Going into game three, both these teams had already proven to the world that they deserved to be in the position that they’re in. With the first two contests going to overtime, I believe that many thought it was going to be another one of those tight games. From the time the puck touched the ice, the Bruins punched the Blackhawks in the mouth, and they didn’t let up till the final horn sounded. This was just a dominating performance, probably one of the best games the B’s have played all year.
It was the “Unsung Heroes” getting the job done against the Blackhawks, which is becoming a common trend in Boston. After a scoreless first period, Daniel Paille would break the tie with a beautiful shot at the 2:13 mark of the second period. As most of you remember, Paille was the hero of game two when he scored the game winner in overtime. Paille is a dangerous player with loads of potential, and you can know see that since Coach Claude decided to pair him up with Seguin and Chris Kelly. Between those three guys, there was six shots taken, one goal scored, and a (+) 3 combined for the game. It’s not just been Paille who has come up big for the Bruins since the line change though, as Kelly got his first goal of the playoffs in game 2, and Seguin has being skating beautifully as of late.
Not too long after Paille scored the game’s first goal, the Bruins would have a 5-on-3 advantage for eleven seconds. Almost two identical situations caused the 5-on-3, as the Blackhawks undercut a Bruins players while on a breakaway that sent them crashing into the net. While on the power play, Jagr slid a beautiful pass to Bergeron, who one-timed it home to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. From there the Bruins would just play suffocating defense, and give Rask tons of help to make his night a bit easier. Going into the third period, the Bruins had blocked a total of “13” shots, to the Blackhawks “3”, which had to be a sigh of relief for Rask. For most of the post-season, Rask has played fantastic, and tonight he was nothing short of that. Rask only faced 28 total shots for the game, which is a huge difference when you take into consideration that the Hawks had 19 shots in period one of game one. What was even more impressive was this, the Bruins won 40 total face-offs, where the Blackhawks for the entire game only won 16.
When the Bruins do the little things, I honestly believe that this is a tough team to beat. Last night every Bruin was skating tough for loose pucks, they were throwing the body around, while be the far more physical team. For the first time this entire post season, I think the Bruins played a good, solid sixty minutes of hockey. They still have a lot of work to do to win Lord Stanley’s Cup, but if they can keep this intensity and style of play moving forward they will find themselves in good shape.
3. Daniel Paille: He scored his second goal in two games, and just gave a tremendous effort all night. In the playoffs, a team needs guys who aren’t expected to step up, to in fact “step up”, and be the hero. To this point in the finals Paille is making the case to be that “hero.”
2. Patrice Bergeron: For the game, Bergy had a total of 7 shots on net, with one finding the back of the net. He not only one of the goal scorers, but he was a face-off guru last night. His effort alone would have at least got him into my three stars.
1. Tuukka Rask: What else can you say about this guy? He has been a monster all playoffs long, and recorded his third shutout of the playoffs against a high-powered offense. It was a lighter night compared to what he had become accustomed to, as he only had to stop 28 shots. The Bruins will need Rask to continue his success for the remainder of the Finals if they want to win the Cup.
Game NotesJagr was tied with Paul Coffey on career postseason scoring list, now he controls sole possession of fifth place. The Bruins won their seventh straight home playoff game. The Blackhawks are now 3-5 on the road in the playoffs Hossa was a late scratch, and didn’t suit up for the game, Chara had to get 3-5 stitches because of a nasty spill during pre-game skate.