How important is winning Game 1?

How important is winning Game 1?
June 12, 2013, 12:00 pm
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News and notes as the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins sharpen their skates for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, which begins tonight from United Center [8 p.m., NBC].

Place your bets: Since the NHL introduced the best-of-7 format in 1939, teams winning Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final have gone on to win the championship in 56 of 73 seasons [76.7 percent]. The Blackhawks and Bruins are a combined 6-0 in Game 1s during these playoffs.

United they stand: The Blackhawks have won nine games on home ice this postseason, tops in the NHL, including five straight. They’ve outscored opponents, 33-17, at United Center. 

How about the Bruins? The Bruins are 5-2 on the road this postseason. They are the only team in the playoffs with a winning record on the road. The B’s have outscored their opponents 24-13 on the road, including a 9-1 edge against the Penguins in Pittsburgh last round

Get out your foam bricks: Tonight’s officials are Chris Rooney and Brad Watson [referees] and Shane Heyer and Brian Murphy [linesmen].

Best of the best: Since 2009, the Bruins (44) and Blackhawks (42) rank first and second, respectively, in playoff wins. In fact, the only team that has beaten the Bruins in the playoffs the past three years is the Caps.

Quotables: Tuesday was Media Day and here are some of the best quotes to come out of the session:

“We’ve known each other for many years, from back home. Obviously, we cannot ignore that we know each other, we know the families. But we all know that right now our jobs are to play for our teams and compete and do whatever it takes to win games.”
— Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara on playing against his neighbor Marian Hossa
“He was probably one of my favorite players when I was a kid. I think I wore No. 68 when I was playing summer hockey a couple of summers, had his Koho Jagr stick. I looked up to him. Now here I am getting a chance to play against him in the Stanley Cup Final. That’s pretty amazing.”
—Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on playing against Jaromir Jagr
“When I had the long hair, I wouldn’t say it was a style, but I wasn’t the only one who had it. There was a lot of guys, maybe not that long, but a lot of guys wearing long hair, so . . . Now it’s a different style. But it’s going to come back. Everything is just coming back. Ten years later, you’ll see a lot of guys with long hair.”
— Bruins forward Jaromir Jagr on his hair style during his last Final appearance in 1992
“We’re both agitators. We both play physical. He’s perfected it and that’s what I’m trying to do with my game. We both walk a fine line. I’ve always looked up to him and admired him kind of. It’s going to be great to actually play against him for once.”
—Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw on playing against Brad Marchand

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