Blackhawks host Bruins in matchup of previous champs
The two previous Stanley Cup champions get together tonight at the United Center, where the Boston Bruins look to get on track against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Bruins needed seven games to dispose of Vancouver to win last year's NHL title and are off to a slow 1-3-0 start this season. They have dropped consecutive games to Colorado and Carolina, and were handed a 3-2 loss by the Hurricanes on Wednesday in their road opener.
Boston made it a one-goal game when Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand each lit the lamp in the third period, but it wasn't enough to avoid the loss. Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots for the Bruins, who will head back to Beantown after tonight for a four-game homestand versus the Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Sharks and Canadiens.
"We have a better team than that. It's a little disappointing, but at the same time it's no reason to panic," Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara said.
Boston is only 1-for-18 on power play chances this season. Each of its three losses this season have come by one goal and the team has logged the fewest points over its first four games since starting the 1999-2000 campaign 0-3-1, but head coach Claude Julien isn't too worried about his club.
"I don't think it's any reason to panic right now," Julien said on the team's site. "We're a good enough team that when we find our game we're going to win more than we're going to lose and I still have that confidence in our team from what we accomplished ... we've just got to find it."
Chicago captured the 2009-10 Stanley Cup championship by defeating Philadelphia in six games and has won two in a row since a season-opening loss at Dallas. It bounced back from that defeat with a 5-2 pounding versus the Stars in the back end of a home-and-home series, then handed Winnipeg a 4-3 setback Thursday in the Windy City.
The Blackhawks, who will close out their three-game residency Saturday, got goals from Andrew Brunette, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Dave Bolland. Kane had two assists and goaltender Ray Emery turned away 27 of the 30 shots he faced for Chicago, which overcame a two-goal deficit for the victory.
"It was a different test from the other night where the game's on the line throughout," Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said. "We got to make sure that we're more comfortable in that setting and we should improve off of these levels."
Jets players Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd returned to Chicago for the first time since helping the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup title.
The Bruins blanked the Blackhawks, 3-0, in Boston in the lone meeting last year and have taken five of the last seven meetings overall. Boston does own just two wins and a tie in its last seven trips to Chicago.