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Boston Bruins (30-15-2) at Chicago Blackhawks (31-8-11)

January 19th, 2014 at 10:30 AM
By Andrew McIntyre

The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins square off today in what is a rematch of last year's Stanley Cup Final. Both teams sit second in their respected Conferences and have a good shot of meeting each other in the final once again. Neither team has been great to start the new year, but each of them have won two of their last three games. This is the first of two meetings between the teams. The next game will be played on March 27 in Boston.

Here are some notes for tonight`s game:

  • The last time the Bruins saw the Blackhawks, the Blackhawks scored two goals in 17 seconds to win the Stanley Cup. You can bet that ending has been replayed countless times in the minds of the Bruins players and they will want to quickly erase that bad memory today.
  • After leaving Friday`s game with an upper-body injury, Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg was reevaluated and seems to be good to go for today`s game.
  • Sheldon Brookbank will be the Blackhawks`sixth defenseman for today`s game. Michal Rozsival and Michael Kostka will be healthy scratches.
  • The Bruins have seven players with more than 10 goals, but no one with more than 15. The Blackhawks have six players over 10 goals – four of them with more than 15 and two over 20.

Battle Between The Pipes

Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford (18-7-7, 2.47 GAA, .910 SV%)

Crawford is coming off his first win in his last nine contests as he helped take down the red hot Anaheim Ducks on Friday. Crawford has been playing better as of late and is quite familiar with the Bruins as he played all six games of the Stanley Cup Final against them in June.

Boston Bruins: Tuukka Rask (22-12-2, 2.11 GAA, .928 SV%)

Rask will get the start today for the Bruins. He has been one of the best goalies this season and could be the front runner to win the Vezina. He has recorded five shutouts this season, but has struggled lately losing three of his last four games. 

Players To Watch

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Patrick Sharp: 25 G, 24 A, 49 P

Sharp leads the Blackhawks with 25 goals and is second on the team in points. After starting January on a six-game point streak, Sharp has been held without a point in each of his last two games. Sharp is definitely not shy to fire pucks at the net as he ranks second in the NHL with over 202 shots. 

Boston Bruins: Forward, David Krejci: 10 G, 28 A, 38 P

Krejci leads the Bruins with 38 points, but has been held without a point in five of his last six games. He is coming off a two point performance on Thursday against the Dallas Stars and is hoping to carry that forward to today's game.

X Factors

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Marcus Kruger: 4 G, 16 A, 20 P

Kruger has been moved back to his normal spot on the fourth line and looks to continue to try and lock down the opposing teams` top line. Kruger also plays a big part in the Blackhawks`penalty kill and will be crucial today against a solid Bruins`power play. Kruger enters the game with four points over his last six games.

Boston Bruins: Forward, Loui Eriksson: 5 G, 10 A, 15 P

Eriksson has battled with concussions this season and has only played 27 games. In the three games he has been back, he has recorded one point and has seen about 15 shifts per game. Once a 30 goal scorer, Eriksson has the ability to light the lamp and could provide some added offense to the Bruins`third line.

Today's game is an early start as it begins at 11:30 pm. CT.

Let's Go Hawks!

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