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NHL Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks Lose Focus, Tie Series in Shorter Game 2 Overtime

Scott Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Following the marathon three overtime game to open the Stanley Cup Final, fans wondered if the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins would feel fatigue set in for Game 2. For the Blackhawks, it wasn’t fatigue that led to their 2-1 overtime loss but a loss of focus. After dominating the Bruins for half the game, the Blackhawks unraveled and let the game get away from them.

Up to the point that Chris Kelly scored the Bruins’ first goal of the game in the second period, the Blackhawks were showing them no mercy, holding them to four shots on goal in the first period to the Blackhawks’ 19 shots. They forced a neutral zone turnover from Torey Krug and totally frustrated the Bruins. Tuukka Rask was the only reason the Blackhawks didn’t score more than Patrick Sharp’s goal.

Then something happened to deflate them. It could’ve been the disallowed goal late in the first period, or it could’ve been their power play that went from producing a few shots on goal to doing nothing at all as usual. Whatever the reason, the Blackhawks went from dominant to submissive in the second period and allowed Kelly to grab a rebound from Daniel Paille for the goal.

As the game progressed, the Blackhawks seemed to get sloppier, and that led to a turnover by Brandon Bollig that was taken by Paille for the Bruins’ win. Bollig was seen on the bench being lectured by coach Joel Quenneville before the fateful move, leading fans to suspect that he’ll be watching Game 3 from the press box.

It will be interesting to see how Quenneville handles Bollig’s boo-boo and the power play’s ongoing uselessness. They’ll need to be addressed if the Blackhawks want to win on Monday.