The Stanley Cup will be at TD Garden on Monday but only Chicago will have a chance to win it after they took Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, 3-1, at United Center on Saturday.
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Patrick Kane scored a pair of goals, Dave Bolland added an empty-netter and Corey Crawford made 23 saves to put the Blackhawks one victory away from their second Cup in four years. There are now major injury concerns on both sides since Patrice Bergeron left in an ambulance after suffering an undisclosed injury in the second period and Jonathan Toews didn’t play in the third period because of a possible concussion.
For the second game in a row, the Blackhawks scored first and later they led by two goals once again. The B’s got off to a good start but they couldn’t beat Crawford. Chicago’s first goal was the result of a double deflection as Johnny Oduya’s shot went off Dennis Seidenberg’s stick, then Toews before Kane was there to jam it in at 17:27 of the first period.
Kane made it 2-0 at 5:13 of the second period after Bryan Bickell wrapped around the net and he was there to roof the rebound over Tuukka Rask (29 saves). Rask kept the B’s in it with a big save on Brandon Saad’s backhander and Zdeno Chara cut it to 2-1 with a thundering one-timer at 3:40 of the third period. David Krejci and Milan Lucic had the assists. Boston pressed for the tying goal and Rask was pulled after he made a couple more quality stops. Crawford had his best save of the game on Jaromir Jagr’s shot that deflected off Carl Soderberg in the final moments. Bolland scored his empty-netter with 13 seconds left after a no-call on Torey Krug who looked like he got tripped trying to keep the puck in Chicago’s zone.
What they'll be saying: For hope going into Game 6 Monday (8 p.m., NBC), Bruins fans only need to look back two years since the B’s trailed the Canucks 3-2 and came back to win Game 6 at TD Garden then Game 7 in Vancouver. Since 2001 four of the six teams to go down 3-2 in the Cup Final have gone on to win the whole thing. Obviously, Boston’s chances to rally hinge on Bergeron’s status. With that said, the Blackhawks could be missing Toews as well - so it would be a wash if the carbon copy players are both out.
Carl Soderberg’s first NHL playoff game was one of the only real positives coming out of Game 5 for the Bruins. He played 14:16 over 17 shifts, had three hits, won four of five faceoffs and didn’t look out of place when Boston head coach Claude Julien bumped him up to the second line in Bergeron’s place. If Bergeron can’t play in Game 6, get ready to see either Kaspars Daugavins or Jordan Caron - which in either case is basically a nightmare scenario.
Chicago started to find cracks in the normally rock-solid combination of Chara and Seidenberg so Julien was forced to split them up in the latter stages of Game 5. Chara had been on the ice for seven of the last eight Chicago goals and Seidenberg had been on the ice for six of the last eight goals. Boston needs both of those guys to get out of their personal funks to have a chance to win two games in a row and capture their second Cup in three seasons.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter >@RichSlate