CHICAGO -- After Saturday's morning skate ahead of Game 5, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien issued a challenge to the Chicago Blackhawks. Having been asked about Jonathan Toews' comments about the Blackhawks figuring out ways to expose Zdeno Chara defensively by going right at him, Julien shot back saying, "I have no response to that except to know that my player is going to be good and ready tonight, and they can try it again if that's what they think."
The Blackhawks did just that and came out victorious with a 3-1 win to take a 3-2 series lead, setting up a cup-clinching game at TD Garden in two days time.
Patrick Kane was the difference, scoring a pair of goals, including what would stand as the game winner after pouncing on a rebound 5:13 into the second period to give the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead.
Putting Kane and Jonathan Toews together again paid dividends as the pair combined for four points, making many Blackhawks fans wishing head coach Joel Quenneville had done that earlier in the series. Whether it's "exposing" Chara like Toews mentioned (The Bruins captain was on the ice for both Kane goals) or just a re-energized offense given the new pairings, the pressure is now on Julien to adjust and expose the Blackhawks defensively.
But the good vibes with Toews would subside after the second period. Toews took a hit up high from Johnny Boychuk in the second period, and while he remained on the Blackhawks' bench for the entire final 20 minutes, he did not touch the ice once.
The Blackhawks weren't the only ones to suffer a big injury. Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron played two shifts in the second period before leaving the game and going to a hospital for further evaluation for what appeared to be an upper-body injury. CBC's Scott Oake reported that Bergeron walked to an ambulance under his own power.
Game 6 is Monday night in Boston, where the Blackhawks will look to win their second Stanley Cup in four seasons.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy