Friday, December 13, 2013
By JAY COHEN/The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
The captain: Zdeno Chara leads Boston defensemen with 11 points in the playoffs.
Associated Press Photos
The captain: Jonathan Toews has one goal and eight playoff assists.
STANLEY CUP FINALS SCHEDULE
All games start at 8 p.m.
Game 1: Wednesday at Chicago
Game 2: Saturday at Chicago
Game 3: Monday at Boston
Game 4: June 19 at Boston
*Game 5: June 22 at Chicago
*Game 6: June 24 at Boston
*Game 7: June 26 at Chicago
• Jaromir Jagr, 41, makes his first finals appearance in 21 years since winning Cups with Pittsburgh in 1990-91 and 1991-92. He is tied for fifth in career playoff scoring (78 goals, 118 assists)
n Chicago forward Bryan Bickell has eight goals in 17 playoff games after scoring just nine in 48 regular-season games.
• Home teams are 56-24 this postseason. Chicago has home-ice advantage for the finals and is 9-1 in the playoffs at home.
• Defensemen have scored 15 of Boston’s 50 playoff goals.
• Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara (6-foot-9, 255 pounds) is nearly a foot taller and 75 pounds heavier than Patrick Kane, Chicago’s leading scorer in the regular season.
• The Bruins became the first team in NHL history to overcome a three-goal, third-period deficit and win a Game 7. They did that against Toronto, scoring twice in the final 1:22 of regulation with their goalie pulled for an extra attacker and then winning in overtime, 5-4.
• The Bruins lead in the regular-season series, 259-238-81.
• The teams have met six times in the playoffs, with Boston winning five of those series: Boston won in 1927 (two games, total goals), 1942 (2-1), 1970 (4-0), 1974 (4-2), and 1978 (4-0). Chicago won a preliminary round series in 1975, 2-1.
Antti Niemi, another Finnish goalie who is good friends with Rask, was in net when the Blackhawks won the title in 2010. But he signed with San Jose in the ensuing offseason while Chicago worked through salary-cap issues.
The Blackhawks then signed Marty Turco to start in goal and planned to have Crawford serve as the backup. Those plans eventually fell apart and Crawford earned the starting nod. He won at least 30 games in each of his first two seasons in a regular role, then went 19-5 with a career-best 1.94 GAA this year.
“He’s had a lot to overcome,” said defenseman Brent Seabrook, who was selected by Chicago in the first round of that same 2003 draft. “Whether it’s been fighting for position, fighting for jobs – we brought some guys in – I think he’s kept his composure. I think he’s worked real hard.”
With Crawford in goal, the Blackhawks lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons. Surrounded by the core of the Stanley Cup-winning team, Crawford, 28, still had to learn about playing in the postseason.
He’s come a long way.
“I’d say I learned a lot, especially some of the goals I gave up last year I wasn’t very happy with,” Crawford said. “Just able to learn from that. Get over it and move on. No matter what happens, there’s always a next shot, so you have to make sure you’re there to save the next one.”