We need some speed from him, bring some energy,” said Coach Joel Quenneville about inserting Stalberg back into the lineup.
The first two games of the Finals have been excellent especially with both games going to an extra frame. These two teams are about as even of a matchup as you can find, so it would not be surprising if we are in for some more ‘free’ hockey tonight.
Prediction: Bruins take a 2-1 series lead on home ice with a 3-2 win.