Nearly 10 periods of hockey through two games of the Stanley Cup finals and one thing is crystal clear. There’s almost nothing to choose between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. Five goals apiece and two overtime games, a series many expected to go the distance sure smells like it will. "Two good teams playing in the finals," Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said after his team evened the series with a 2-1 OT win. "It’s very even. You know, small things are usually going to decide those games." Small things, like Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid pinching to stand up Brandon Bollig inside the Blackhawks' blue line, which forced a turnover and led to Daniel Paille's overtime goal 13:48 into the first extra session. One little play, a good one by McQuaid, a mistake by Bollig, and that’s all that separated two great hockey teams on this night. The smallest of margins will decide games in this series. "Both sides felt it was going to be a tight series," said Blackhawks star forward Patrick Sharp, who scored his team’s lone goal. "Every shift is going to matter. And you saw it in this game, it is pretty evenly matched. I expect more of the same heading forward. ... "Every shift is important. Every bounce is important. Momentum is definitely huge as well." The Blackhawks had all the momentum early on in Game 2, outshooting the Bruins 19-4 in the opening period, definitely tilting the ice on the visitors, but getting only Sharp’s goal out of it. "Well, we definitely were in survival mode there for a bit," said Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who saved his team in the opening period. "It looked like they had more guys out there than we did. They were pouncing on every single puck in front of net, had a lot of chances. We definitely played pretty bad. But, you know, it was good that we were only down by one and regrouped after that." Regroup the Bruins did, finding their legs and their style of game in the second period, eventually tying it on Chris Kelly's first of the playoffs at 14:58. The Bruins outshot the Hawks 24-15 in the final two periods and overtime, gradually turning the tables on the Blackhawks, particularly in overtime, when Boston enjoyed most of the chances. "I don’t think we played well enough to win that one in overtime at all," said Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook. "We played well in the game, but in overtime they had lots of chances." The Bruins began the evening frustrated; the Hawks ended the night feeling the same way.
Game 2 proved this years Stanley Cup Finals are going the distance
ESPN Chicago | Jun 16