It may feel like Game 1 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins ended only yesterday, because three overtimes make that a fairly accurate asessement.
The Bruins may be in the hole in this Stanley Cup Final, but it may be the Hawks who face a greater onus in Game 2 on Saturday. They somehow must avoid being satisfied with the exhilaration of Wednesday night, and somehow must be perceptibly better in all ways.
“We know we got to be good,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said before the game. “I know they’re going to be hungry and ready. We have to be better.”
They were better at first, but a Daniel Paille score in overtime provided a 2-1 win and tied the Stanley Cup Final at 1-1 going into Game 3 in Boston on Monday.
A turnover in the Hawks’ zone created a sequence in which the Bruins’ Tyler Seguin would send a cross-ice pass to Paille, who rifled one to the far post and in for the win a little less than 14 minutes into the overtime.
Patrick Sharp scored first for the Hawks but Chris Kelly answered in the second period for the Bruins, and both those scores held up through a scoreless third period and into overtime tied 1-1.
Sharp fired from a wide angle through a pile of bodies for a 1-0 to start the festivities.
Patrick Kane kickstarted the madness, charging toward the Bruins’ Tuukka Rask and watching his backhander get turned away. But Rask couldn’t control the rebound, and chaos ensued. Another shot followed, and then three Bruins and three Hawks hacked away at that.
The puck skidded out and Sharp circled out for it, then turned and whipped a shot toward the net. There, Rask was essentially blocked out of position by teammates Kaspars Dugavins and Andrew Ference, who were tied up with Michal Handzus. The puck slipped by for Sharp’s ninth postseason goal and a 1-0 lead at the 11:22 mark.
The Hawks were skating and firing all period, actually, with a 19-4 shots advantage after the first 20 minutes, including several high-quality chances from Sharp, Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik. Not to mention the goal that wasn’t, a possible goal in another scrum soon after Sharp’s goal that officials waved off on review.
The Bruins still couldn’t muster anything resembling a consistent offensive push well into the second period, but apparently didn’t need to. Daniel Paille collected a puck behind the net and completely deked the Hawks’ Nick Leddy, firing a shot from the side of the net that Corey Crawford kicked into the slot.
The Hawks couldn’t clear it, and the Bruins’ Kelly skated in to poke the puck past Crawford for the 1-1 tie — on just the Bruins’ eighth shot of the night.
The Bruins nearly jumped ahead during another hapless Hawks power play but for the kindness of the iron. Brad Marchand snuck behind Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook and flung a blade at the puck at the end of his rush, with the shot banking off the post and out of the crease.
The Bruins indeed had the services of winger Nathan Horton, whose status was undecided until the morning skates Saturday. That keeps intact a dangerous Bruins top line the Hawks had difficulty containing in Game 1.
“It was a disappointing loss,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “To me, that’s the biggest thing I keep coming up with. Our guys were fine the next day, they were fine yesterday, they were fine this morning. It’s a new game. It’s a series where you got to win four games.”