CHICAGO -- Three storylines for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks on Hockey Night in Canada from the United Center on Saturday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET). The championship series is tied at 2-2.
The Blackhawks scored a wild 6-5 win in Boston on Wednesday. Game 6 is set for Boston at TD Garden on Monday.
1. Have the Blackhawks figured out how to be effective against dependable Bruins captain Zdeno Chara?
The Blackhawks believe that Chara doesn't like to get hit and that you can go at him with speed if you protect the puck. Chara was on the ice for five goals in Game 4 after only being on the ice for one goal in his previous seven games.
"If that's what they think, then they should try it again," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "A lot of people have tried to figure out Zdeno, and he's the type of player he is. People talk about five goals against, but were they all his fault? None of them were his fault, actually."
It was Chara's defence partner Dennis Seidenberg who struggled on Wednesday.
"Just one of those situations where we feel he's one of our best players on our team," Julien said. "He's one of the best defencemen in the league, so I don't think there's too many flaws in his game. But if they want to think that way, they're entitled to it. I have no response to that except to know that my player is going to be good and ready tonight, and they can try it again if that's what they think."
One possible change for the Bruins is to substitute Carl Soderberg for Kaspars Daugavins in the left wing spot on the fourth line. The two shared line rushes during this morning's skate.
2. Will Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford bounce back on Saturday?
Bruins goalkeeper Tuukka Rask yielded six goals, one more than Crawford in Game 4. Yet, Crawford received more criticism and attention because the goals he surrendered were softer and usually on his glove-hand side. So right-shot Boston players like Patrice Bergeron, who scored twice had a field-day the other night.
In fact, 10 of the 12 goals Crawford has allowed in the final have been on his glove-hand side. "Last series they were talking about my blocker," Crawford joked on Friday. "Both sides are bad, I guess."
The butterfly-style goalie vowed to be better on Saturday.
3. What does history tell us about the team that wins Game 5?
This is the 23rd time that the final has arrived at Game 5 with the two combatants tied at 2-2. In the previous 22 times the club that has captured Game 5 has gone on to win 15 of the series. However, since 2001 the team that has lost Game 5 has rebounded to win the championship final four of six times.
The four teams that overcame a 3-2 deficit in the Stanley Cup final include: the 2011 Bruins vs. Vancouver; 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit; 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Calgary; and 2001 Colorado Avalanche vs. New Jersey.
By the way, this is fourth time in the last five years that the Stanley Cup final has been tied 2-2 after four games. The lone exception was last year, when the Los Angeles Kings enjoyed 3-1 advantage over the Devils after four games.
Projected lineup for Chicago
Bryan Bickell - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Michal Handzus - Marian Hossa
Brandon Saad - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg
Marcus Kruger - David Bolland - Michael Frolik
Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya - Nicklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy - Michal Rozsival
Projected lineup for Boston
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille - Chris Kelly - Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins - Rich Peverley - Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara - Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference - Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid
Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC
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