The Stanley Cup Finals continue tonight with Game 4 between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins. Tonight's game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on NBC. Currently the odds for the game have the Bruins favored to take a big series lead.
Boston can take a strangle hold on the Stanley Cup Finals tonight if they can get past the Chicago Blackhawks. The Bruins have been able to win back to back games in pretty close contests, which is exactly what the NHL and fans are looking for in the finals. In tonight's game, however, the Bruins might not be able to keep off the Blackhawks, who will surely be firing with everything they have to try and even this series.
Tuukka Rask has been the most impressive player on the ice for the finals, shutting out the powerful Blackhawks in Game 3 and allowing just five goals in the previous three games total to a Chicago team that was impressive during the regular season. So far this series Rask has stopped 120 shots.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said Marian Hossa is expected to play in tonight's game after being a late scratch from Game 3 with an "upper body" injury. If he plays and has an impact on tonight's game, the Blackhawks might be able to snatch a win in tonight's game before heading back to Chicago with the series tied. Ultimately that would be the best option for Chicago tonight after having lost home ice advantage with a Game 2 loss to Boston.
Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane have to play well in tonight's game. Sharp scored the only goal for Chicago in a Game 2 loss at home and that's the only tally for either player through the first three games of the series. Getting to the Stanley Cup Finals is surely an accomplishment and role players are great, but in order to hoist the Cup your primetime players have to show up and contribute.
Zdeno Chara and the Bruins are aiming for the gut shot in tonight's game. A win would be huge for either team, but Boston can essentially shut the door on the series if they can win. It would put the Blackhawks in must-win mode for the rest of the series, obviously, but would also make Boston just a single game from winning their second Cup in three seasons.
Both teams are going to play well tonight. We like the grind guys for Chicago with Dave Bolland and Andrew Shaw. Yes, the prime guys have to show up and get in on the scoring action, but we expect the role guys to also contribute well tonight. Look for the Blackhawks to get great games from both sets of guys in tonight's game. This series is heading back to Chicago tied at 2-2.
Free Pick: Chicago 3, Boston 2
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