CHICAGO – If Game 1 was any indication of the type of series the Bruins and Blackhawks will have, then the two teams will be in for a long series.
Fatigue, missed chances, and great goaltending from Tuukka Rask (59 saves) and Corey Crawford (51 saves) all played a role in Wednesday’s triple overtime affair that ended seconds after the clock struck midnight central time. But in the end, the Blackhawks got the bounce, and the Bruins, despite having several quality chances in the extra session, didn’t.
Midway through the third overtime, Kaspars Daugavins had a great chance to give the Bruins a win on the road. But in a last ditch effort, Johnny Oduya knocked the puck away from Crawford’s crease to keep the game tied.
Then, down the other end of the ice, Andrew Shaw scored on a double deflection on a shot from defenseman Michal Roszival for his fifth of the postseason at 12:08 of the sixth period to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory and a 1-0 series lead.
It was a game that could have gone either way, but the Black and Gold found themselves on the opposite end of the outcome.
“We had our chances to end it,” said forward Milan Lucic, who netted two goals in the losing effort. “He [Crawford] made some, and we couldn’t capitalize on our chances to end it.”
“The game could have went either way. I think it was a hard-fought game,” forward Shawn Thornton said about the loss. “We said it would be in a series like that and if the first game is any indication, we’re in for a long one.”
Lost in all this was the Bruins’ blowing a two-goal lead against the President Trophy winners. With things seemingly in control after Patrice Bergeron’s sixth of the playoffs at 6:09 of the third, the Blackhawks creeped back to tie it on goals from Dave Bolland – 1:51 after Bergeron’s marker – and Oduya’s tying goal at 12:14 that bounced off Ference’s skate.
There’s no denying that Daugavins’ missed chance will be played several times in the next 24-plus hours. But the Blackhawks comeback is something the Bruins also take responsibility for.
“It is what it is right now,” Lucic said. “We had a two-goal lead that we gave up, [that hurt] more so than that opportunity that we gave up.”
Despite the loss, the Bruins aren’t too rattled.
Sure the Blackhawks have a 1-0 series lead and momentum on their side. But the Black and Gold have done a good job bouncing back from adversity during the postseason. Their Game 7 comeback against the Leafs and the Game 5 win against the Rangers in the first two rounds are perfect examples.
With two days off before Game 2, the veteran laden Bruins have a good time to rest up and regroup. And even if they end up on the wrong end of things before the series shifts back to Boston, the B’s can certainly revert back to their run two years ago.
“Last time we won the Cup, we lost the two first games in Vancouver. It never stopped us from coming back and this certainly won’t,” head coach Claude Julien said.
“When you look at the game [tonight] it could’ve gone either way. I thought we had some real great looks in overtime. With a little bit of luck, we could have ended it before they did, but that’s the name of the game.”
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