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updated: 6/16/2013 8:13 PM

Bruins certainly a challenge in every way for Hawks

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  • Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad gets tripped by Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Bruins at the United Center on Saturday.

      Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad gets tripped by Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Bruins at the United Center on Saturday.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews shoots on Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on Saturday.

      Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews shoots on Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on Saturday.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

BOSTON -- If the Blackhawks have learned anything from the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final, it's that this isn't 2010 -- and the Boston Bruins aren't the Philadelphia Flyers.

For starters, Tuukka Rask is a legitimate NHL goalie, and a good one, not like Michael Leighton, who had his best seasons in the minors.

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The Hawks are in deep here. They have come up against a team with depth as good as theirs, just as fast and with big, strong defensemen.

The Hawks lost Game 2 on Saturday 2-1 in overtime and they were fortunate to win Game 1 in triple OT.

Now the series switches here to Boston for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Wednesday, and the Hawks know they must be much better if they want to come back to the United Center on Saturday for Game 5 not down 3-1.

"Certainly that's got to be our approach going into (Monday's) game, desperate, something to prove," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

"I don't think we should be too comfortable, but we should be confident with our game right now," said Bruins winger Daniel Paille, who scored the game-winner in overtime aturday. "We know we've got a good goaltender helping us out there, and I think we all have faith and trust in our game."

The Hawks say they're ready for the challenge of trying to beat the Bruins in front of their fans at raucous TD Garden.

"I think the championship teams, usually when there is adversity, they embrace it, they have fun with it," Hawks center Michal Handzus said. "They're just looking for the challenge. I think you need that. It's a long road to win the Stanley Cup. It's four games. You get a lot of tough moments."

The Hawks wasted a great opportunity to jump on the Bruins and take a 2-0 series lead in Game 2 when they outshot them 19-4 in the first period but could manage only 1 goal.

Boston took over the game from there.

"We just kind of let them play their game and we didn't make them earn it," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "That's a little disappointing considering that we came out with a boatload of shots in the first period. We got 1 goal, which is good, but we've got to find a way to build on that because the next goal proved to be a big one.

"They believed they could come back in that game when they got that first one. When you have the momentum, you've got to keep it and try your best to hang onto it as long as you can."

The Hawks had no response for Boston's forecheck, which got better as the game went on.

"Being physical is a big part of our game," said Bruins winger Milan Lucic. "When things aren't going your way, you try to get yourself into it any way you can. For myself, that's what I was trying to do was be physical and get in on the forecheck and it seemed like things started to happen for us after that. We talked about it before the series that our forecheck is going to be key for us and we have to keep it up for us."

Patrick Kane said the Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Final for a reason.

"We knew coming in playing against Boston, it was going to be a new challenge for us," Kane said. "They're in the Stanley Cup Final for a reason. It's not like you're going to have the momentum or dominate a full three periods.

"Obviously, you'd love that. I thought we came out and played a great first period and for whatever reason, the second and third, the first overtime, got away from us. We know momentum's huge in the playoffs because you want to keep it as long as you can. When you let the other team have it, you want to get it back as quick as possible."

The Hawks have been in tough spots before and responded, most recently in the second round against Detroit when they rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win the series in overtime in Game 7.

"We're extremely excited about the challenge," Quenneville said. "I think it's a great challenge. We went into Detroit, knew we had to win a game. We put ourselves in a tough spot there. We're excited about being on the road. Let's play our game, play to our strengths."

•Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.

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