After the back-and-forth nonsense in Game 4, the Blackhawks and Bruins settled back into familiar roles on Saturday. Boston went back to its heavy forecheck, hoping to wear Chicago down. Spoiler alert: didn't happen. The Blackhawks' offense sliced and diced its way to a huge 3-1 win in Game 5 and now are a win away from another Stanley Cup.
The Bruins' blueline held fast for most of the first, but Patrick Kane cleaned up a rebound to give Chicago an early lead.
Kane and Jonathan Toews have been especially brilliant since reuniting on the Hawks' top line in Game 4. Boston simply had no answer for them. The Bruins' real problem all game long was their tightness (or lack thereof) on defense. Given tons of space to work with, the Blackhawks were able to swarm the net constantly. Kane cleaned up again in the second.
Swarming the net didn't come without a price. The Bruins finished their checks hard at the end of every scoring chance, and Toews got a taste of it when Johnny Boychuk filled him in.
But was it a legal hit? The argument could be made that he targeted the head, and Toews' did miss the entire third period with an undisclosed injury. Expect the NHL to announce some sort of ruling later Sunday.
Meanwhile, Andrew Shaw continued to pay for being a pest.
Zdeno Chara had a rather poor game defensively, but he made things interesting with a goal in the third period.
It wasn't enough. Patrice Bergeron missed the entire second half of the game, and the Bruins couldn't get anything going in the offensive end. Chicago potted an empty-netter late to seal the 3-1 win.
Chicago is now one win away from the Stanley Cup, and the Hawks' opponent is facing a myriad of problems. Chara is not playing like a Norris Trophy winner. Bergeron was in the hospital. Boychuk could be suspended.
Boston tried to win Game 5 with force, but lost it to skill. Scissors beat rock. And pipe beat hockey stick.