Hawks even Stanley Cup Final

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By Chris Kuc, Chicago Tribune reporter

Five times the Bruins put the puck past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.

And yet it wasn’t enough.

The Hawks’ offense exploded during a thrill-ride of a Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, and after the red light flashed for the last time, the Hawks had skated to a 6-5 overtime victory Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Brent Seabrook rifled a shot past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask 9 minutes, 51 seconds into overtime to pull the Hawks into a 2-2 tie in the best-of-seven series that will continue Saturday night at the United Center.

“We knew if we were going to lose this one, (with) Boston they have such a strong team it would be really tough to come back,” said Marian Hossa, who returned to the lineup after missing Game 3 with an upper-body injury. “It’s an even series again.”

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Toews, Michal Handzus, Marcus Kruger and Patrick Sharp also scored as the Hawks repeatedly solved the previously stingy Rask.

“I don’t think anyone expected that before the game,” Rask said. “They’re a good offensive team. When you give them goals, and they get the lead, obviously you have to start opening up, too, and create some offense. That’s what happened. If we take something positive out of this, it’s the fact we scored five goals.”

Patrice Bergeron had two of them while Rich Peverley, Milan Lucic and Johnny Boychuk also scored for the Bruins, who twice rallied from two-goal deficits but in the end fell to the Hawks.

“Everyone was skating hard for us,” Crawford said. “We had a lot of good things going.” Crawford yielded the five scores on 33 shots but earned the victory.

“Just stick with it. No matter what happens, there will be nights where it’s high scoring. No matter how many goals go in you have to be able to pull through.”

The Hawks pulled through on Seabrook’s blast, his second game-winner in overtime this postseason.

“I was just trying to get it past the centerman (and) their forward coming out and trying to block it,” Seabrook said. “They do such a good job of blocking shots … (so) I just tried to get it past the first guy. Our forwards did a good job of getting in front and boxing out. It was just a great play.”

The Hawks struck first while short-handed when Brandon Saad stripped Bruins center Tyler Seguin of the puck and raced into the zone two-on-one with Handzus. The rookie slipped a pass to the veteran and Handzus beat Rask to the stick side.

After the Bruins tied it on Peverley’s goal, Toews snapped a 10-game goal drought to give the Hawks the lead. The captain camped in front of the net and redirected a long one-timer from Michal Rozsival through Rask’s pads.

Kane made it 3-1 in the second when he pounced on a big rebound of a Bryan Bickell shot and flipped a backhander past a diving Rask.

Lucic scored to cut the deficit, but :49 later Kruger tallied. Michael Frolik slid a pass to Kruger, and the center sent a shot that Rask stopped, but Kruger gathered the rebound and tucked it in.

The Bruins wouldn’t quit and again cut the deficit to a goal on Bergeron’s first of the night. Bergeron struck again early in the third to make it a new game.

Sharp then shoveled in a rebound of a Hossa shot to give the Hawks a rare power-play goal and a 5-4 lead past the midway point of the third.

Less than a minute later, Boychuk blasted a shot by Crawford to the glove side to set up the overtime.

“Best of three with two home games, but it doesn’t really mean much,” Sharp said. “I don’t think it matters where we play, it’s going to be an even series.”

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC


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