And just like that, it’s a brand new series.
Since one overtime game wasn’t enough for the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, the two teams decided to take Game 2 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals into extended time as well. This time it was the Bruins who prevailed, and they only needed one extra period to win it.
Anyone watching the Bruins’ first period had to assume they would lose 25-0. It’s one thing to come out flat, but it’s another to do that while your opponent is playing like world-beaters. Chicago came out flying, outshooting the Bruins 19-4 in the first period. There was really just one reason why the game wasn’t a blowout within the first 20 minutes, and his name happens to be Tuukka Rask.
Rask did his job by keeping it within reach, but it didn’t prevent the team from receiving a tongue lashing from coach Claude Julien during the first intermission. Whatever he said must’ve worked, as the Bruins came out in the second period and proceeded to tilt the ice their way.
If it wasn’t for Chicago goalie Corey Crawford playing out of his mind, the Bruins would’ve blown the doors off the United Center. Luckily, though, Boston was able to finally to cash in on their opportunities.
While it’s great that the Bruins were able to recover from a rough start, they can’t afford to do this again. Yes, Rask is standing tall between the pipes, but the Blackhawks are way too good to play so weakly against. One or two more bad breaks and this one would’ve been out of reach early.
Chris Kelly is a Bruin? Who knew? Not trying to be mean, but lets be honest; Kelly was having a pretty miserable postseason. Even worse, he was coming off of quite a rough regular season as well.
While he was definitely playing a large role on the penalty kill and face off dot, Kelly was just not getting anything done offensively. Granted, a scoring funk for him isn’t as concerning as one for someone like Tyler Seguin. Still, he received a big new contract this offseason and just hasn’t been earning it.
It was great to see Kelly finally get on the board last night, scoring the crucial tying goal in the second period. A dirty goal? Sure, but it still counts, doesn’t it? It was definitely a momentum-changer, too.
It’d be foolish to assume Kelly is about to go on a tear now that he’s ended his drought. He’s a third-line grinder, and the team doesn’t depend on him to be a constant presence on the scoreboard. Still, against a team like Chicago, the Bruins need to get goals from everyone they can.
Every season, Bruins fans are asked to vote for the team’s Seventh Player Award. It goes out to the player who went above and beyond expectations for the team. This year, the fans voted for rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton, but plenty of people believed Daniel Paille deserved the award.
It’s safe to say he’s making his case for a recount.
Paille contributed to both Boston goals last night. His move behind the net created the rebound that Kelly sent home to tie the game at one. In overtime, he took a feed from Seguin and lifted a slick wrister over Crawford’s glove side to send the Bruins back to Beantown with a win.
His contributions for the entire year have been huge, and it’s great to see Paille’s hard work paying off as of late. He’s an incredibly quick skater who also uses a grinding style of play that works wonderfully on the penalty kill. The one knock on him has always been that he lacked an ability to finish offensively.
If last night’s game-winner was any indication, he might have finally honed in on some scoring touch.