The Chicago Blakchawks took game one, and it took three extra overtimes to do it
As I sit here writing this recap, you can probably assume that I exhausted after watching game one, and I would say that you were correct. In what was possibly one of the best Stanley Cup finals games ever (and longest), The Blackhawks took a one game lead over the Boston Bruins with a heartbreaking double deflection in triple overtime.
The game started out pretty well for the B’s; Lucic got the Bruins on the board midway through the first period created by an excellent play by David Krejci behind the net. Krejci shook off a Hjalmarsson check and fed Nathan Horton, who ten threaded it to Lucic, who then beat a sprawling Corey Crawford.
The second period started out favorably for the Bruins too. Milan Lucic scored again, this time from an excellent Krejci feed. Crawford got a piece of the shot, but it wasn’t enough. The Bruins were sitting pretty with a 2 goal lead with plenty of the second period to play. The Hawks’ Brandon Saad got his team on the board minutes later with his first of the postseason following a great pass from Marian Hossa. The puck beat Rask clean over glove side, and was also the result of a defensive breakdown from the Bruins.
The third period started out well enough for the B’s, they got a powerplay from a Michael Frolik trip on Zdeno Chara. The Blackhawks came into the series with the best penalty kill percentage in the NHL, so you can imagine my surprise when the Bruins capitalized on the man advantage taking a 3-1 lead.
Things were looking pretty swell for Boston following the surprising powerplay goal, and it seemed like they were content to choke the life out of the Hawks the rest of the way through. Unfortunately for the Bruins, the Hawks weren’t going to roll over and die. They fought the B’s hard all throughout the rest of the period, and were fortunate enough to get the game tied. Their second goal was a result of a Torey Krug (his worst game yet) turnover, which led to a counterattack that saw Dave Bolland pot his first of the playoffs. Andrew Shaw made quite the pass to set him up leaving Tuukka helpless.
Chicago’s third goal was a lucky bounce. Hawks’ defenseman Johnny Oduya fired a shot from the point that went off Andrew Ference’s skates and in. It was tough to see the Bruins blow a two goal lead like they did, but this game wasn’t over, not by a long shot.
This game would take three more overtimes to get it done. The First overtime, I thought, favored Boston. They controlled the pace of the game, and were even lucky enough to get the dreaded Too Many Men on the Ice penalty called on their opponents. The powerplay looked good, but they did not score. The Bruins also lost Nathan Horton during the powerplay as it seems like he aggravated an injury that he has been playing with. Horton did not return.
Boston Bruins forward #17 Milan Lucic was the best player on the ice last night for the B’s
During the second the Blackhawks controlled the pace of the game, but fortunately Tuukka stood tall. The second overtime ended with a second too many men penalty, and surprise! The Bruins pissed it away big time. How can you blow two of the rarest calls in all of hockey? The game was handed to the Bruins on a silver platter twice… Twice!
The B’s failure to capitalize on those powerplays isn’t even the worst part about the loss for me. To me it was when Kaspars Daugavins had Corey Crawford dead to rights because of a brilliant Tyler Seguin pass, and instead of tapping it in, he insisted on doing this ridiculous deke move. Not only did the deke not work, but it didn’t even result in a shot. It gets better too, he also put his arms up in the air as if he was looking for some ridiculous phantom call following his blatant failure. I honestly can’t that image out of my head.
Eventually the Blackhawks beat Rask with a double deflection goal late in the third overtime period. Michal Rozsival fired a shot from the point that deflected off of Dave Bolland, and Then Shaw to win game one for Chicago. It was very heartbreaking, but despite technically being two games long, it is only one game.
Now for some positives… Milan Lucic played arguably his best game as a Boston Bruins. He had 2 goals, an assist, a +1, 4 hits, and 5 takeaways. David Krejci continued his hot hand and added 2 assists of his own to go along with a +1, and 5 shots on goal. Tyler Seguin was an animal tonight, and it seems as if it only a matter of time before he goes off. He is snake bitten like you read about, but his tenacity earned him a spot on the top line after Horton’s departure. Seguin had an assist, a -1, and 8 shots on goal in this one. Tuukka Rask gave up 4 goals, but it was one 63 shots. He was superb. Dennis Seidenberg was a beast in game one. He played 48:36 minutes of ice time, had 7 hits, and 9 blocked shots. Andrew Ference was also huge with 10 hits, 8 blocked shots in 45:19 minutes of ice time. These guys were standouts to me, plenty of other Bruins played well too despite the loss.
The next two days off are going to be huge for both teams following such a ridiculously long tilt. I know this one hurts Bruins fans, but if they can come out and get the win in game 2, no one would be complaining. The Blackhawks can play, and they are here for a reason. If I were a gambling man, I would say that this series is going the distance.
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