Breaking Down Game Five

Sunday, 06.23.2013 / 9:26 AM CT
By Pete Weber - Radio Play-by-Play / Pete Weber's Hockey Blog
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Following what was a highly entertaining Stanley Cup Final game Wednesday night, what could the fans expect heading into Game Five, with an extra day of rest thrown in?

Would the focus still be on the glove hand of Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford? “In the LA series, they were talking about his blocker side,” said ‘Hawks coach Joel Quenneville before the game.

One thing for certain, Wednesday’s game was an aberration. Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask had the lowest GAA (1.83) in the playoffs, and Crawford (1.86) was second!

The Bruins meanwhile, were concerned that their captain, All Star defenseman Zdeno Chara, had been on the ice for five of Chicago’s goals on Wednesday.

Boston did make a change to add some more offense to their line-up, pulling Kaspars Daugavins, and inserting Carl Soderberg, his first appearance of the playoffs.

The starting pace was similar to Wednesday’s, with outstanding chances for both sides, but both sides missed the net.

At 17:27 of the first, the Blackhawks broke through, Patrick Kane tucking in the rebound off the broken stick off defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. When the stick broke, it turned the initial shot into a “change-up,” and allowing the soft hands of Kane to put it in behind Rask. The first period ended, 1-0, Chicago.

The Blackhawks top line tallied again at 5:13 of the second. Bryan Bickell and Jonathan Toews worked a give-and-go down the left side against Seidenberg. Bickell took the shot, gathered in his own rebound, and carried behind the Boston net. His fluttering pass beat Zdeno Chara and was backhanded into the net by Kane for his second of the game.

Meanwhile, one of the main cogs for the Bruins, Patrice Bergeron, was on the bench and only briefly on the ice in the second period. Bruins’ Coach Claude Julien told NBC’s Pierre McGuire: “Let’s just say right now, we’re going to give him a little bit of time.”

The Blackhawks took that 2-nothing lead into the third and David Krejci had a pair of good chances early in the period, only to be foiled by Crawford.

As the third period began, the youngster making his first appearance of this post-season, Carl Soderberg was put into Bergeron’s slot. Bergeron wasn’t on the bench to start the third. The CBC reported (later confirmed by the Bruins) that Bergeron had left the building in an ambulance, off to the hospital for observation.

The Blackhawks had their own problems as the third began. Jonathan Toews was absent for his shifts on the top line with Bickell and Kane. Initially, Michal Handzus moved up between them. Johnny Boychuk had blasted Toews late in the second, and the Blackhawks’ captain apparently had not recovered from that hit.

Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara scored, blistering one over Crawford’s glove at 3:40 from Krejci and Lucic, cutting the Chicago advantage in half. At this point, the Bruins had taken the offensive initiative away from the home side.

As the Blackhawks attempted to respond, Patrick Kane gunned one from the left circle, which Rask gloved down at 8:31 of the third.

There was more carnage as the third period unfolded, as Brent Seabrook was hurt while blocking a shot and struggled getting back to the bench. At that point, there was no information on Jonathan Toews’ situation. Toews was on the bench, but appeared done for the night after playing 12:56 with two assists over the first two periods.

The surviving members of the two teams continued the struggle with time winding down. Bickell carried in on a two-on-one with Kane, and rather than risk a pass on the chopped-up ice, took the shot. Ultimately, Boston pulled Tuukka Rask from the net with a minute to go.

Chara tried to help the attack in front of the net, but the Blackhawks muscled the puck out of their zone down the right side and David Bolland fired the puck into the empty net for the 3-1 Chicago victory.

Now, back to Boston for Game Six at TD Garden. Who will be left standing and able to play? Can Boston keep this wonderful series alive for a Game 7? It all gets started at 7 o’clock CT Monday on your local NBC affiliate.





1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33