The Battle For The Ultimate Prize- Round #2

By Keith Schultz

Jun 12, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie

Corey Crawford

(50) during the first overtime period in game one of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Stanley Cup Finals Game #2

Boston Bruins at Chicago Blackhawks (Chicago leads series 1-0)

Game Time- 7:20 pm Central

Key Injury-  Nathan Horton is listed day to day after getting hurt in the third period of Game #1, but practiced Friday is expect him to play Saturday night.

Preview- Boston did everything they wanted to in the first 2 periods and twice held 2 goal leads at 2-0 and 3-1.  The Bruins were physical and tough minded and did everything that they were advertised to do. The Bruins stars played like stars with Milan Lucic getting two goals and Patrice Bergeron getting the third.  It all seemed to be going as planned for the Bruins until rookie Torey Krug had an unforced error and the Hawks capitalized to get the game to within one goal and then the Bruins became very unlucky when Johnny Oduya‘s shot glanced off a Bruins skate to get past Tuukka Rask.

In overtime the Bruins luck continued on the unlucky side when Zdeno Chara double OT blast hit the post.  Don’t expect the Bruins to change anything they did on Wednesday night.  They will still strive to be physical while making offensive plays.  Rask took the loss but was excellent and only really gave up one goal that he had a chance on.  The other Hawks goals Rask really didn’t have a chance on  including Andrew Shaw‘s game winner.  Rask has been the wall behind the Bruins defense and heading to Game #2 Rask will need to have his A Game on.

The Hawks never gave up and it paid off with a Game #1 win in triple OT.  The other good news for the Hawks unlike the Penguins in the  series before them they saw pucks get behind Rask.  In Game #2 against the Los Angeles Kings the Hawks threw everything at Jonathan Quick and it was a 4-0 lead for the Hawks after one period.  The game plan needs to be the same for the Hawks on Saturday night. Make the Bruins defense and Rask work harder than they are use to.

Even though Shaw got the winner the real star of the game was Corey Crawford.   Corey went almost 4 periods without giving up a goal to keep the Hawks in it so they had a chance at heroics. Crawford has been solid for the entire run in the playoffs to this date and Saturday night could be his biggest test.  The Bruins should give their best effort to avoid a 2-0 hole and the test will be for Crawford to take.

My pick to score came through with the first goal of the game for the Blackhawks when Brandon Saad scored his first playoff goal of his career.  The stars didn’t score but the role players who have been the story all year did get on the board for the Hawks.  Saad could now go on a goal scoring barrage but look for Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews to bring the scoring touch to Game #2.

What is your prediction for Game #2?

For more Blackhawks updates and conversations follow us on Twitter @Blackhawk_Up or Like our new Facebook page Blackhawkup.