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NHL: Bruins beat Blackhawks 2-0, edge ahead in series

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots on Monday to lead the Boston Bruins to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks and into the lead in the NHL Stanley Cup finals.

The Bruins took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven championship series thanks to second-period goals from Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron.

In the third, the Bruins relied on Rask to preserve the lead and once again he came through with his third shutout of the playoffs.

The Bruins host game four on Wednesday, trying to cement their lead in a series that marks the first time two of the NHL's Original Six franchises have met in the Stanley Cup Finals since 1979, when Montreal beat the New York Rangers in five games.

The Blackhawks have now lost two straight after their triple-overtime triumph in the series opener.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford stopped 33 shots, but he was backed by little offense as the Blackhawks went 0-for-4 on the power play.

The Blackhawks were hindered by the absence of Marian Hossa, who was scratched after the pre-game warm-ups.

Hossa, who was tied for the team lead in playoff points with 15, was replaced by forward Ben Smith, who was playing his first game in this post-season.

After coming out flat in the first period of game two, Boston controlled play for much of the first period on this one, with Crawford called on to make 11 saves.

"I think we came out pretty solid," Boston's German defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said. "We tried to get pucks deep, tried to forecheck them, tried to force turnovers.

"It was, I think from both teams, a pretty slow start, a little tentative maybe. But we slowly got it going and started skating better once the game started, found our game eventually."

Early in the second, Paille scored his second goal of the series to put the Bruins ahead. He kept the puck in the Chicago zone along the left wall and found Tyler Seguin for a great chance in the slot that Crawford got a piece of. Chicago's Dave Bolland tried to clear it, but Paille corralled the puck, turned and fired at 2:13 of the second.

The Bruins got their first power play of the game 12 minutes into the second period after Bolland was called for cross-checking in bringing Chris Kelly down.

Boston had a chance when Paille came flying through the neutral zone and tried to get a shot on net from the left wing, but he was upended by Niklas Hjalmarsson, who was whistled for tripping to give the Bruins a 5-on-3 advantage.

The two-man advantage was only for 10 seconds and the first penalty expired before Boston could capitalize, but Bolland was just coming out of the box when the Bruins made it 2-0.

Zdeno Chara had the puck at the right point as the Bolland infraction ticked away, and passed it down low to the right side of the net. From there, Jaromir Jagr fired it across the goal mouth and Bergeron gathered the puck and fired it home with 5:55 remaining in the period.

The point for an assist was 197th for Jagr in his post-season career, moving him into sole possession of fifth place on the NHL's all-time list, one ahead of Paul Coffey.

Seidenberg said he and his teammates were determined to keep pressing, after twice letting two-goal leads evaporate in the game one defeat.

"We told ourselves when we came into the locker room, we said, 'We've been in this position and we gave up the two-goal lead, so let's do it better today, keep attacking,'" he said. "If you attack, it's tough for them to score in our end.

"We did a good job, kept playing our style, kept putting pucks deep, except the last couple of minutes actually. They threw everything at us ... They got quite a few chances. For the most part we did a decent job."

Seidenberg said less than ideal ice conditions made things difficult for both teams.

"It was very tough," he said. "If you look at the ice, it was really rough, the puck was bouncing constantly. Just to control the puck or make passess was tough. It wasn't pretty."

Once again, Seidenberg was a work-horse for the Bruins, his 25:04 minutes on ice second only to the 25:47 of Chara.

"I don't know how easy I handle it, I maybe try to hide it a little bit but it's pretty tough playing against those guys," Seidenberg said. "They've got a lot of speed, just going up and down the ice and hitting all the time -- it's exhausting."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130618/nhl-bruins-beat-blackhawks-2-0-edge-ahead-series