6:30 p.m. - Pregame Notes: BOS VS CHI
STARTING GOALTENDERS: Rask (12-4, 1.75 GAA, .943 Save %) vs. Crawford (12-5, 1.74 GAA, .935 Save %). Rask is 19-10 with a 2.13 GAA and .929 Save % with two shutouts in 29 career postseason games. Crawford is 17-13 with a 2.03 GAA and .924 Save % with two shutouts in 31 career postseason games
BRUINS VS BLACKHAWKS LIFETIME: The Bruins and Blackhawks are squaring off in in the postseason for the seventh time—first in the Stanley Cup Finals—with Boston holding a 5-1 lifetime series record. These teams have played 22 postseason games with Boston holding a 16-5-1 advantage and a 97-63 scoring edge. The Bruins are 9-3-1 lifetime vs. the Blackhawks in Boston and 7-2 lifetime in Chicago in the playoffs. Boston won the first four series between these teams (1927, 1942, 1970, 1974) before falling to the Blackhawks in a best-of-3 series in 1975. The Bruins and Blackhawks are a combined 6-0 in game 1s during this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.
STREAKING: Linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand both enter tonight’s game riding three-game point streaks. Bergeron has netted two goals and tallied one assist over this span, while Marchand has logged two goals and two assists. Marchand assisted Bergeron’s game-winning goal in double overtime of Boston’s Game 3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
BRUINS DEFENSEMEN PITCHING IN: The Bruins blue liners have accounted for 35 of the team’s 138 points (25.4%) this postseason, including 15 of its 50 goals (30%). Johnny Boychuk leads the way with five goals (2nd among NHL defensemen), while Zdeno Chara leads Boston’s D-men in points with 11 (T-3rd among NHL defensemen). Rookie Torey Krug has also contributed six points in nine games, and Adam McQuaid delivered the game-winning goal in the Bruins’ series-clinching Game 4 win over Pittsburgh in the ECF.
KREJCI, HORTON, OTHERS PACING NHL: Despite having played only 16 postseason games to date, Bruins skaters are pacing the NHL in several statistical categories. David Krejci leads the league in postseason points (21) and goals (9), and ranks second in assists (12). Linemate Nathan Horton has accrued a plus-21 rating, which puts him seven points ahead of the next best figure—Krejci’s plus-14. Milan Lucic (+13) and Zdeno Chara (+12) rank third and fourth respectively. Horton also ranks second in points with 17. Meanwhile, Patrice Bergeron boasts a league-best 61.0% faceoff percentage, and Johnny Boychuk has blocked a league-high 55 shots.
RASK ON A ROLL: Tuukka Rask enters the Stanley Cup Final riding a streak of dominant performances. Dating back to Game 1 of the ECSF, Rask has surrendered only 12 goals in 10 games. The Bruins’ goaltender also held the Penguins—who entered the ECF averaging more than four goals-per-game—to just two goals in four games. Rask’s .943 postseason Save % and 12 wins are tops in the NHL, and he currently ranks second in GAA (1.75) and shutouts (2).
BLACKHAWKS NOTEBOOK: Chicago enters the 2013 Stanley Cup Final in search of its fifth championship, having hoisted the Cup in 1934, 1938, 1961, and 2010…The Blackhawks return nine players from their 2010 championship team, including captain Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, and Duncan Keith…Goaltender Corey Crawford leads the NHL with a 1.74 postseason GAA, and is tied with Tuukka Rask for the league-high in wins with 12. Crawford’s .935 Save % is good for second amongst all goaltenders…The Blackhawks captured the Presidents’ Trophy after posting a 36-7-5 regular season record, which set an NHL record for most points in a 48-game season…Chicago allowed a league-low 97 goals during the regular season.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins power play: 7-for-45 (15.6%, 10th NHL), Bruins penalty kill: 45-for-52 (86.5%, 6th NHL)… Blackhawks power play: 7-for-51 (13.7%, 12th NHL), Blackhawks penalty kill: 55-for-58 (94.8%, 1st NHL).
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