On the heels of a bad result after going three overtimes in the first game of the Stanley Cup Final, the Boston Bruins settled matters earlier this time, with a 2-1, single-overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 on Saturday.
Chicago opened Game 2 the way it ended Game 1: by relentlessly attacking the Bruins' defense. The result was a heavily-outgunned Bruins squad and a 1-0 lead for Chicago after Patrick Sharp scored in the first period.
An intermission to gather themselves did the Bruins some good, and they finally got their gears moving offensively as the second period wore on. The result was a goal, as Chris Kelly finally found a way past Corey Crawford at 14:58 of the second. Neither team scored in a tightly-contested third period, and we headed to overtime once again.
Surprisingly, the game opened up in the extra frame. The frenetic pace led to numerous scoring chances for both sides, as Tuukka Rask and Crawford turned away plenty of quality shots early on. But the weariness of multiple-overtime games finally started to show, and the cracks in the Blackhawks' defense finally opened wide enough for Daniel Paille to net the game-winner.
The series is now evened up at 1-1 and will head back to Boston on Monday.
Can Boston find a weakness in the Chicago penalty kill again?
Boston struggled to find any weakness in the Blackhawks at all, but Chicago's penalty kill was as effective as ever. The Bruins had prime chances early in the second and as the third period opened but barely managed any sort of sustained pressure until the late stages of the game.
Will Corey Crawford again get the better of Tuukka Rask?
Crawford was impressive, but Rask was brilliant from the get-go. Chicago outshot the Bruins 19-4 in the first period and Boston easily could have found itself down four goals if not for Rask's solid presence in net. He afforded the Bruins the time they needed to gather themselves and force overtime.
Any chance we avoid OT again tonight?
Nope, and I doubt this is the last time we'll need extra frames to decide one of these games. These teams are too skilled and too well-matched, and overtime was all but inevitable once Boston tied the game.