BOSTON – The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t merely taken control of the NHL Stanley Cup Final, they have done it while high-profile Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara was on the ice.
The Blackhawks have scored eight of their nine goals in winning the last two games against the Bruins while the 2009 Norris Trophy winner was defending.
Chicago leads the best-of-seven series 3-2. Game 6 is Monday in Boston.
“I don’t think there was one thing said where we really wanted to attack him or go at him or try to hit him or anything like that,” said Chicago forward Patrick Kane, who scored twice in Game 5 on Saturday with the 6-foot-9 Chara on the ice. “I think we’re just playing the way we have.”
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In Game 4, when the Blackhawks beat host Boston 6-5 in overtime, Chara was battling in front of the net with Jonathan Toews when Brent Seabrook’s shot from the right point got past goaltender Tuukka Rask for the winner.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville felt his team needed to get more chances at the net after being shut out in Game 3, even when Chara was playing.
Bruins coach Claude Julien knows the Blackhawks are challenging Chara, but expects the defenseman to bounce back.
“It’s pretty obvious that they’re throwing the pucks in his corner and they want to get him to turn and tire him out,” Julien said. “He’s a well-trained athlete that can handle that . . .”