BOSTON -- Quality scoring chances are tough to come by against this Bruins team, and especially tough if you don’t create havoc in front of Tuukka Rask. The Blackhawks didn’t do much of that in Monday night’s Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals and the result was a resounding 2-0 Bruins win that could have easily been worse.
"It's a low-chance game. It's a low-chance series. ... It's hard to get A-plus chances,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after the game. “You have to manufacture the second, kind of ugly goals, tip screens, deflections.”
Rask made 28 saves, but how many of those were quality opportunities?
“Tonight I thought we made it rather easy on [Rask] as far as traffic and finding and seeing pucks,” Quenneville said. “I think we got to be better at going to the net in non-puck areas.”
How do you generate “A-plus” chances? For starters, you can hold your own on the faceoff dot. The Bruins dominated that facet of the game Monday, winning 40 of 56 faceoffs.
Patrice Bergeron was an incredible 24 of 28 (86 percent) on faceoffs in Game 3, with no other player winning more than 8 draws on the game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Bergeron was also 8 of 10 on the draw against Jonathan Toews, who had won 52 percent of his faceoffs entering the game this postseason, best on the Blackhawks.
“You can talk about that and our power play,” Quenneville said. “Those were basically the differentials in the game.”
The Blackhawks had another 0-fer on the power play, the Bruins killing each of the five penalties against them. Overall, Boston has killed 27 straight penalties.
For the series, the Blackhawks are 0 for 11 on the power play and have generated a combined eight shots on goal (21 total shots), which is two fewer than Bruins had in Game 3 alone, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
“They box you out. They got big bodies,” Quenneville explained. “They blocked shots. I think we had some chances to get some pucks through the net, we didn't. Our entries weren't great. That's something you want to look at.”
By comparison, the Bruins have put 68 percent of their power play shot attempts on goal, including 10 of 12 in Game 3.
“We just keep plugging away with those special teams, but at the same time, I'm not going to change my attitude as far as saying that five-on-five right now is just as important,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “So we got to continue to play well five-on-five.”