After snatching away home-ice advantage in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals, the Bruins look like a team that has no intention of giving it back. In Game 3 at the TD Garden last night, the B’s gave a defensive effort reminiscent of their wipeout of the Pittsburgh Penguins, smothering the Chicago Blackhawks in a dominant 2-0 victory on second-period goals from Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron. The B’s now have a 2-1 series advantage. After holding the Penguins to two goals over 14 periods in the Eastern Conference finals, the Bruins have limited the Blackhawks to five goals in 13 periods, one in the last seven. Last night, Chicago had a few scoring chances, but not many, and barely any sustained pressure until it pulled goalie Corey Crawford. But, with a lot of help from his friends, Tuukka Rask (28 saves) recorded his third shutout of the postseason. Coach Claude Julien feels the B’s are playing their best hockey right now, and few could argue with him. “I think it’s the energy in the game, the effort,” he said. “You see our guys they’re backchecking, having layers, so when somebody makes a mistake, you have somebody covering up. We’re blocking a lot of shots. The commitment is totally there. Throughout a whole season, it’s not easy to have that full commitment, but I think when you get to this stage, players start feeling it. They go above and beyond. That’s what you’re seeing from our team right now.” Rather fittingly, it wasn’t Rask or the goalscorers who got the fatigue jacket signifying the players’ choice for star of the game. It was rock-solid, stay-at-home defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who had six blocked shots and four hits.
Tuukka Rask, Bruins ‘D’ stifle Blackhawks
Boston Herald | Jun 18