By Cathy Limanowski
In a much anticipated rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, Chicago and Boston delivered. While the goalie matchup was exciting to watch, it was Brandon Bollig who was the unlikely hero that kept the Blackhawks alive when he tied the game at two halfway through the second period.
Duncan Keith got the puck in deep from the blue line to Kruger behind the net. Kruger moved it up to Bollig who took a quick shot from a unlikely angle past Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug to find the only hole Tuukka Rask left between his pad, his glove and the post. It was only the fifth goal for Bollig this season but it allowed the Hawks to stay alive and walk away with a 3-2 victory in a shootout.
When Rask was asked how Bollig scored on that shot, he responded with “Good question. I had the post covered, my skate was there, I was ready. Somehow it went over.” He later added that he feels better letting a goal like that in than others because there wasn’t much else he could have done to stop Bollig’s shot.
Early in the first, after making a strong defensive play on the other end of the ice, Marian Hossa was also able to get one past Rask to add to his five game point streak.
Coach Joel Quenneville was happy with his team’s performance and the pace of the game. “It definitely had that playoff flavor to the game and the intensity that was involved in our playoff series which is as good of a pace as I’ve ever seen…You could see that both teams had something at stake and wanted to prove that they could win the hockey game.”
Chicago will now prepare for a difficult schedule on the road after finishing a successful home stand taking three of four and an overtime loss against Colorado. The Blackhawks and the Bruins will meet one more time during the regular season in Boston this March.