CHICAGO – There was never going to be redemption for the Bruins, at least not in one Sunday morning regular season game. They were not going to erase the hurt of that stunning end to Game 6 of last season’s Stanley Cup Final.
The game, though, lived up to that matchup, with an excellent match going to a shootout after 65 minutes of worthy hockey. Chicago took the win in the shootout, with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane getting the goals, leading to the 3-2 Blackhawks triumph at the United Center. Neither Ryan Spooner and Patrice Bergeron could score, though Brad Marchand converted on his chance.
To start the overtime, though, it didn’t seem like the Bruins would get that far. Boston had to start by surviving a badly-timed Matt Bartkowski cross-checking penalty, which occurred with 4.6 seconds remaining in regulation, forcing the Bruins to play 4-on-3 to start the extra session with the Blackhawks going with four forwards. But Chicago couldn’t convert.
The Bruins did have an excellent chance to end it, too, with Gregory Campbell fanning on an open net chance on Corey Crawford in the overtime.
For Marchand, the game continued his hot streak of late. He had come into the morning’s game with two goals in his last two games – and he matched that in a stretch of 68.9 seconds.
He scored first, tying the game at 1-1, with just 18.9 seconds to go in the first period, a huge equalizer after the Blackhawks had forced the Bruins to play at their pace in the first. It was a shot created by Bergeron, with the center dishing to Marchand on the right side and the winger beating Crawford stick side.
Marchand got his second – and his ninth in 14 games – 50 seconds into the second period, giving the Bruins the lead. He went in alone on Crawford, after taking the pass from Reilly Smith, waited just enough and slipped it through the five-hole.
But the Blackhawks got that one back on a seeing-eye puck that sneaked between Tuukka Rask’s skate and the post at 9:44 of the second period. It marred a game in which Rask had made several outstanding saves, including grabbing the puck out of the air on Johnny Oduya at 4:30 of the third to preserve the tie.
The Blackhawks had gotten their first at 4:13 of the first period, on a score by Marian Hossa.