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NHL: Blackhawks edge Bruins 6-5 to level Stanley Cup Final

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook scored the game-winning goal 9:51 into overtime on Wednesday to give the Blackhawks a 6-5 victory over Boston in the National Hockey League Final.

The victory snapped a seven-game Bruins' win streak on home ice and pulled Chicago level at 2-2 in the best-of-seven showdown for the Stanley Cup, with game five on Saturday in Chicago and game six back in Boston on Monday.

"It feels nice to get this win. This was a big game," Chicago's Patrick Sharp said. "Never once did we doubt the character of our team. We knew we would bounce back. We've been through a lot on this team."

Seabrook's second overtime goal of the playoffs capped the third overtime game in the title series, the most since 1993 and second only to the record five overtime games played between Toronto and Detroit in the 1951 final.

"I just tried getting it on net," Seabrook said. "We had a great screen in front and somehow it went in."

There had been only 12 goals over the first three games of the final, but the clubs struck for 11 in game four alone, the last with attackers in front of the net to block the view of Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask.

"We talked for a couple days about getting in front of the goal, getting ugly goals," Sharp said. "When he made the play at the blue line, a lot of guys on the bench knew it would go in."

Finland's Rask made 46 saves while Chicago netminder Corey Crawford denied 28 shots.

"One of those games," Seabrook said. "We got a few goals. They had to answer that. They got a few on the power play and we got some bounces. It was nice to get a few past Tuukka."

Chicago's Michal Handzus opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal 6:48 into the game, but Rich Peverley's power-play goal equalized for Boston with 5:17 remaining in the opening period.

The Blackhawks jumped back in front with a pair of goals only 2:08 apart, the first from playmaker Jonathan Toews and the next from Patrick Kane to give Chicago a 3-1 edge.

Boston answered on a Milan Lucic goal that, like the Bruins' opening goal, came with only 5:17 remaining in the period.

Chicago stretched the lead when Marcus Kruger found the net with 4:28 to play in the second period, but Boston answered on a power-play goal from Patrice Bergeron 1:50 later to lift the Bruins within 4-3 entering the third period.

Bergeron scored 2:05 into the third period to deadlock the game, but the Blackhawks answered on Patrick Sharp's power-play goal with 8:41 to play in regulation.

Only 55 seconds later Johnny Boychuck equalized for the Bruins to make it 5-5, and set the stage for overtime.

Bruins coach Claude Julien said his team, which never led, simply did not play well enough to win.

"Our guys battled hard enough to get us back in the game and get us into overtime, but I don't think we played our best game," Julien said.

"Our decision making wasn't good at times and we didn't move the puck as well as he had. Those are things that happen in the final, where you don't feel like you played well enough to win and we didn't."

Now the Bruins will have to win at least once in Chicago to hoist the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons.

"There was a lot of our game that was average and average isn't good enough at this stage of the season," Julien said. "Hopefully that makes them hungrier in the next game."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130620/nhl-blackhawks-edge-bruins-6-5-level-stanley-cup-final