Kamis, 13 Juni 2013

Blackhawks Outlast Bruins Winning Opener in Third Overtime

Game 1 proved to be a match for the ages. Beginning on Wednesday night the contest did not end until 1 a.m. Eastern on Thursday when a shot by the Blackhawks Michal Rozsival was deflected first by the stick of Dave Bolland then by the knee of Andrew Shaw and sailed past Boston goalie Tuukka Rask at 12 minutes 8 seconds of the third overtime period. Shaw s goal gave Chicago a 4 3 victory.

It was the longest game of the 2013 season and the fifth longest game in Stanley Cup finals history. The game s time of 112 08 fell just short of the 113 50 of Game 3 of the 1931 finals when the Blackhawks beat the Montreal Canadiens 2 1.

I just got lucky and it went in Shaw said after the marathon ended and the Blackhawks completed a comeback from a 3 1 third period deficit. Shaw is best known for being a pest and an agitator. But in these playoffs he has 5 goals and 4 assists in 18 games.

The Blackhawks and the Bruins will now recuperate before meeting again here on Saturday night.

Joel Quenneville the Chicago coach pointed out that the teams played almost two full games and the statistics showed it. Rask stopped 59 of 63 shots and Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford turned aside 51 of 54 shots. In all the Blackhawks attempted 132 shots to Boston s 85.

The Bruins blocked 40 Chicago shots led by defenseman Dennis Seidenberg with 9 and Andrew Ference with 8. Ference had a game high 10 hits while three Blackhawks had nine apiece. Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith led all skaters with 48 40 of ice time and Seidenberg was next at 48 36.

Chicago forward Marian Hossa led all shooters with 10 shots on goal followed by the Chicago rookie Brandon Saad who had nine. The teams took 114 face offs with the Bruins winning 58 and the Blackhawks winning 56. The exhausted Blackhawks took two penalties during overtime for too many men on the ice.

Obviously that kind of thing is going to set in that s the reality said the Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews who had 52 shifts. Both teams are just kicking trying to survive. Every time you go back on the ice you try and get that feeling that it s going to be that one chance that makes the difference.

In the second extra period each weary team took 10 shots. With 53 seconds left in the session the Blackhawks took their second too many men on the ice overtime penalty. The 6 foot 9 defenseman Zdeno Chara took a blast from inside the blue line with 10 seconds remaining and the puck deflected off Jaromir Jagr and slammed inside the goal post behind Corey Crawford and skittered across the crease.

The Bruins sustained a blow during the first overtime when wing Nathan Horton left the game with a shoulder injury which many have speculated he has been playing with in the playoffs. Horton is the N.H.L. s postseason plus minus leader with a plus 22 mark.

Bruins Coach Claude Julien said it was too soon to characterize the extent of Horton s injury. But he said he was not upset by the defeat.

It could have gone either way he said. With a little bit of luck we could have ended it before they did. But that s the name of the game.

In the second overtime period Bruins forward Kaspars Daugavins almost won the game but his shot at an open net was thwarted by Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya.

I missed my shot Daugavins said after the game nearly distraught. It hurts.

Well into the third period it looked as if the Bruins would run away with the game. Milan Lucic staked Boston to a 2 0 lead with goals in the first and second periods. Saad halved the Blackhawks deficit soon after Lucic s second goal. But Patrice Bergeron made the score 3 1 with a power play goal at 6 09 of the third period.

Yet the Blackhawks kept pressing and rallied. They pulled to 3 2 when Bolland scored at the eight minute mark and Oduya tied the score at 12 14 when his long slap shot deflected off the skate of Ference and into the Boston net.

With the third goal the Blackhawks had beaten Rask one more time than the Pittsburgh Penguins had over the four games of the Eastern Conference finals.

As the two Original Six teams met memories of Bobby Hull Stan Mikita Bobby Orr and Phil and Tony Esposito filled the air. Outside a heavy Midwestern storm produced a loud thunderclap that startled fans inside the building.

The Bruins killed off three penalties including a two man advantage for 1 17 during the second period. They have now killed off 19 straight penalties dating to Game 5 of the second round against the Rangers.

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