Blackhawks

LIVE: Blackhawks down 3-0 in 3rd period

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LIVE: Blackhawks down 3-0 in 3rd period

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Posted: 10:45 a.m.

(AP) -- While the Boston Bruins have already clinched a playoff spot, the Chicago Blackhawks have plenty of work left in order to do the same.

The Blackhawks look to build on a emotional victory to open a three-game trip with a third straight win over the Bruins on Tuesday night.

Chicago (41-26-8) remained eighth in the Western Conference with a 3-2 overtime win at Detroit on Monday. Winners in three of four, the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks are one point behind seventh-place Anaheim and three ahead of ninth-place Calgary and four up on 10th-place Dallas with seven games remaining.

READ: Hossa makes former 'mates pay with OT winner

Despite blowing a pair of one-goal leads against the Red Wings, the Blackhawks were able to prevail and bounce back after giving up a third-period lead in Saturday's 2-1 home loss to the Ducks.

"We just have to keep it simple," said forward Marian Hossa, who scored the game-winner and added an assist Monday. "We're coming off a tough game and Boston is playing great now. We are real desperate to get points."

The Bruins (42-23-10), who earned a playoff berth with a 2-1 victory at Philadelphia on Sunday, are third in the East and four points behind second-place Washington.

With seven games remaining and a seven-point lead over Montreal in the Northeast Division, Boston still believes it has much to play for down the stretch. Having a hungry Chicago club in town also raises the bar.
WATCH: Toews enjoying new celebration moves

"(Chicago is) a desperate team," coach Claude Julien told the Bruins' official website. "Those kind of games should be helpful for us to stay on top of ours and realize that if you are not ready for games like that you can get embarrassed pretty easily."

After losing four straight in the series, Chicago swept the Bruins in 2009-10, including a 5-2 win at Boston on Jan. 7, 2010.

Though Hossa has been held without a point in six straight games against Boston, he has 11 goals and nine assists his last 16 contests overall.

Patrick Kane, who had two assists Monday, has two goals and three assists in five career games against the Bruins while captain Jonathan Toews has four with an assist versus Boston during that same span.

"They are a great team," Boston forward Patrice Bergeron said. "They have a lot of talent. "It's going to be a tough one, we'll make sure we're ready."

Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand each scored on the power play Sunday as the Bruins won for the third time in four games.

"We're focused on where we are and not where we're going to be," said Bruins forward Mark Recchi, who has two goals and two assists his last three games versus Chicago. "We're pretty confident we're not going to slip past third (in the East). We just want to be playing our best hockey full speed ahead."

Horton has three goals in three games, but has been held without a point his last four against the Blackhawks.

All-Star Tim Thomas, who made 27 saves against the Flyers, has allowed two goals on 83 shots during his personal three-game winning streak. He is 4-1-1 lifetime versus Chicago, but posted a 5.04 goals-against average in losing his last two starts against the Blackhawks.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Golden Knights All-Star Max Pacioretty expected to return for Game 1 vs. Blackhawks

Golden Knights All-Star Max Pacioretty expected to return for Game 1 vs. Blackhawks

The Vegas Golden Knights are expected to get a major boost going into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After suffering a minor injury during Phase 3 of formal training camps that forced him to miss all three round-robin games, Max Pacioretty is "in the bubble" of Edmonton and should be ready to go for Game 1 of the first round against the Blackhawks. He completed his mandatory quarantine and will practice with the team on Monday, head coach Pete DeBoer said.

A six-time 30-goal scorer, Pacioretty led the Golden Knights in the regular season with 32 goals and 66 points. He participated in the NHL All-Star Game in January for the first time in his career and was the lone representative for Vegas.

Expect Pacioretty to play on the first line with Mark Stone. When the two of them were on the ice together at even strength this season, the Golden Knights controlled 60.6 percent of the shot attempts, 64.8 percent of the scoring chances and had a goal differential of plus-18, according to Natural Stat Trick.

The Golden Knights were already a deep team. And they just got even more dangerous with the return of Pacioretty.

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Why Blackhawks are in for 'big test' against Vegas in Stanley Cup Playoffs

Why Blackhawks are in for 'big test' against Vegas in Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Blackhawks had their work cut out for them in the qualifying round against the Edmonton Oilers. It was all about containing the two best players in the world in Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, both of whom weren’t as much of a factor at even strength as we’re used to seeing in a competitive series that lasted four games.

But the Blackhawks are about to face a different beast in the Vegas Golden Knights, who locked up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The two teams will square off in a best-of-seven series in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Blackhawks watched the Golden Knights’ round-robin finale on Saturday from their suite at Rogers Place, getting an up-close look at their next opponent. And they know they're in for a challenge.

"They're a good team," Kirby Dach said. "They're deep up front, they have good defense, obviously great goaltending. They play the game fast, they're smart, they're a disciplined team. We just know we're going to have to keep elevating our game to compete and hopefully win the series, but we have a long way to go. It's going to be a battle. We've got to be ready each and every night because we know they're going to bring it."

The Golden Knights went 3-0 in round-robin play, beating the No. 1 offensive team (Colorado) and No. 1 defensive team (Dallas) in the West, and defending Stanley Cup champions (St. Louis) by a combined score of 15-10. And they didn't even look their best.

But when they are at their best, the Golden Knights are seemingly unbeatable.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Blackhawks news and analysis.

The Golden Knights ranked No. 1 this season in even-strength shot attempts from the slot for (25.4 per game) and even-strength shots on net from the slot (15.1), according to Sportlogiq. They also ranked No. 1 in even-strength shot attempts from the slot against (18.8).

The Golden Knights are just as good of an offensive team than they are defensively at even strength and can come at you in waves.

"They seem to use all four lines a little more than Edmonton did," Connor Murphy said. "Edmonton had their top two or three forwards that carried a lot of the offense and played a lot of minutes and seemed to have a lot of possession in their hands. It'll be definitely different defending against that team game and that simple pressure and speed that they have. They play that playoff-style game as well. That'll be something that we look at these next couple days, and either adjust or roll with."

To cap it off, the Golden Knights have arguably the best goaltending duo in the playoffs with Marc-Andre Fleury and former Chicago netminder Robin Lehner. It remains unclear who will start Game 1, but there might not be a wrong choice.

Put it all together and you have a Golden Knights team that doesn't have many holes on their roster.

"They’re an excellent team," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Very good defensively, stingy defensively, but they’ve created a lot going the other way, too. We know we’re going to have to raise our level. It’s going to be a big challenge, but we’re excited about it."