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STANLEY CUP FINAL

Blackhawks' and Bruins' captains toe to toe at Game 4's key moment

Chicago center Jonathan Toews battles Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara at the net as Brent Seabrook scores Blackhawks' winning goal.

June 20, 2013|By Colleen Kane and Shannon Ryan

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Jonathan Toews and Zdeno Chara were pushing each other for position in front of the net as the Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook scored the winning goal in overtime in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night.

As the Blackhawks escaped TD Garden with a 6-5 overtime victory and a 2-2 series tie, Toews added a verbal shove, captain to captain.

"There's certain ways you can expose him," Toews said of the Bruins' 6-foot-9 defenseman. "I think the dumpings that we made were going to his side. We made sure we were outnumbering him everywhere we went, taking away his stick first thing. We just try not to be intimidated by his size. … We can outwork him, and we did that."

Bryan Bickell added to the fire when he talked about his physical play against Chara, including a first-period hit on the boards that sent Chara to the ice.

"He doesn't like getting hit," Bickell said. "Not a lot of guys attempt it, but to get a hit on him and to see him fall down, it's rare, but I just needed to keep it going."

Chara was unavailable for a response Thursday morning, but Bruins forward Brad Marchand was at TD Garden to jump to the defense of Chara, who had two assists but was a minus-three in 28 minutes 15 seconds on the ice.

"Z's one of the best defensemen in the league," Marchand said. "A guy who's that big and that strong, you don't really want to play around with a whole lot, but they're welcome to say whatever they want."

Leddy footnote

For a player who received minimal ice time in Wednesday night's game, Nick Leddy received a load of compliments Thursday from Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville.

Quenneville's words said one thing. His actions, quite another.

Leddy, a defenseman, played 2 minutes 37 seconds in the Blackhawks' 6-5 overtime victory in Game 4 over the Bruins. Afterward, Quenneville noted Leddy was uninjured.

On Thursday at the United Center, Quenneville indicated the rookie would be on the ice more in Game 5 at home Saturday night.

"Nick gives us a nice presence on the back end, gives us nice balance," Quenneville said. "We didn't play him a ton, obviously not much, but … we look to get him back going."

Through the playoffs, Leddy has no goals, two assists and a minus-seven rating, while averaging 15:13 of ice time per game.

His benching forced defensemen Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith, Michal Rozsival and Johnny Oduya to take on more minutes.

Love the glove

The Bruins said they weren't just targeting goaltender Corey Crawford's glove side, though that's where they scored all five goals in Game 4.

"We're trying to put pucks on net, and they were going in on that side," Tyler Seguin said. "Maybe the wise thing to do next game is go blocker. You guys are all thinking it, so…"

sports@latimes.com

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