Hawks' return to Boston spoiled by loss, hoping to bounce back in Ottawa
On their return to Boston’s TD Garden after winning the Stanley Cup there last summer, the Chicago Blackhawks were unable to solve the Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask, who made 28 saves throughout the game. The Blackhawks have only been shutout 3 times this season.
The Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron scored twice to extend a goal streak to a career-high five games. He scored the first goal of the game 11:50 of the first period on a tip-in of a slapshot by Matt Bartkowski, and scored his second goal, the third and last of the game, 5:41 into the third period, sealing the Bruins’ victory. The second goal of the game was scored only 13 seconds earlier, by Carl Soderberg.
The Blackhawks praised the Bruins’ game and their stingy defense, but coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t too critical of the result of the game, saying, "Every game is different. You miss [Kane], you're trying some things and we're seeing what it can look like. But, a good defensive team, Boston is as stingy as there is anyway, so we'll see. One more game [Friday] night; we'll get back at it [against the Ottawa Senators on the road]."
The loss means that Chicago failed to clinch a berth to the playoffs; a win against Boston or a Phoenix loss would have done it, but the Coyotes won 3-2 in a shootout against New Jersey. Boston already have their playoffs spot secured, and are a point away from the Atlantic Division title.
After the tragic loss of two Boston firefighters on Wednesday, the Bruins did their warmups wearing Boston Fire Department hats, and the Boston Fire Department was named First Star of the game. Bergeron said of it, “They're the heroes and we're just here; it puts things in perspective if you want to put it that way. And tonight was a well-deserved First Star."
On Friday, the Blackhawks, now 42-17-15, face the Ottawa Senators (29-29-14) in Ottawa. The Senators have ten games left of the regular season, and they are not yet out of playoffs contention, although almost. They sit 6th in the Atlantic division, 8 points away from the Wild Card spot, and they’d have to win all of their games while both Detroit and Toronto lose theirs.
The Senators have recently lost Bobby Ryan to injury. his season is over because of a sports hernia that he’s been playing with since last November. Star D-man Erik Karlsson, captain Jason Spezza and forward Ales Hemsky are producing for the team, but they get routinely outshot by their opponents and are 29th in the league for goals against.
The Blackhawks are still without forward Patrick Kane and still waiting for newcomer Teuvo Teravainen to record his first point for the team.
The Blackhawks will want to secure their playoffs spot and should come out hungry for a win in Ottawa, which should make for an interesting game.
Game time is 7.30 p.m. ET and can be seen live on CSN-CH and SNET-E.