News and notes: How are the Bruins stopping Chicago’s power play?


News and notes entering Wednesday’s Stanley Cup Final showdown — will Boston continue to stymie the power play?

Game 4: Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins, 8 p.m. ET (watch on NBC and live online) – Bruins lead series, 2-1

In Game 3, Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron scored second-period goals and Tuukka Rask stopped all 28 Blackhawks shots he faced in a 2-0 Bruins win. Tonight, the Bruins will look to win their eighth straight game at TD Garden – tying a franchise record for consecutive home wins in a single postseason (1990) – and take a three-games-to-one series lead to Chicago with the chance to clinch the Cup.

The Bruins, who lead a Stanley Cup Final series for the first time since 1974, when they won Game 1 vs. the Philadelphia Flyers (note: their only series “lead” in 2011 came after clinching the Cup in Game 7), look like the better side heading into Game 4. Since the first intermission of Game 2, Rask (49 straight saves) and company have shut out the Blackhawks, and the new third line of Daniel Paille (two game-winning goals) – Chris Kelly (one goal, one assist) – Tyler Seguin (two assists) has found a scoring touch that had been lacking for the most part this postseason. Patrice Bergeron scored his second goal of the series (both of which have been power-play goals) in Game 3 and raised his faceoff percentage to 69.7% (69-of-99) this series.

Boston’s penalty kill, which has not skipped a beat since PK standout Gregory Campbell was lost for the season with a broken fibula in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, has stopped all 11 Chicago power plays, extending its kill streak to 27 and raising its postseason success rate to 88.9%. While playing with the man disadvantage for almost a full period (18:54) this series, the B’s have as many blocked shots (eight, led by Dennis Seidenberg, with four) during that time as shots on goal allowed.

The Blackhawks did not lose three straight games during their Presidents’ Trophy-winning campaign. Now, they hope to avoid losing three straight for the second time in their last three playoff series. Marian Hossa, tied for the team lead with 15 points, is expected to play after leaving pre-game warmups and being scratched prior to Game 3. Head coach Joel Quenneville refused to specify the nature or cause of Hossa’s injury, other than affirming that it was an upper-body injury. (TSN later reported that his ailment is neck-related.)

With Hossa out, Quenneville tried several different power-play combinations – only Michal Handzus and Hossa’s replacement, Ben Smith, did not see any power-play time – but none were able to break through. Six Blackhawks were on the ice for four or more minutes of 5-on-4 hockey, but only three had a shot on goal.


Power-play time on ice

Shots on goal


Michal Rozsival




Duncan Keith




Patrick Kane




Andrew Shaw




Patrick Sharp




Jonathan Toews





Two nights after becoming the fifth-highest scorer in NHL postseason history (197 points), Bruins forward Jaromir Jagr will become the 21st player (19 skaters, 2 goaltenders) to appear in 200 playoff games. It will be only his 14th Cup Final game, fewest among the group.


Since Patrice Bergeron scored the game-tying goal (4-4) at 19:09 of the third period in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. Toronto, the Bruins have been dominant at home. Here are some numbers which illustrate their dominance at TD Garden:

  • Outscored opponents (TOR, NYR, PIT, CHI) by a 17-6 margin
    • 4 goals for, 0 goals against since 8:51 of second period in Game 3 of Eastern Conference Final
  • Trailed for 15:50 of 427:55 (3.7%)
    • Trend: have not trailed since 3:48 of second period in Game 5 of Eastern Conference Semifinals
  • Tuukka Rask: 0.84 GAA (6 goals allowed), saved 205-of-211 (.972) shots, 2 shutouts
    • Rask trend: 87 straight saves since 8:51 of second period in Game 3 of Eastern Conference Final
  • Patrice Bergeron: 3 goals (2 OT-GWG), 4 assists, 97-of-158 (61.4%) on faceoffs
    • Bergeron trend: 41-of-54 (75.9%) on faceoffs since Game 4 of Eastern Conference Final
  • Penalty kill: 23-for-24 (95.8%)
    • PK trend: 15 consecutive kills since Game 5 of Eastern Conference Semifinals


Since the Stanley Cup Final went to a best-of-seven format in 1939, teams that won Game 3 after splitting the first two contests won the Cup 21 of 25 times. Of those 25 teams, 12 had the chance to extend their series lead to three-games-to-one at home, and six – including the last three since 1989 – lost. The last team to win Game 4 at home while up two-games-to-one was the 1986 Montreal Canadiens.

Year Team Opponent Game 4 result Series result
2004 Calgary Flames Tampa Bay Lightning L, 1-0 Lost in 7
1991 Minnesota North Stars Pittsburgh Penguins L, 5-3 Lost in 6
1989 Montreal Canadiens Calgary Flames L, 4-2 Lost in 6
1986 Montreal Canadiens Calgary Flames W, 1-0 Won in 5


  • Zdeno Chara stands tall for Bruins when they need him most [National Post]
  • Brad Marchand calls Andrew Shaw a “kitty cat” after Game 3 scrum [NESN]
  • Bruins are the team you love to love [Boston Globe]
  • Joel Quenneville refuses to tip hand on Marian Hossa injury [SportsNet]
  • Dave Bolland realizes he can’t three-peat in Game 4 [Chicago Sun-Times]

Julien, Campbell talk ‘blue-collar’ Bruins

Gregory Campbell

It may be cliché by now — talking about the Boston Bruins and the “blue-collar” work ethic that’s been so successful for them — but there’s no doubt it remains a huge part of their identity.

“We take pride in being a blue-collar team,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien on Tuesday, the day after his team took a 2-1 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final.

“We don’t care about calling certain guys superstars on our team. We all want to be on the same level.”

Julien was actually responding to a question about Bruins forward Gregory Campbell, who famously broke his leg blocking a shot, and kept playing, in the Eastern Conference finals versus Pittsburgh.

Campbell, on crutches, spoke to the media today as well.

“I’m not going to put myself in front of anybody else and say I’m the picture of the Bruins,” he said when asked by a reporter about becoming “the symbol” of the team.

“This Original Six organization, goes back a long way. It kind of represents the city, a blue-collar, hard-working city with honest people.”

Campbell, in similarly humble fashion, also put the play that ended his season into proper perspective (something that was perhaps lost by some observers), explaining that “your adrenaline’s going pretty good at that point. You’re stuck on the ice with a couple of the best players in the world. You really don’t have much time to think about anything else but trying to help out and kill a penalty.”

He added: “There’s a lot of tough guys in this league. A lot of players are willing to do whatever they can to win. At this point you see that more often, guys doing whatever they can to win. I’m no different than anyone else on these two teams in the playoffs. I was just trying to finish the play and do my job.”

Game 4 of the Cup final goes Wednesday at TD Garden, where the B’s have won seven straight in the playoffs.

Related: Bruins go ‘above and beyond’ to take 2-1 series lead

Report: Bruins’ Bourque, Avs’ Vincour jump to KHL


KHL club AK Bars Kazan has agreed to terms with NHL forwards Chris Bourque and Tomas Vincour, according to Russian news outlet R-Sport.

Bourque, 27, made headlines last season when he made the Bruins roster out of abbreviated training camp, carrying on the legacy set by his father — Ray Bourque — who spent 21 seasons in Boston during his Hall of Fame career.

The younger Bourque appeared in 18 games with the B’s last season, scoring 1G-3A while averaging over 12 minutes per game.

What’s curious about the timing of this announcement is that Bourque is currently traveling as one of Boston’s Black Aces in the Stanley Cup final, and has one season left on the two-year, $1.1 million deal signed in 2012.

That said, this move didn’t come entirely out of left field — Bourque does have a history with the KHL, having spent the 2010-11 season with Atlant Moscow Oblast.

As for Vincour, the 22 year old Czech appeared in 88 games with over three seasons with Dallas — scoring a career-high 10 points in 2011-12 — before being shipped to Colorado at this year’s deadline.

Vincour proceeded to appear in two games for the Avs, but spent the majority of his time with AHL Lake Erie.

Bruins go ‘above and beyond’ to take 2-1 series lead

Patrice Bergeron

The Boston Bruins won the battles in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Their reward was a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks and a 2-1 lead in the series.

Faceoffs are a kind of battle, and the Bruins won 40 out of 56 of those tonight. That’s a success rate of 71.4 percent, and it came against players like Jonathan Toews and Michal Handzus, two of the best faceoff men in the game.

Boston’s star two-way center, Patrice Bergeron, went 24-4 in the circle — that’s 85.7 percent — and scored a power-play goal for good measure.

Toews, this year’s Selke Trophy winner and the 2010 playoff MVP, went a mediocre 8-11 and hasn’t scored in his last 10 games.

Handzus went an embarrassing 0-for-10, with eight of those losses to Bergeron.

Of course, the most important battle of the night was won by Game 2 hero Daniel Paille. Early in the second period, he out-worked Chicago center Dave Bolland in front of the Blackhawks’ goal and snapped the puck past Corey Crawford for the opening score of the contest. And that play was preceded by Bruins forward Chris Kelly winning a battle with Nick Leddy.

The NHL doesn’t track battles, other than faceoffs. But it’s those feats of determination that so often decide games.

“We got to make sure that every play is critical,” said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, “every shift is important, value being out there and doing the right thing.”

Meanwhile, Bruins coach Claude Julien thinks his team is “playing the best hockey of the season right now.”

“I think it’s the energy in the game, the effort,” said Julien. “You see our guys, like I said, they’re back-checking, having layers, so when somebody makes a mistake, you have somebody covering up.

“We’re blocking a lot of shots. The commitment is totally there.

“Throughout a whole season, it’s not easy to have that full commitment. But I think when you get to this stage, players start feeling it. They go above and beyond.

“That’s what you’re seeing from our team right now.”

Discuss: Bruins smother ‘Hawks, take 2-1 series lead


The Chicago Blackhawks lamented that they played into the Boston Bruins’ hands in Game 2. If that’s true, then they were stuck in a straight-up bear hug in Game 3.

Boston won 2-0, totally befuddling Chicago in all areas of the game. The B’s now have a 2-1 series lead and could really take a stranglehold on the series if they win on Wednesday. Let’s chat it up.

  • No doubt about it, people are going to be talking about the Blackhawks’ putrid power play. But what about the credit for the Bruins’ penalty kill? This unit shut down the Pittsburgh Penguins’ potent man advantage in their third-round series and are doing the same in the Stanley Cup Final. Heck, they were outstanding way back in 2011 against a dangerous Vancouver Canucks group, too.
  • Blackhawks fans: what was the most frustrating moment of futility on those power plays? Duncan Keith passing up a wide-open shot might make a few lists, but there were likely other notable moments.
  • Let’s go back to a theme of Discuss posts: how much is Tuukka Rask worth now? He’ll be a restricted free agent, but this is the kind of run that could add a million or two (or 10) to a contract, overall.
  • How much did the Blackhawks miss Marian Hossa? Did Joel Quenneville put together the right kind of lines to cope with that late crisis? What should he do if Hossa misses more time?
  • The brightest spot for Chicago might be Corey Crawford. Do you expect him to be this strong in the future?
  • Asking again: what’s the best nickname for the Tyler Seguin – Chris Kelly – Daniel Paille line? (People don’t seem impressed by SKiP.)
  • A hearty congratulations to Jaromir Jagr, who pulled ahead of Paul Coffey for fifth all-time in playoff scoring on Monday, giving him 197 in his outstanding career.
  • Do you expect to see a “different” Blackhawks team in Game 4 or could the Bruins take a 3-1 series lead?