Yes, they lost Marc Savard and really that could be the bigger loss right now and going forward, but that game was a measuring stick of where this Bruins team is — and apparently, they are not ready to hang with the big boys. Duncan Keith (two goals, one assist) and the Blackhawks defense were the story as they have been all season for Chicago, moving the puck through the neutral zone with ease and confidence and retrieving it behind their net with authority. If people wonder why Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is always coveting "puck-moving" defensemen, there's your answer. You can never have enough of them — and the Blackhawks have plenty.
That's all from here, folks, and thanks for joining us! Up next, a rematch with the Rangers in a 1 p.m. matinee (NESN) at TD Garden on Saturday.
Third period, 2:11, Blackhawks 5-2: This one looks all but over folks as the Blackhawks score another to go up 5-2. Patrick Kane lit the lamp and this has just been utter domination since halfway through the first period.
Third period, 7:25, Blackhawks 4-2: The Blackhawks just had a goal called back as Kris Versteeg swatted a puck out of mid-air but it was ruled a high-stick. Check that, they are now reviewing the play. OK, and it is still no goal.
The Bruins didn't muster much offense on that recent power play and they're now 1-for-3.
Third period, 11:14, Blackhawks 4-2: Patrick Kane is in the sin bin for hooking and the Bruins are on their third power play. They're 1-for-2 tonight.
Third period, 12:19, Blackhawks 4-2: Still no word on Marc Savard, but the Bruins are clearly missing some of his play-making skills and will continue to if he is out for an extended period of time. Still not sure if it makes a difference right now, though, as this Blackhawks team is on another level.
Third period, 17:12, Blackhawks 4-2: I imagine Jack Edwards is yelling "Down Goes Fraser!" right now as Johnny Boychuk drops the gloves with Colin Fraser and takes him down to the ice with one final punch!
Third period, 18:13, Blackhawks 4-2: We're under way in the third period at TD Garden as the Bruins try to muster some offense here. They're being outshot 29-14.
End of second period, Blackhawks 4-2: The Blackhawks (and Duncan Keith) have completely taken this game over and the Bruins look rattled. As expected, Chicago has dominated with its transition game and the Bruins look flat-footed. That alone has made the rest of their game shaky and they trail by two after two.
Keith is really on tonight and the Bruins forwards need to clamp down on him. Right now, he and the Blackhawks are moving through the neutral zone with ease and that has been the major difference.
It's too bad to see Tim Thomas chased from the game as, aside from that fourth goal, you can't blame him for this scoreline. He stopped 19 of 24 shots. But it's better overall to pull him and not leave him in to get his confidence smashed.
No word yet on Marc Savard's injury but when we hear, we will let you know.
Second period, 1:00: Antii Niemi, the Blackhawks goalie is a pretty interesting story as Tuukka Rask told me earlier today.
According to Rask (and Niemi later confirmed this), Niemi drove a Zamboni to get by as he worked his way up through the "B" League and into the Finnish Elite League. He was finally noticed by a Chicago scout and now, a few years later, he is on a Stanley Cup contender. They should play "I Wanna Drive A Zamboni" at the United Center when he makes a big save.
Second period, 5:47, Blackhawks 4-2: Brian Campbell is in the sin bin for delay of game and the Bruins are on their second power play. They're 1-for-1 so far tonight. This is a good chance to seize some momentum back.
Second period, 9:47, Blackhawks 4-2: Tim Thomas is being relieved by Tuukka Rask after the Blackhawks take a two-goal lead as Duncan Keith beats Thomas on a floater from the blue line. It appeared to be tipped or change direction, but Thomas also appears to be a bit rattled right now, so it's understandable that Claude Julien pulls him for Rask.
Ben Eager and Colin Fraser had the helpers. I guess this is why the Blackhawks recently locked Keith up for 13 years. He is clearly a premiere defenseman already at age 26.
Second period, 15:09, Blackhawks 3-2: The Blackhawks remind me a lot of the Red Wings during their reign of dominance and Stanley Cup teams of recent years. Their puck possession is amazing — much like those Wings teams — and they create so much offense with their blue line. It figures that they finally learned from the Red Wings after getting dominated by them so much over the years — but the tables have turned.
Second period, 18:18, Blackhawks 3-2: We're under way in the second period and less than two minutes in, Andrew Ladd gives the Blackhawks their first lead just as the Zdeno Chara penalty ends. Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith had the helpers.
End of first period, 2-2: The first period was almost two different periods in one as the Bruins came out fired up and took a quick 2-0 lead despite losing their top center, Marc Savard. But the Blackhawks came roaring back and tied it up with two goals in the second half of the period and ended up outshooting the Bruins 17-8.
As for the injury to Savard, how much worse can it get for the Bruins this week? They've now lost Andrew Ference (groin, six weeks), Patrice Bergeron (broken thumb, two weeks) and now Savard to an unknown injury. At least they got Milan Lucic back, but how much longer can this team tread water and remain in the playoff hunt? It's gut-check time for sure!
First period, 19.3, 2-2: Zdeno Chara is off to the penalty box for roughing and the Blackhawks are on their first power play.
First period, 1:56, 2-2: Tomas Kopecky ties the game on a nice feed in front by Colin Fraser and the Blackhawks have suddenly tied this game at two. They're showing why they're the top team in the NHL.
First period, 7:11, Bruins 2-1: Duncan Keith, recently named to Team Canada, just rang one off the post and in to make it 2-1. The Blackhawks get back in it.
Kris Versteeg, a former Bruin, had the primary assist and Dustin Byfuglien had the secondary. Keith is probably in my top three for the Norris Trophy. He brings it all every game. He's physical, plays with finesse and has an amazing first outlet pass.
First period, 11:58, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins deal with the devil pays off as Miroslav Satan scores his first of the season and first as a Bruin. Blake Wheeler made a great poke-check to knock the puck loose to Satan in front, who sniped it past Niemi to tickle the twine. Wheeler continues to be everywhere.
First period, 12:41, Bruins 1-0: Marc Savard will not return to the game, it was just announced. He's a huge loss tonight and possibly going forward for the Bruins! No word on what the exact injury is.
First period, 14:30, Bruins 1-0: Blake Wheeler is en fuego as he just scored his fourth goal in three games and the Bruins are up 1-0. He has a goal in three straight games as well.
Derek Morris blasted one in from the point and Wheeler tipped it in even though the puck was almost behind him. Johnny Boychuk had the other helper.
First period, 16:13: Jonathan Toews is in the sin bin for slashing and the Bruins are on their first power play. They were 2-for-5 at Ottawa on Tuesday.
First period, 19:32: We're under way at the TD Garden and the Bruins already have an injury. Marc Savard just took an awkward tumble into the boards and appears to have hurt his leg. He is headed to the dressing room. And the injury beat goes on for the Bruins.
7 p.m.: NESN's Naoko Funayama is reporting that Milan Lucic will in fact be in the lineup for the Bruins tonight.
12:54 p.m.: Checking in with an update from practice: The Bruins and Blackhawks held their game day skate and it appears it will be Tim Thomas (12-9-5 with a 2.31 GAA, .921 save percentage and four shutouts) between the pipes for the Bruins, making his second straight start.
Down at the other end will be Finnish netminder Antii Niemi (1.81 GAA, .926 save percentage and four shutouts).
With Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference out six weeks with a groin injury, rookie Adam McQuaid will be in the lineup, and although he has played only three games, he's ready for action.
"You just go out, keep it simple and play your game," McQuaid said. "I'm really excited."
Forward Milan Lucic said nothing has changed with his status and he is a game-time decision.
"Same story guys, I got nothing new," Lucic said. "I feel I'm ready but I don't know, we'll see."