The game plan was simple, beat the Bruins and recapture home ice advantage to avoid falling into a second 3-1 series deficit during this year’s playoffs.
The Blackhawks did just that in a high scoring affair on Wednesday evening beating the Bruins 6-5 in OT. A huge slapper from the point by Hawks’ defensemen Brent Seabrook ended Game 4 and tied the Stanley Cup Final at 2-2.
The Hawks started the scoring with a Michal Handzus shorthanded goal. Hawks defensemen Johnny Oduya was sent to the penalty box for an interference call on Tyler Seguin. Rookie Brandon Saad took the puck up the ice, fighting off Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara and sent a pass to Handzus for a one-timer off the inside post.
The Handzus goal broke the nearly 130 minutes shutout streak by Tuukka Rask and gave the Hawks the 1-0 lead at the 6:48 mark. Only to have the Bruins answer with a Rich Peverley power play goal to tie the game 1-1.
The Hawks captain Jonathan Toews skillful work would break the tie nearly half through the second. Toews skated up the left wing boards into the zone send the puck around the boards to Hawks’ defensemen Michal Rozsival. Rozsival send a slapshot to the net that Toews tipped in pass Rask to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead at 6:33 mark.
The Hawks defensemen continued to spark the offensive as Rozsival and Bryan Bickell recorded assists on Patrick Kane’s goal. Rozsival’s contribution was identical to the Toews goal sending a slapshot to the net at the perimeter bouncing towards Bickell whose shot rebounded out to Kane to flip a backhand pass a diving Rask for the 3-1 lead at the 8:41 mark.
Bruins’ Milan Lucic dug out the puck against two Hawks’ defensemen and sent the puck up the left wing boards to Chara, sending a shot to the net in which Lucic backhanded the rebound pass Corey Crawford. Lucic’s goal narrowed the Hawks lead to 3-2 at the 14:43 mark and gave him his sixth goal of the 2013 Playoffs.
Less than a minute later Michael Frolik skated into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 with Marcus Kruger against Chara and sent a pass to Kruger who was blocked by Rask before knocking in a wrister rebound to give the Hawks a two goal lead, 4-2, again at the 15:32 mark.
Another Hawks’ penalty proved to be the difference as Patrice Bergeron narrowed the lead to one again at the 17:22 mark. The Kane hooking penalty put the Bruins on the advantage again and Brad Marchand deflected a Chara slapshot above the net. The deflection ended up on to the top of the cage before falling in front of a confused Crawford. Bergeron flipped the lose puck pass Crawford to cut the lead to 4-3.
Bergeron’s goal was his fourth power play during the playoffs and third during this series.
The Bruins carried the momentum from the second frame into the third with another Bergeron goal at the 2:05 mark. A give and go sequence between Bergeron and Jaromir Jagr to Crawford’s saw Bergeron score his second goal on the night passed Crawford’s glove side.
Shortly after being unsuccessful on 4-on-3, 5-on-3, and 5-on-4 power plays Sharp would net a goal off a Marian Hossa rebound for a 5-4 lead at the 11:19 mark.
55 seconds later the Bruins evened the score from their number 55. Nathan Horton found the puck behind the net and sent a pass to an open Johnny Boychuk at the perimeter to level the score 5-5 at the 12:14 mark.
The series will move back to the United Center for Game 5 on Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT (NBC).
Topics: 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Brandon Saad, Brent Seabrook, Bryan Bickell, Chicago Blackhawks, Corey Crawford, Jaromir Jagr, Johnny Boychuk, Johnny Oduya, Jonathan Toews, Marcus Kruger, Marian Hossa, Michael Frolik, Michal Handzus, Michal Rozsival, Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Tuukka Rask, Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara