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Blackhawks vs. Bruins Free Game 3 Pick | NHL Preview

Stanley Cup Final Moves to Boston for Game 3

The Stanley Cup Final makes its first appearance in Boston in two years Monday night when the Bruins, who evened the series Saturday night, look to take control over the hard-luck Chicago Blackhawks who had their chances but were unable to solve Tuukka Rask in Game 2.

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Chicago Blackhawks (49-11-2-5) at Boston Bruins (41-17-5-3)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, June 17, 2013
Where: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Broadcast: CBC, RDS, NBCSN
Series tied 1-1
Hawks vs. Bruins Betting Lines from betonline.com
Chicago Blackhawks +1½ -280 +114 Ov 5 +132
Boston Bruins -1½ +235 -126 Un 5 -145

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Although these two teams didn’t meet during the regular season they should be familiar with each other already – they have played nearly 10 periods in the two games of the Final so far. The TD Garden has been a difficult place for opposing teams to play so far in the playoffs – the Bruins have won six straight games on home ice ahead of Monday’s Game 3.

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For the first time in the playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks looked tired in Game 2. After all it was their third straight overtime game having posted a double-overtime series-clinching victory over reigning champion Los Angeles in the Western Conference final and playing two straight emotional physical games in this series. They started Game 2 very well and definitely deserved better than a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. But the team slowed significantly after the first period and let the Bruins dictate the game after that – and they obviously paid the price. The Blackhawks put 19 shots on goal in that first period and need a way to sustain that kind of pressure.

Some good news for Chicago – Patrick Kane has four goals and an assist in his last four games. He had recorded two goals and set up eight others in his previous 15 contests. Patrick Sharp was also dominant Saturday. He scored his ninth goal of the playoffs in Game 2 tying him with David Krejci – he also recorded seven shots on goal. Some bad news – Duncan Keith has logged a mind-boggling 121:01 of ice time in the last three games. Also the Hawks have failed to score on their last 15 power play chances – surprising considering the talent on this team.

But this is the Final – time to put it all on the line.

The Boston Bruins certainly weathered a storm in the first period of Game 2 and the team got better as the game wore on despite the top line of Horton, Krejci and Lucic failing to record a shot for the first 2 1/2 periods. Simply put they got back to Bruins hockey – strong forechecking, solid defense and stellar goaltending propelled them to victory. [ad-4437448]

Credit Coach Claude Julien for a minor tweak in the line combinations – a new third line featuring Tyler Seguin, Dan Paille and Chris Kelly scored both goals on Saturday night and looked like the best line on the ice. Depth was long thought to be a determining factor in this series and on Saturday night the Bruins won that battle!

Tuukka Rask was sensational in the first part of Game 2 and was the only reason the Bruins had a chance to rally. He made 33 saves including 18-of-19 in the first period alone. Credit Boston’s defense as well – Chicago only managed nine shots combined through the final two periods of regulation. The Hawks failed to score with the man advantage as well – the Bruins have now killed off 22 straight penalties against.

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:

• Under is 10-1-2 in CHI last 13 road games.
• CHI are 49-18 in their last 67 overall.
• CHI are 22-9 in their last 31 Mon. games.
• BOS are 24-3 in their last 27 Mon. games.
• CHI are 3-7 in the last 10 meetings.

In Game 2 we saw the Bruins return to the style of game that made them successful to this point in the season – hard-nosed in both ends of the rink. In turn, they may have exposed the Hawks defense just a tad. Expect more of the same Monday with the Bruins punishing the Hawks en route to another low scoring victory. Boston looks to have found something and will continue to exploit it.

Pick: Boston Bruins -126


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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.