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Game 1 Preview : Blend-O-Matic

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Chicago Blackhawks (12-5) vs Boston Bruins (12-4) 7pm - United Center - Chicago, IL TV: NBC Radio: 720 AM WGN

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USA TODAY Sports

Series Schedule

Date Score W. Goal
Jun 26 '13
Jun 24 '13
Jun 22 '13
Jun 19 '13
Jun 17 '13
Jun 15 '13
Jun 12 '13

Coach Q has wasted no time in getting the interwebs riled up by benching Viktor Stalberg and replacing him with Brandon Bollig. The Bruins had their biggest problems in the post season with the Maple Leafs, a team that used their speed to attack Boston. When the Rangers and Penguins tried to out Bruins the Bruins, Boston had very little trouble. This is a move that looks like Q is trying to play Boston's game as opposed to going with what has been working all season long. Q is also splitting up Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, which worked so well the last few periods. Toews will be flanked by Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa will Kane will be skating with Michal Handzus and Bryan Bickell. I like the idea of surrounding Kaner with some size. I am not going to freak out over these lines because each series causes different match ups. I will give Q the benefit of the doubt that he sees something to exploit. Plus, we all know the finger is on the blender button at all times. Should be a fun one at the UC tonight. I am really looking forward to these two teams finally getting on the ice.

Since Mike did such a great job a writing up the series preview, I never got to make an official prediction. I am going with the Hawks 6. I think the Blackhawks defensive game and offensive depth will be too much for the Bruins too handle in the end.

Probable Blackhawks Lineup:

Fowards

Patrick Sharp - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell - Michal Handzus - Patrick Kane
Brandon Saad - Dave Bolland - Andrew Shaw
Brandon Bollig - Marcus Kruger - Michael Frolik

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Michal Rozsival - Nick Leddy

Goaltender

Corey Crawford 12-5 1.74 GAA, .935 save %, 1 SO

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
P. Sharp 17 8 6 14 4 6 1 2
M. Hossa 17 7 7 14 8 2 3 2
P. Kane 17 6 8 14 4 6 0 1
B. Bickell 17 8 5 13 6 12 1 2
D. Keith 16 2 9 11 6 14 0 0

Probable Bruins Lineup:

Forwards

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Jaromir Jagr
Kaspars Daugavins - Rich Peverley - Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille - Chris Kelly - Shawn Thornton

Defensive Pairings

Zdeno Chara - Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference - Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Goaltender

Tuukka Rask 12-4, 1.75 GAA, .943 save %, 2 SO

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
D. Krejci 16 9 12 21 14 10 1 2
N. Horton 16 7 10 17 21 8 2 3
B. Marchand 16 4 9 13 7 16 0 1
M. Lucic 16 3 10 13 13 14 0 0
P. Bergeron 16 5 6 11 4 13 1 2

Regular Season Team Stats

BRUINS STATS HAWKS
48 GP 48
28 W 36
14 L 7
6 OT 5
62 P 77
0.646 P% 0.802
2.65 G/G 3.1
2.21 GA/G 2.02
14.8 PP% 16.7
87.1 PK% 87.2
32.4 S/G 31.1
28.6 SA/G 26.2
56.4 FO% 50.8

See the Blackhawks at the United Center