Bruins Shutout Blackhawks in Game 3
BOSTON — When the Stanley Cup Final is tied after two games, the winner of the third game historically goes on to win the whole thing 84 percent of the time.
The Chicago Blackhawks’ chances to win that game became precipitously more difficult in warmups Monday: Winger Marian Hossa suffered an injury that caused him to miss Game 3 at TD Garden.
A disjointed, semi-organized Hawks team survived the first period, but a Daniel Paille score and a Patrice Bergeron power play goal stood up for a 2-0 Bruins win at TD Garden and a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final.
When teams split the first two games of a final, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to hoist the Cup 84 percent of the time (21 of 25).
The Hawks’ Corey Crawford made a nice save on a Tyler Seguin shot from the slot, but the puck trickled out to the left of the net. There, Dave Bolland couldn’t contain the loose change, and Paille snagged it before rifling a shot past Crawford for the lead at the 2:13 mark.
Back-to-back penalties then doomed the Hawks on the second score. First, Dave Bolland was beaten badly down the ice by Paille and cross-checked the Bruins’ forward just to prevent a score. Then Niklas Hjalmarsson went off for tripping with 11 seconds left in the first penalty, producing a 5-on-3.
Technically, the 5-on-3 had ended when a pass slid through the crease and to Bergeron on a wide angle. But Bolland hadn’t caught up to the play and Bergeron beat Crawford for the 2-0 lead at the 14:05 mark.
Two more Hawks power plays failed to slice into the deficit in the third period, bringing it to a total of 19 straight without a score. An extra attacker on the ice failed to produce a score in the final two minutes, while the only other action was tussling between Bryan Bickell and Zdeno Chara and Andrew Shaw and Brad Marchand.
Hossa apparently suffered the injury during warmups and was a very late scratch, with Ben Smith taking his place in the lineup. Hossa had 15 points in 19 postseason games for the Hawks.
The lines were a jumble as a result, with Jonathan Toews centering Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik; Brandon Saad moving to a line with Michal Handzus and Patrick Kane; and Dave Bolland skating with Smith and Patrick Sharp.
The Bruins were chippy and dominated the pace of play early before the Hawks settled in somewhat, though two more disastrous power plays nearly plunged them into a hole.
The second, off a roughing penalty on the Bruins’ Shawn Thornton, featured multiple shorthanded rushes — including one in which Hawks goalie Corey Crawford had to skate out to the faceoff circle and perform a diving poke check on the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron, who had just picked the pocket of Patrick Kane.