Chicago Blackhawks: Boston Bruins take over the league lead

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks played a somewhat competent game against the league’s best team but they came up just short of two points.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins always put on a great show of Original Six teams. They are two teams in different spots but both have the common goal of reaching the playoffs. The Bruins went into the game knowing that if they won they would take over the top spot in the entire National Hockey League while the Hawks knew that winning would bring them closer to that vaunted playoff spot.

The Bruins won in overtime thanks to a goal by Charlie McAvoy. He hadn’t scored a goal from the Bruins defense all season long but he finally got one in Chicago. McAvoy is one of the league’s best young defenseman and getting that goal will be great for him. The goal came after the Bruins killed off a Blackhawks power play in overtime.

The Bruins sort of lucked out at the end of regulation, as Drake Caggiula scored a goal with about a minute left which likely would have given the Hawks the regulation win but it was waved off because of a handpass. The Blackhawks players and fans were not thrilled about the call but it was what it was. The Hawks may feel slighted, but they were lucky to even be in the game at all. The Bruins dominated possession and shots on goal for most of the game, but Robin Lehner came up huge.

Lehner was truly special, actually. He made some magnificent saves on some of the best snipers in the world. He was playing for the first time in a few games which should really help him out. He only gave up the one goal in regulation before allowing McAvoy to tuck the overtime winner past him. It is much needed for the Blackhawks to get this level of goaltending with the way they trade chances with their opponent.

The fact of the matter remains that Chicago earned a point where they didn’t even really play that well. They were outshot 40-22 and still almost won, against the top team in the National Hockey League. This isn’t some scrub Bruins team, they legit have a chance at the Stanley Cup. So, the Blackhawks just need to be ready to be strong the rest of this road-heavy February.

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They are off for a few days now so they can rest. On Sunday, they head north of the border to take on the Winnipeg Jets. It is a matchup against one of those teams right below them looking for that final wild-card berth. Earning a point against the Bruins brought them within two points so Sunday’s tilt is a very important game.