Stanley Cup Finals 2013: Players Who Must Step Up in Pivotal Game 2
It's not a must-win by a long shot, but Saturday's Stanley Cup Final Game 2 showdown between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks will be huge for both teams as they look to claim hockey's ultimate prize.
Game 1 was an instant classic, as the Blackhawks fought back from a 3-1 deficit in the third period to tie the game before surviving 4-3 in three overtime periods.
Are we in store for an encore on Saturday night?
Here, we'll highlight a trio of players who must step up for their respective teams in a pivotal Game 2.
Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins
With Nathan Horton going down with an injury in Game 1 on Wednesday and currently listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury, per CBS Sports, Tyler Seguin will have to deliver a steady performance on Saturday if the Bruins hope to head back to Boston with the series tied at one game apiece.
Horton will likely see some significant ice time, but it's hard to believe he'll be going at 100 percent.
Seguin picked up an assist in a little over 29 minutes of ice time in Game 1, but he has been incredibly quiet in the postseason thus far. He has just one goal and four assists for Boston in 17 playoff appearances this summer, according to ESPN Stats and Info:
The Bruins' Jaromir Jagr (0-40) and Tyler Seguin (1-45) have combined for 1G on 85 shots this postseason (Bruins at Penguins - 8 ET)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 3, 2013
Remember, this is a player who scored 67 points in 2011-12 and was plus-23 on the ice for the Bruins during the regular season. Seguin is minus-two for the postseason heading into Saturday's Game 2
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Blackhawks star winger Patrick Kane was a creator in the opening round against Minnesota. He did a little bit of everything in the conference semifinals against Detroit and he displayed his goal-scoring prowess in the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings.
But in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Boston, he was unable to pick up a point for the first time since Chicago's Game 3 loss to L.A. in the conference final.
The good news is that Kane was active, firing off seven shots in a little over 37 minutes on the ice. Unfortunately, he was out-muscled and hustled several times in the opener, as pointed out by the Boston Bruins' Twitter page:
Lucic outmuscled Patrick Kane at the blueline & then Krejci w/ the nice drop pass on 3-on-2 for his 13th assist of the playoffs, 23rd pt^CS— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) June 13, 2013
Chicago's superstar will have to be better than minus-one on Saturday if the 'Hawks want to take a commanding 2-0 series lead east to Boston.
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Veteran left winger Brad Marchand has been a postseason hero for the Boston Bruins to this point, most notably assisting on the game-winning overtime goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.
But beyond his production as a winger, Marchand's ability to get under the skin of the opposition will be huge in this series, just as it was in the last against Pittsburgh.
Marchand's ability to anticipate plays before they happen and create scoring opportunities for his teammates will be on display each and every night. But his intensity and nastiness is something that can come and go. The Bruins will need him to start making enemies in Game 2.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?