The Blackhawks were overmatched in Boston and shutout 3-0 - FOX 35 News Orlando

The Blackhawks were overmatched in Boston and shutout 3-0

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Boston Bruins skated past the Blackhawks by the score of 3-0 and now have won 13 of their last 14 games. For the second time in less than a week and the third time this season Chicago was shutout. It hasn't happened often over the past two years, but last night the Hawks were overmatched for a good portion of the game.

The Bruins came up short in their quest for the Stanley Cup last season but they could be a stronger club this time around. Their goaltender Tuukka Rask recorded his seventh shutout of the campaign and that total leads the NHL. Boston has a nice blend of tested experience and has received some pleasant surprises from youngsters. That is a formula for success as the Bruins are in a battle with the Blues for the best overall record.

It isn't a shock the Hawks lost considering they were on the road against a top team and without Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell. Without those two in the lineup the Blackhawks would need a top notch effort from their best players. Give the Bruins a good portion of the credit but Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa were not noticeable. Patrick Sharp had another good performance, but to win last night everyone needed a maximum effort.

When a good club has its way the best players on the other side often appear to disappear or have little impact. The Blackhawks came out for the opening 10-12 minutes with a punch but after that the Bruins were in control. Corey Crawford was at the top of his game until the third period as the Hawks trailed by only one goal after 40 minutes.

Going into the third frame it looked like the Blackhawks might be able to get a break or two and come away with some points. The opposite happened as Brandon Bollig made a costly turnover and Crawford made an errant pass. The Bruins made no mistake and scored twice in 13 seconds to salt the game away.

Rookie Teuvo Teravainen played in his second game and was held without a shot on goal once again. Teravainen did have three takeaways to lead the team along with Brent Seabrook. At times the matchups didn't favor the rookie as he was pitted against one of the best two way centers in the game in Patrice Bergeron.

Teravainen played a total of 13:48, which included 2:12 of power play time. The youngster has skill and a bright future but it remains to be seen how much Teravainen will contribute this season or in the playoffs.

If Teravainen proves to give the Hawks a better chance of winning than they would have with Michal Handzus or Peter Regin in the lineup, he will continue to play. Otherwise GM Stan Bowman may choose to not allow Teravainen to play in more than nine games, and that would include the playoffs.

If Teravainen participates in more than nine games, he will use up an entire year of his three year entry level contract (ELC). In the hard cap age that is a big deal. If Teravainen is as good as advertised, utilizing his skill for only a $925,000 salary cap hit would be a bargain. There is little doubt Bowman would gladly burn a year off of Teravainen ELC if he gave the Blackhawks a better chance of winning back to back Cups.

The Hawks travel to Ottawa to face a club at the opposite end of the spectrum than the Bruins. The Senators are not going to qualify for the playoffs and are banged up. That is the case, but they shouldn't be taken lightly.

Losing tonight's match is unacceptable if the goal is to stay ahead of Colorado. The Avalanche beat the Canucks on Thursday 3-2, and now trail the Blackhawks by only one point with a game in hand.

It appears Chicago and Colorado are headed for a first round matchup and home ice advantage could be meaningful. It may matter more so for the Hawks as playing in the mile high altitude could take its toll.

Tonight Joel Quenneville has a couple of interesting decisions.

Antti Raanta was almost certain to the get the start in Ottawa if the Hawks won or took points out of Boston. Now it is more uncertain as Quenneville could come right back with Crawford, who has been playing well.

The other decision of note is whether Quenneville will play Teravainen in back to back games or give him the night off. The Hawks may need Teravainen down the stretch, but they will be cautious of overusing the slightly built rookie.

As time has passed, Sheldon Brookbank hasn't played better since the injury to Michal Rozsival. The more a number seven defenseman plays, the more likely he will be exposed and that has happened to Brookbank. There isn't any word on when Rozsival will return but Bickell could play versus the Senators.

No matter who is dressed the Blackhawks have no excuse for coming away with anything less than two points tonight. Ottawa has recorded 72 points this season, which is 27 less than Chicago.

I will be back on Saturday morning and you can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia.

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