Blackhawks Win OT Thriller at Boston to Tie Series 2-2
The Chicago Blackhawks won a wild, frenetic, thrilling, and intense Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals 6-5 and evened the series at 2-2 when Brent Seabrook rocketed a slap shot in overtime past Boston's goalie Tuukka Rask, who had not given up a goal at home for nearly 200 minutes coming into the contest.
Chicago was a completely different team in the first period from Game 3. They showed strength and control, but then Johnny Oduya was called for a soft and questionable penalty. Chicago did not let it slow them down. Not only did they kill the penalty, they scored a short-handed goal. Michal Handzus’s goal ended Boston’s goalie shutout streak at 129:14, and Boston’s home shutout streak at 193:16. Halfway through the period it was all Chicago. They were winning faceoffs, fights, and outshooting Boston 10-2. But something woke them up. With only three seconds left in a power play, Rich Peverley scored after Chicago’s Brandon Saad failed to clear the puck. They tied it 1-1 while being outshot 10-4. Boston upped the pressure on Chicago’s goalie Corey Crawford and Chicago was desperate to end the period 1-1. In the last four minutes Boston had six shots. They only had two the first 15 minutes of the period. Chicago escaped with a 1-1 tie, but Boston was not finished.
Boston came out extremely hungry in the second period and forced Chicago coach Joel Quenneville to call his timeout one minute into the period. It had to be done to slow down the tempo and Chicago was able to regain the momentum. Captain Jonathan Toews finally scored with 13:27 left in the second when he tipped in a shot from Michal Rozsival. Not too much later Chicago star Patrick Kane decided to show up and finally scored a goal in this series to make it 3-1.
The second half of the second period was intense. It quite possibly made that period the best period out of the NHL. At 14:43, Milan Lucic scored a backhanded goal to make it 3-2. Chicago answered less than a minute later when Marcus Kruger slipped one past Rask AFTER Rask made a brilliant save. The game was 4-2 Chicago. Then Boston answered with a power play goal from Patrice Bergeron. His goal was pretty interesting. Zdeno Chara shot the puck, it went over the net and hit the boards only to fly back and land right in front of the net. Bergeron was there and shot it in with 2:38 left in the period. Greg Wyshynski, editor of the Puck Daddy blog at Yahoo Sports! made a gif of the goal. He was kind enough to allow Breitbart Sports to share the gif:
Chicago gets frantic and shoots everything they can at Rask, but nothing gets through. The period ended 4-3 after raising the blood pressure of fans of both teams.
The third period was just as frenetic. Bergeron scored at 2:05 to tie the game at 4-4. Toews got a high-sticking penalty at 8:51, Boston’s Jaromir Jagr got a high-sticking penalty at 9:13 and at 10:20 David Krejic got a hooking penalty after he prevented Kane from scoring on the power play. This meant it was 4-on-3 for 32 seconds, 5-on-3 for 21 seconds and 1:07 of 5-on-4 for Chicago. Patrick Sharp scored Chicago’s first power play goal of the series at 11:19 to give them a 5-4 lead. The lead did not last because Boston’s Johnny Boychuck got a slap shot past Crawford over the glove at 12:14. It was 5-5 and that is how regulation ended.
Overtime. Again. This was the fifth time in Rask’s career he has given up five goals. That is regular season and playoffs combined. At this point of the game 21 different players had at least one point.
Spectators could not tell the teams just played 60 minutes of hockey. Overtime started with a lot of intense pressure on both goalies. Brad Marchand tried to go over the glove side, Crawford’s weak side, but he went wide and missed the net. Patrick Kane did the same thing to Rask and got the puck on goal, but Rask was able to grab it. Bergeron tried to go in on Crawford, but went on the blocker side and missed. Perverley tried to capitalize on Crawford’s weak spot, but Crawford was able to save it this time. Luckily for Chicago he did that because at 9:51 Brent Seabrook got a slap shot from the right point through a ton of traffic past Rask to in the game 6-5. It was his second overtime goal of the playoffs.
There were 11 goals and 10 goal scorers. Bergeron had two goals for Boston. It had the most combined goals in the playoffs this year. Plus, this series will go at least six games for the sixth consecutive year and nine out of the last 10 years.
Game 5 is not until Saturday night in Chicago at 8PM ET on NBC.