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Bruins Look to Draw Level with Blackhawks

The Boston Bruins will hope Nathan Horton is available for Saturday's Game 2.

The Boston Bruins will hope Nathan Horton is available for Saturday’s Game 2.

After Wednesday’s triple-overtime Game 1, the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks will both have been thankful for two days off between games, the Bruins more so than the Blackhawks.

Bruins’ right-winger Nathan Horton left the opening game with an unspecified upper body injury. Horton – who has tallied 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists) this postseason, second only to line-mate David Kreji’s 23 points (9 goals, 14 assists) – will be a game time decision.

“Hopefully Horty will find a way to play,” Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli told the Boston Herald.

“I understand if he can’t. I mean, he got injured. At the end of the day, it’s the player’s call. I do think this is a case where having the extra two days helps.”

If Horton does play, it will be a huge boost for Boston – trailing for the first time in a series this postseason – as the team looks to even up the series Saturday night (8:00 p.m. ET).

The Bruins held a 3-1 lead early in the third period of Game 1, but ultimately failed to hold on for the win. Goals from Dave Bolland and Johnny Oduya left the game tied at the end of regulation, and forcing the start of a marathon session. It was Andrew Shaw’s goal – his fifth of the playoffs – that finally separated the two sides at 12:08 in the third extra frame.

At 112 minutes and 8 seconds, the game proved to be the fifth longest in Stanley Cup Finals history, just 3:05 shorter than a 1990 classic between the Bruins and Edmonton Oilers that currently holds the record.

While Boston looks to draw level, Chicago will look to go up 2-0 for the third time this postseason. Blackhawks’ coach Joel Quenneville is unlikely to make drastic changes after Wednesday’s victory, but the team knows it needs to make some changes to avoid trailing late in the game again.

“The first game we didn’t know what to expect from each other, but now we know a little bit more,” forward Michael Frolik told the Chicago Sun Times.

“There are going to be a few adjustments. But we don’t want to change that much.”

Goaltender Corey Crawford – who has excelled this postseason – will look to put a stopper to more of Boston’s chances. He yielded three goals on 54 shots (.944 SV%) in Game 1, allowing three or more for just the sixth time in 18 playoff games this season.

Bruins’ netminder, Tuukka Rask will be thinking the same thing. He gave up four goals on 63 shots (.937 SV%) in Game 1, marking only the fifth time (from 17) that he’d allowed three or more this postseason.

Chicago captain Jonathan Toews enters the game one day after being awarded the Frank J. Selke Award, given out annually to the forward displaying the best defensive skills. Toews was the favorite to win the award, but only just edged out Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, adding another wrinkle to the on-going Finals’ storyline.

The Chicago Blackhawks will look to build on Game 1's success.

The Chicago Blackhawks will look to build on Game 1’s success.

Boston Bruins vs. Chicago Blackhawks odds for 6/15/13 (Game 2) are available now.

With a 10-1 record at home this postseason, Chicago (-152) understandably opens as the favorite. Only the Detroit Red Wings have managed to pick up a road win at the United Center, but Boston (+138) has the ability to change that. The Bruins are 6-3-0 straight up in their last nine against Chicago.

Most sportsbooks have marginally narrowed the gap between the two sides on the moneyline.

The over/under opened at five. Boston (8-7-2) has narrowly favored the over while Chicago (7-7-4) has split the over/under evenly. However, the last three Blackhawks games – including Game 1 in this series – and four of the last five have seen the total go over. That’s about the only hint at which way the over/under will go in Game 2, leaving bettors with a veritable crapshoot of a decision.


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