Down 2-1 to Boston, Blackhawks counting on each other

  • Article by: CHRIS KUC
  • Updated: June 18, 2013 - 11:49 PM

After an underwhelming effort in the Game 3 loss, Chicago players know they are one victory from evening the series and re-establishing home-ice advantage.

Chicago Tribune (MCT)

BOSTON - The sun still came up over the Blackhawks’ team hotel in Boston the day after they fell behind 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Final.

“It feels like the end of the world after a loss, but you wake up the next day and realize it’s a long series and there’s another game to be played,” winger Patrick Sharp said Tuesday at TD Garden. “At the start of Game 4, we’re not going to be thinking about what happened in Game 3.”

After an underwhelming effort against the Bruins on Monday night during which they were outplayed in nearly every facet, the Hawks know they are only one victory from evening the best-of-seven series and heading back to Chicago with home-ice advantage re-established.

“It’s ugly sometimes out there and people can look from the outside and say this series is lopsided,” Sharp said. “But ... if we win Game 4 (Wednesday night) we’re in great shape and that’s our focus right now.”

Thus the Hawks will look to snap a two-game losing skid and halt the momentum of a Bruins team playing at its highest level in an arena where they never have lost a Stanley Cup Final contest.

“Nobody’s giving up,” center Dave Bolland said. “When you see us blocking shots or going to the net or taking hits ... that’s passion. That’s when you’re playing with your heart and you’re playing hard, when you’re coming out with ice bags and shots and taking that abuse. It’s desperation hockey.

“We always have belief. We have the players, we have the confidence (and) we have the kind of team that can do it. We know we can bounce back.”

In other words, there is no sense of panic among the Hawks.

“We just believe in each other,” Sharp said. “We have been together for a couple of seasons and we have been in a lot of different situations where panic could set in and it hasn’t. No reason to start now.”

The Hawks are looking ahead at what they have to do to reverse their fortunes. The anticipated return to the lineup of winger Marian Hossa, who missed Game 3 with an upper-body injury, will help, but defenseman Johnny Oduya said it needs to be a collective effort.

(“We need) that little extra urgency, taking pucks to the net, being on the PK, on the power play, whatever it is, putting pressure on them,” Oduya said. “It’s a team game and a team effort and it needs to jump up a little bit more. We have it in us.

“When you’re facing the toughest game or toughest opponent it brings out the best in you. That goes for all hockey players. When we’re backed into a corner you want to fight yourself out of it. That shows good character from our team and that’s why we feel confident we can do it.”

Though history means little when the puck drops, the numbers suggest the Hawks are facing an arduous climb. The Bruins are 2-0 all time when taking a 2-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final while the Hawks are 0-3 lifetime when trailing 2-1.

To make matters appear worse, the Bruins are on a seven-game winning streak at TD Garden and are 8-2 at the arena in the playoffs, outscoring opponents 28-17. The Bruins have won each of their four Stanley Cup Final games at TD Garden, dating to 2011 when they faced the Canucks, and hold a 19-3 goal differential - including the 2-0 victory over the Hawks in Game 3.

“It’s going to be tough. Boston is a great team at home,” defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “...Every shift, every second of (Game 4) is going to be important for us to be at our best. We have to have our best game of the season.”

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