On Wednesday, the Boston Bruins will look to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. They’ve won the last two from the Chicago Blackhawks and are looking for their eighth straight home game victory. The series shifts back to Chicago after Game Four.
Boston has continued to win the same way that they got through the Eastern Conference Finals. Their defense has held down one of the best offense in the league. Tuukka Rask has continued to play like a Conn Smythe Trophy candidate, saving all 28 shots on goal in Game Three. He’s bested Corey Crawford, who entered the Finals with the best goals against average in the playoffs.
Bruins left wing Daniel Paille has been the biggest surprise of the series. Known more for abilities as a penalty killer than a scorer, Paille has goals in the last two games. He’s improved since being shifted off the fourth line, helping to replace the production lost by the injured Gregory Campbell.
The second-best scoring team in the regular season was shut out in Game Three. Chicago couldn’t get the puck in the net, playing without their best facilitators on offense. Marian Hossa was scratched with an upper body injury, after leading the Blackhawks with 15 points in the 2013 NHL Playoffs. He’s expected to be on the ice in Game Four, though head coach Joel Quenneville wouldn’t give any further information on the injury.
The Blackhawks will need all the help they can get to score on Wednesday. The club has been held scoreless for over 120 consecutive minutes. Chicago hasn’t scored in their last 20 power play chances, and continued their ineptitude in Game Three. In five extra-man opportunities, they got off just four shots.
Game 1: Chicago 4, Boston 3 (3OT)
Game 2: Boston 2, Chicago 1 (OT)
Game 3: Boston 2, Chicago 0
Game 4: at Boston, Wednesday, June 19, 8 p.m. ET, NBC
Game 5: at Chicago, Saturday, June 22, 8 p.m. ET, NBC
Game 6: at Boston, Monday, June 24, 8 p.m. ET, NBC *
Game 7: at Chicago, Wednesday, June 26, 8 p.m. ET, NBC*