SCF: Game four preview
In games one and two of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, combined we saw 10 periods of hockey. Game three finally saw the action end in regulation, but with no shortage of drama and chances.
The Boston Bruins look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead on Wednesday night as they host the Chicago Blackhawks, in game four at 8 ET.
For the Bruins, the strong play of goaltender Tuukka Rask has been huge, but we cannot overlook the fact of how great center Patrice Bergeron and the rest of the club has been. Bergeron is without a doubt one of the top 3 defensive centers in the NHL. He is also clutch offensively and has a knack for timely goals. Left-winger Daniel Paille has done a terrific job in the Final providing offense from the bottom six forwards.
The Blackhawks should get a huge boost in game four with the expected return of star winger Marian Hossa. The 34-year-old Slovak was a surprise late scratch, due to injury for game three. Hossa is tied for the Hawks playoff scoring lead with 15 points. Through the first – three games of the Final, Hawks captain Jonathan Toews has been held off the scoresheet, while Patrick Kane has just one assist. For the Hawks to get back in the series, they will need their top players to produce. They also need to have assistant coach Jamie Kompon draw up new Power Play diagrams, as the Hawks have been terrible with the man advantage. (Although, credit to the Bruins as well for their aggressive penalty kill).
I expect the Hawks to come out much stronger then they did in game three. Going down 3-1 to the Bruins is a whole lot different then trailing 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings. From the other side of things, the Bruins have their foot on the gas pedal and they want to push it down even further.
You can expect another close game and perhaps we will have more overtime tonight! I do believe the Bruins will take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
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