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Cullen: Seabrook the OT hero as Blackhawks even series

Scott Cullen
6/20/2013 12:45:32 AM
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Brent Seabrook scored in overtime, again, and the Chicago Blackhawks won Game Four, 6-5 over the Boston Bruins, evening the series at two games apiece.

Seabrook, who has three goals and four points in the entire playoffs, has two overtime winners, his earlier one coming in Game Seven of the second round against Detroit.

The Blackhawks outshot the Bruins 47-33, tying Boston's worst shot deficit (-14) in a game this postseason. The Bruins had a shot deficit of minus-14 or worse twice in the 2013 regular season.

Chicago shook up their lines heading into Game Four, putting Patrick Kane on the right side with Jonathan Toews at centre and Bryan Bickell on the left wing. The results were favourable, as Kane had a goal and an assist, Bickell had two assists and, not only did Toews score a goal, but his positioning in front of the Boston net was instrumental to Seabrook's game-winning goal. Kane, Toews and Seabrook were plus-2 for the game, while Bickell and Duncan Keith were both plus-3.

As the Blackhawks basically didn't use D Nick Leddy, playing him a total of 2:37, it was imperative to get a strong performance from veteran Michal Rozsival, who had two assists, was plus-3 and had strong possession numbers while playing 26:36, second-most on the Blackhawks, behind Keith's 32:37. Bruins D Andrew Ference struggled in the possession Game Wednesday, spending most of his night matched up against Chicago's second line of Patrick Sharp, Michal Handzus and Marian Hossa.

Sharp had a game-high eight shots on goal and scored the Blackhawks' fifth goal.

Bruins C Patrice Bergeron scored twice and led the Bruins with six shots on goal, though he was minus-2. RW Tyler Seguin, LW Brad Marchand and D Zdeno Chara were minus-3 for the game. Chara was a minus-3 once in the regular season and it's the first time in the playoffs he's finished worse than minus-1 in a game.

Chara and Bruins RW Jaromir Jagr each contributed a pair of assists. On for two goals for and still minus-3, Chara was on the ice for five goals against.

Bickell led the Blackhawks with six hits; Bruins LW Milan Lucic had a game-high eight hits and D Dennis Seidenberg registered seven.

With the series now even, and heading back to Chicago, the advantage slides to the Blackhawks, but it's ever so slight. There is such a razor-thin line between winning and losing in a series that has seen three of the first four games go to overtime, that neither team has a decided edge. The Blackhawks simply have to like being even in the series with the opportunity to get matchups on home ice in two of the remaining three games in the series. If they also happened to figure out how to beat Bruins G Tuukka Rask (who still leads the playoffs with a .941 save percentage), that could play in their favour.

This series has been all about ebbs and flows, though, with momentum gained and lost over the course of single games. It's a wonderfully competitive matchup, so pretty great that there will be at least two more games between Boston and Chicago.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.




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