Blackhawks, Bruins Live Up to Expectations in Game 1
Boston and Chicago were expected to put on a tough and exciting Stanley Cup Finals. Boston and Chicago lived up to that expectation in Game 1, which Chicago won in triple overtime 4-3.
Boston beat Pittsburgh by being physical and intimidating. Chicago learned from that and started the game with major hits. They had 13 hits at the 6:35 mark. But Boston woke up, started to hit back, and put a lot of pressure on goalie Corey Crawford. Milan Lucic managed to put one past Crawford at 13:11. The period ended with Boston leading 1-0 and they evened the hits at 17 all.
It was Boston who continued their streak and Lucic scored only 51 seconds into the second period. A few minutes later Nathan Horton received a high-sticking penalty to give Chicago a power play. Unfortunately for Boston, just a minute later, five players were caught on the ice and they were penalized for too many men on the ice. This gave Chicago a 5-on-3 and a perfect opportunity to either pull within one or tie. Boston would not let it happen and defended their zone. Goalie Tuukka Rask made a few amazing saves and Chicago wasted a perfect opportunity. It did not get them down, and Brandon Saad scored their first goal at 3:08. Crawford and Rask came to the rescue of both teams to end the period 2-1.
Action picked up in the third period. Patrice Bergeron scored on the power play at 6:09 to give Boston a 3-1 lead, but something lit a spark in Chicago. Dave Bolland scored his first goal of the playoffs at 6:09 and then Johnny Oduya scored from the blue line to tie the game 3-3. The United Center lit up and the place shook.
First overtime. No score, but both teams had plenty of opportunities. Chicago started to show some laziness with a too many men on the ice penalty, but Chicago killed it off to push it into a second overtime. Boston suffered a huge loss in the first overtime when Horton left with an upper body injury and did not return. At the beginning of the second overtime Rask had 44 saves and Crawford had 34.
This was the first double overtime since 1990 when the Edmonton Oilers defeated Boston. It started fiercely when Lucic and his teammate Jaromir Jagr collided and Chicago’s Patrick Kane almost scored but the puck would not stay on his stuck and went wide left. Halfway through Chicago had 109 shot attempts and Boston had 65. It was Crawford who came up huge for Chicago. He made back-to-back saves on Daniel Paille and Torey Krug with only five minutes left to play. With only 10 seconds left Boston’s Zdeno Chara almost beat Crawford, but the shot hit the right post.
Third overtime started at 12:41AM ET and it was not until 12:08 into the period the game-winning goal was scored. Bolland took a shot that was deflected and landed in front of Michal Rozsival. He in turn shot the puck and it deflected off of Shaw’s leg into the net, ending the fifth longest Stanley Cup Final in history.