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Turtle Wax Weekend Recap: Bruins steal home ice

The Boston Bruins knew that in order to capture the 2013 Stanley Cup, they’d need to win at least one game at Chicago’s United Center.

On Saturday, they did exactly that.

The Bruins got the all-important split in Chicago and wrestled home ice advantage away from the ‘Hawks with a 2-1 overtime victory over the weekend, sending the Stanley Cup Final back to Boston knotted a one game a piece.

Boston managed to survive a Chicago onslaught in the opening frame, as netminder Tuukka Rask stopped 18 of 19 shots faced (the Bruins, meanwhile, only put four shots on Corey Crawford).

From there, the B’s steadily put their mark on the game, upping the physicality while limiting the Blackhawks’ chances on goal.

And by limiting, we mean limiting: Chicago had 19 shots in the opening frame…and just 14 through periods two, three and overtime.

“Maybe we left something out there,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “[We] had everything right in that first part of the game; had some good looks, as well. [We] did what we were looking to do.

“But, hey, it’s a long game. You know, we got to be better than that.”

The series will now turn to TD Garden, where the Bruins have a long history of Stanley Cup Final dominance.

In 2011, the B’s mopped the floor with Vancouver in Boston, winning their three home games by 8-1, 4-0 and 5-2 scorelines — a combined 17-3 count that represented one of the most lopsided home ice advantages in playoff history.

As you’d expect, the Bruins are excited about the opportunity to get things going at the Garden, but know they’ll need a better start in Game 3 than they had in Game 2.

“Once we simplified our game and got our feet going, that’s when things started happening for us,” Milan Lucic told CSNNE.com. “Hopefully we don’t wait a period in the next to actually wake up.”

Coach Julien hoping Bruins learned from ‘bad’ first period

Claude Julien
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The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks have both proven that they can bounce back from an early deficit. That doesn’t mean a strong start isn’t important and Bruins coach Claude Julien certainly doesn’t want to see another first period like the one he saw during the Bruins eventual 2-1 overtime win on Saturday.

Chicago outshot Boston 19-4 through 20 minutes and the Bruins’ might have been effectively out of the game at that point if not for goaltender Tuukka Rask.

“I felt we had a really slow start,” Julien said during Sunday’s press conference. “I felt our team was ready to play, knowing our players. I was really surprised to see how much we played on our heels.

“You know, you have to give the other team credit. They came out hard. They deserved that credit. We didn’t respond well.”

Julien suggested he might bring his players in earlier today to prevent a similar start, but he also feels that Saturday’s early performance was uniquely bad by Boston’s standards. With that in mind, he doesn’t expect history to repeat itself tonight.

“You learn from past mistakes,” Julien said. “That’s a mistake I think our team hopefully has learnt. We’re going to go back and play the same way.”

Of course, Boston still won that game and put themselves in a great position in the process. Game 3 will start at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Related:

Playoffs Tonight: We’re tied going into Boston

Excitement of Boston fans in 2011 a fond memory for Bruins’ McQuaid

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins - Game Four
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It isn’t that long ago, a little over two years, since the Boston Bruins last played a home game in the Stanley Cup Final.

In 2011, the Bruins beat up the Vancouver Canucks on three different occasions at TD Garden, on their way to a Stanley Cup championship.

It was in Boston where that series changed. The Canucks took the first two games on their home ice and looked to be destined for the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup.

But Bruins came back in dominating fashion to win four of the next five games, including those three games in Boston.

And that buzz around the city and inside the rink isn’t at all forgotten, as the Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks get set for Game 3 of the 2013 final round series on Monday.

The series is currently tied 1-1, and the next two games in Boston could once again prove the swing point, as it did in 2011.

Fond memories of the past for Bruins’ defenseman Adam McQuaid.

“I think the excitement in the rink. It’s been a long time since that same finals,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“Everyone was excited, and I know we were excited to be back home. It was a tough situation being down two games. We knew the importance of coming back strong at home. We’re looking forward to that experience again, of playing at home.”

 

Bruins’ leaders deliver Stanley Cup Final speech

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four
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Something needed to be said.

The Boston Bruins were thoroughly outplayed in the first period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. And yet, they found themselves down a goal, after the Chicago Blackhawks registered 19 shots on goalie Tuukka Rask.

The Bruins, already trailing 1-0 in the best-of-seven series, had just four shots on net. Not good enough.

It was after the opening 20 minutes that the veterans in the locker room spoke up.

“It was really a mix of everybody saying something,” Bruins’ forward Tyler Seguin told reporters on Sunday.

“Obviously I think (Chris Kelly) was one of the most vocal guys at the time. But in the end, I think it was a mix of everyone. I definitely knew it was coming, so I definitely threw my shoulder pads in the training room and put a towel over it so no one could hear what we were saying. I think we needed that team wake-up call.”

The Bruins came out in the second period, with Kelly scoring the equalizer. And the Blackhawks were held to just 15 shots on Rask for the remainder of the game.

Daniel Paille scored the winner in overtime, and the Bruins tied the series at 1-1, as it shifts back to Boston.

Toews: ‘Hawks didn’t make Bruins earn Game 2 win

toewsmuttongetty
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In eight career Stanley Cup Final games, Jonathan Toews has zero goals. He also only has one goal in 19 contests during the 2013 postseason.

Those are the kind of numbers that will encourage pundits to throw around terms like “gripping the stick too tight.”

While the advanced stats imply that the Chicago Blackhawks captain is putting up a commendable effort, facing the Boston Bruins through two pointless games must be getting on his nerves. He provided a bigger picture take on his team’s frustration after a 2-1 OT loss in Game 2, as the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc reports.

“We just kind of let them play their way and we didn’t make them earn it,” Toews said. “That’s a little disappointing.”

The 25-year-old’s thoughts seemed to ape those of head coach Joel Quenneville, who felt that the Blackhawks played into the Bruins’ hands after a strong opening period.

Whether you attribute his struggles to bad bounces or a deeper problem, the critiques are only going to get louder if Toews doesn’t start scoring.

To be fair, he wasn’t the only one, especially in overtime. Brent Seabrook’s sentiment to CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers was likely shared by the rest of the locker room.

“I don’t think we played well enough to win that one in overtime at all,” Seabrook said.

Toews and his team need to get back on track as the series shifts to Boston.