Will Game 3 bring more OT in Stanley Cup finals?
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins played one of their worst periods of the year to start Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals.
Maybe they sensed that there would still be a lot more hockey before the night was over.
Ten periods into their championship series, the Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks headed to Boston for Game 3 on Monday night. No one would be surprised if this one’s as close as the first two.
“I think it’s pretty much what everybody expected,” Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask said Sunday. “I mean, I don’t know if anybody expected to go to triple overtime the first game, but still it’s been tight, one-goal games. That’s usually how the playoffs go.”
Neither team skated on the off-day on Sunday, instead choosing to conserve their energy after playing four extra periods while trading overtime victories that left the series tied at one game.
“It’s a lot about getting your rest,” Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said after arriving in Boston about an hour late because of air traffic. “It’s not rocket science, you just get sleep and do as best you can and do all those little things to get ready to go.”
After their triple overtime win in Game 1, the Blackhawks dominated the first period of Game 2, outshooting the Bruins 19-4. Heading off the ice for the first break, Tyler Seguin ditched the microphone he had been wearing as part of the TV broadcast.
Then he went back into the dressing room so the team could hash out its problems in peace.
“It was really a mix of everybody saying something,” Seguin said. “I definitely knew it was coming, so I threw my shoulder pads in the training room and put a towel over it so no one could hear what we were saying. I think we needed that team wake-up call.”
Only Rask prevented things from getting worse.
“Not much needed to be said after that first period,” said Chris Kelly, who was one of the more vocal players in the dressing room.
“I think Tuukka pointed out that was a pretty terrible period by our team. If it wasn’t for Tuukka, it would have been a lot worse.”
Neither Kelly nor coach Claude Julien nor any of the other Bruins would divulge what was said in the room.
But something snapped them out of their funk.
“Claude came in a little bit later, but I think we were all equally upset about that first period,” said Daniel Paille, who scored at 13:48 of overtime to end it.
“Definitely, Claude let us know and it was a way for us to wake up. And, also, players were keeping each other accountable, too, so it was good.”
Whatever was said, the Blackhawks managed only 15 shots over the next two-plus periods to Boston’s 24.
For the game, the Bruins had 50 hits — 10 by Milan Lucic — to 34 for Chicago.
“They’re in the Stanley Cup final for a reason,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said. “It’s not like you’re going to have the momentum or dominate for three periods. Obviously, we’d love that.
“We know momentum is huge in the playoffs. You want to keep it as long as you can.”
But Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland said they relaxed after taking an early lead and dominating the first period. Another goal was disallowed when the referee lost sight of the puck and blew the whistle moments before it rolled under Rask and over the goal line.
“You always have to have your foot on the gas against this team,” Bolland said. “They’re a physical team. You see the guys they have. They’re a big team and they play hard and they’re going to hit, so you’ve got to be ready for that.”
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said he didn’t think the team lost momentum by having an extra day off before Game 1 on Wednesday and Game 2 on Saturday.
“We had a great first period,” he said. “We did everything we wanted except get to two (goals).”
Follow Jimmy Golen on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jgolen .