For the first time since May 29, 2010 the United Center faithful saw Stanley Cup Final hockey Monday night and nearly six periods worth of it at that.
Shaw’s goal in triple-overtime Wednesday night gave the Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins in the first NHL finals meeting between the two historic Original Six franchises. The game was the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup Final history.The Shaw goal came off a double-reflection from a Michal Rozsival shot from the blueline to give the Hawks a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final series.
Hawks’ net-minder Corey Crawford wowed the capacity United Center crowd with several key saves and 51 in total for the evening. The Hawks were led by Brandon Saad, Dave Bolland and Johnny Oduya on the score sheet in regulation. While Milan Lucic scored twice for the Bruins and Patrice Bergeron tallied a goal too.
Lucic opened the scoring at the 13:11 mark in the first period. Hawks’ defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson went in for a hit against David Krejci only to have Krejci avoid it and gain control of the puck. Krejci then sent a centering pass to Lucic to the puck pass Crawford.
Krejci kept the momentum going for the Bruins less than a minute into the second frame. The sequence for his second goal mirrored the first as Krejci took control of the puck from Hjalmarsson before passing it to Lucic to send a slapshot passed Crawford’s glove side, giving the Bruins a 2-0 goal lead.
The Hawks responded less than four minutes later with a Saad goal. Saad skated through the Bruins zone before being snubbed out in the corner and losing the puck. Hawks’ winger Marian Hossa stripped Nathan Horton of the puck and sent a pass to Saad for a wrister passed Tuukka Rask‘s glove side from the left face-off circle.
Only a few moments into a Michael Frolik tripping penalty Bergeron gave the Bruins their second two goal lead on the evening. A failed clearing attempt from Duncan Keith led to a lose puck sent to Tyler Seguin before Seguin dropped off a pass to an open Bergeron to send a slapshot passed Crawford at the 6:09 mark.
Less than two minutes later Bolland narrowed the Bruins lead to 2-1. Shaw blocked a Bruins’ clearing attempt and sent a pass to Bolland to send a slapshot passed a falling Rask. Oduya evened the scoring at the 12:14 mark off a Marcus Kruger assist. Kruger skated into the offensive zone and lost the puck only to regain it from a Frolik pass and drop a pass to his Swedish countrymen Oduya to even the score.
Rask and Crawford have a series of remarkable saves during the overtime periods with heavy traffic in front of them. Both teams had several players record nearly 50 minutes of playing time and will look to recover before their Game 2 bout. The Hawks will look to extend their series lead in Game 2 at the United Center on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT (NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
Topics: 2013 NHL Playoffs, 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, Andrew Shaw, Boston Bruins, Brandon Saad, Chicago Blackhawks, Corey Crawford, Dave Bolland, David Krejci, Duncan Keith, Johnny Oduya, Marcus Kruger, Marian Hossa, Michael Frolik, Michal Rozsival, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, NHL, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask, Tyler Seguin