Sunday, June 16, 2013
CHICAGO — The Boston Bruins were mad when they played poorly in the first period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals. Then they went out and got even with the Chicago Blackhawks.
This group of Bruins is one resilient bunch.
Daniel Paille scored at 13:48 in overtime and Boston used another great performance by Tuukka Rask to overcome a sluggish start in a 2-1 victory over the Blackhawks on Saturday night, tying the series at a game apiece.
“We got rewarded because I thought from the second period on, we were a good team, a better team, and by the end I thought we had more chances,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
Three days after a three-overtime thriller in the opener, Boston and Chicago once again were tied after regulation. The Bruins then turned up their play and finally cashed in after goaltender Corey Crawford singlehandedly kept the Blackhawks in the game.
Brandon Bollig had a turnover in the Chicago end and Tyler Seguin passed it to Paille, who shot it under Crawford’s glove and off the right post for his third goal of the playoffs. The slick shot sent the Bruins back to Boston with the momentum ahead of Game 3 on Monday night.
“We just kept the pressure on and Seggy threw the puck to me,” Paille said. “I just popped out and had to shoot the puck quick, get it off my stick. I was able to send it post low. He made a good play passing it over instead of shooting.”
Patrick Sharp scored for Chicago, which looked more and more gassed as the night wore on. Crawford made 26 saves.
“You’ve got to kind of swallow this one and move on,” Sharp said. “We know what’s on the line in this series and going into Boston’s going to be tough, but we’re ready for the challenge. We’ll find a way to be better for Game 3.”
Paille also had an assist on Chris Kelly’s tying goal in the second, and Rask made 18 of his 33 stops in the first period.
“That’s kind of how our room is. On any given night, someone can step up,” Kelly said. “Paille showed that tonight.”
The first two games of last year’s Stanley Cup also went to overtime, with Los Angeles taking a 2-0 lead at New Jersey before going on to defeat the Devils in six games. Before last season, it had been 61 years since the first two games of the finals needed an extra period to decide the winner. In that 1951 Stanley Cup, each of the five games went to overtime, with Toronto taking the series against Montreal.
The way Chicago and Boston are playing, a repeat is certainly possible.
It was the third consecutive overtime game for the Blackhawks, who eliminated Los Angeles with a 4-3 victory in two overtimes in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, and then defeated Boston 4-3 in Wednesday night’s marathon. Chicago dropped to 4-2 during OT games in this year’s playoffs.
The Bruins lost the opener when Dave Bolland’s tip went off Andrew Shaw’s leg and past Rask for the winning score. They also blew a 3-1 third-period lead in that one, but seemed to have no problem putting the loss behind them that night.
After all, the same core group of Bruins dropped the first two games of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals against Vancouver and came back to win. They trailed 4-1 in the third period of Game 7 against Toronto in this postseason and came back to win.
It’s a spirit that runs hand in hand with their home city these days. In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, the Bruins talked about wanting to do something for the city, and they took another step toward that goal in Game 2.