Bruins vs. Blackhawks: Players Who Must Step Up in Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final

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Bruins vs. Blackhawks: Players Who Must Step Up in Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final

The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins, 4-3, in a classic triple-overtime affair in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night in Chicago.

Judging by how Game 1 played out, we can formulate who needs to truly step up in Game 2. 

Both teams put together streaks of consecutive goals in the opener. It started early, with Milan Lucic finding the net twice during the first 21 minutes of play. Brandon Saad countered in the second period before Patrice Bergeron made it 3-1 with 13:51 remaining in the third period.

In the third, the Blackhawks went on a run of their own, receiving goals from Dave Bolland and Johnny Oduya to tie it at 3-3. Through the first two overtimes, neither team was able to find the back of the net to take the win.

Andrew Shaw then tipped in a shot from Michal Rozsival for the game-winner in the third overtime..

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask stopped 59 of 63 shots sent his way, while Corey Crawford prevented 51 of 54 from finding the back of the net.

Game 2 clearly starts with the netminders.

 

Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

During the final 65:59 of Game 1, Crawford was absolutely sensational, pitching a shutout and making key saves. However, during the first 46:49 of the contest—yes, the game lasted 112:08—Crawford wasn't so hot.

The question is, which version of Crawford will we see in Game 2?

Crawford simply cannot afford to let up another three-goal game to the Bruins. After all, Rask has allowed three or more goals in just five of his 17 postseason starts.

 

Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In 2010, the Boston Bruins selected Seguin with the second overall draft choice. In his third year in the league, the 21-year-old center began to display the signs of a star in the making.

Through 17 playoff games, however, Seguin has just five points, and he will be needed even more in Game 2, according to Darren Dreger of TSN.com:

Horton has 18 points in 17 games. The Bruins cannot afford to lose an ounce of that production. Keep in mind, the Blackhawks won Game 1 without a single point from Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews.

 

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

If you find Toews, please remind him that the NHL hasn't reached the offseason just yet. With one goal and nine points in his 18 postseason games, it appears as if Toews has already checked out for the year.

An unfortunate truth for the 2010 Conn Smythe Trophy winner can be seen below: 

Statistics via NHL.com

Toews is one of the top two-way performers in the NHL this season, tallying 48 points in 47 regular-season games and being named a finalist for the Selke Trophy. He will need to find his offense in Game 2. 

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