The Stanley Cup Finals is going back to Boston tied at 1-1 after another overtime thriller. While Game 1 took almost three overtime periods to complete, Game 2 took only fourteen minutes of added time.
The Chicago Blackhawks opened up the scoring in this one during a strong first period of play. After a scramble in front of Tuuka Rask, Patrick Sharp came away with the puck and wristed one into the back of the net.
However, despite dominating the first period, Chicago only held that measly 1-0 lead going to into the first intermission. The Blackhawks outshot the Bruins by a staggering 19 shots to 4 in the frame.
Perhaps emboldened by only a slim deficit, the Bruins looked like a different team in the second period, skating with more purpose and urgency. Claude Julien shook up his lines after getting badly outplayed in the first. And it showed.
With five minutes remaining in the second, Daniel Paille attempted a wrap-around on Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford. After a save on the original shot, center Chris Kelly put the rebound past Crawford to tie the game at one.
The game remained tied through the third period as Chicago weathered a steady onslaught from the awakened Bruins offense. Crawford was solid between the pipes in the third to force overtime.
After almost ending the game at 1:52 over the extra session on a shot by Jaromir Jagr, the Bruins finally ended it with 6:12 left. After a giveaway in the Chicago zone by Hawks winger Brandon Bollig, Boston played tic-tac-toe from Adam McQuaid to Tyler Seguin to Paille, who eventually wristed the puck past Crawford to break Chicago’s hearts.
The victory means that Boston has temporarily stolen home-ice advantage from Chicago after winning one at the United Center. If the Blackhawks can win at least one in Beantown, they can shift the series back in their favor.
The TD Garden is one of the toughest places to play in the entire NHL, especially when an encouraged Bruins team is your opponent. If Chicago can put a few early goals past Tuuka Rask, the spirit of the Bruins and their fans can be kept under control.
Obviously this is easier said than done. Game 3 is Monday at 8:00 pm Eastern Time on NBC.