After two consecutive wins, the Chicago Blackhawks have stormed back against the Boston Bruins and are on the verge of capturing their second Stanley Cup in four years. However, both teams have injury concerns.
Two goals from Patrick Kane and a solid performance from goalie Corey Crawford lifted Chicago to a 3-1 victory over the Boston in Game Five on Saturday.
Game Six of the Cup Finals takes place Monday night at TD Garden. Chicago is now up 3-2, after Boston lost the 2-1 advantage it held after the first three games of the series.
Kane now has three goals in two games, failing to score in the previous three. Crawford looked much sharper and more consistent, totaling 24 saves.
In Game Five, the bruising Bruins totaled 53 hits on the Blackhawks and were still outshot 32-25. Defenseman Zdeno Chara scored Boston’s only goal, while leading scorer Patrice Bergeron had to be taken to a local Chicago hospital with an undisclosed injury.
Maybe the Bruins most diverse player, Bergeron’s status for Game Six is currently up in the air. Head coach Claude Julien went with rookie center Carl Soderberg for much of Bergeron’s absence. In his first career playoff appearance, Soderberg had two shots on goal, three hits, and a takeway.
Previously, Boston lost back-to-back games only one other time this postseason. They dropped Games Five and Six to Toronto in the first round, and needed a four-goal rally in the third period and overtime to escape with a 5-4 win in Game Seven. Bergeron scored the winner.
The series has also taken a toll on Chicago’s best line. Center Jonathan Toews had to sit for the third period of Game Five. His injury is unknown, but Toews 10 assists throughout the playoffs have made him one of Chicago’s top playmakers.
If Toews does sit, that will leave one less of Chicago’s top offensive line for Bruins keeper Tuukka Rask to worry about. Rask has given up nine goals in the last two games.
Betting Odds: Boston -126, Chicago +114
Early Prediction: Boston wins 4-2
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