Bruins pull even with OT win
CHICAGO -- Tuukka Rask called it survival mode, the way the Boston Bruins overcame an awful first period on Saturday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.
That mentality helped the Bruins shake off the early one-goal deficit and rally for a 2-1 overtime victory, evening the Stanley Cup Finals at one game each. Game 3 is Monday in Boston.
Daniel Paille scored 13:48 into overtime, three days after the Bruins lost 4-3 in a draining three-overtime opener.
In Game 2, the Bruins trailed 1-0 after being outshot 19-4 in the first period. But the Blackhawks managed only 15 shots the rest of the way as Rask finished with 33 saves. Chicago goalie Corey Crawford made 26 saves, including seven in OT.
"Not much needed to be said after that first period," said Boston center Chris Kelly, who scored the Bruins' first goal. "It was a pretty terrible period by our team. If it wasn't for Tuukka, it would have been worse. To a guy, we all knew we had to go out and play better."
The Blackhawks had their six-game home winning streak snapped and the Bruins improved to 6-3 on the road.
The first eight minutes of overtime offered more action than the entire third period and most of the second as both teams tried to avoid another lengthy night.
It was the third straight OT game for the Blackhawks, who beat Los Angeles 4-3 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals before Wednesday night's marathon.
"Both sides carried a pretty fast pace out there considering what happened a couple days ago in Game 1," Chicago left winger Patrick Sharp said. "I don't think fatigue was an issue on either side."
Jaromir Jagr nearly ended it 90 seconds into overtime, but his wrist shot that beat Corey Crawford to the glove side ricocheted off the post and out of play. The 41-year-old Jagr had a team-high five shots on goal.
Crawford again stymied the Bruins four minutes later with a point-blank stop on Chris Kelly and then covering the puck in the crease on a deflection.
The Bruins kept the pressure up as a shot by Nathan Horton trickled wide of the left post, and Milan Lucic backhanded a shot wide from the top of the crease.
"We got better as the game went on," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Overtime, that was the best. (We) had a lot of scoring chances there. Like I told our guys, we got to show up on time for these kind of games. It could have cost us tonight."
Chicago missed its best chance to end it about seven minutes into the extra session when a blast from Sharp sailed just high of the net over Rask's glove.
This marked the second consecutive year the first two games of the Finals went to overtime. Before that, it hadn't happened in 61 years.
A scoreless third period provided few chances on either side. Crawford, who had 18 saves through regulation, stopped a charging Brad Marchand early in the period.
Crawford also turned aside a low shot from David Krejci a short time later as the Bruins continued to build after being outshot 19-4 in the first period. That was Krejci's first shot, which didn't come until nearly 45 minutes into the game.
Rask made 27 saves through regulation but only nine of those came after the first period.
"We had the perfect start to the game, then we stopped doing what made us successful," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we slowed ourselves down. I don't think we got the puck behind them. I think we were in front of them too much. I think that played into their hands."
Neither team was able to take advantage of their power plays through regulation. The Bruins killed off all three Chicago opportunities, remaining perfect on their past 22 consecutive penalties.
Chicago, which had allowed a power-play goal in its past two games, killed off both Boston man-advantages.
The Blackhawks did everything right in the first period and got on the scoreboard first.
Sharp scored from inside the right faceoff circle after a scramble in front of the Bruins goal. With Rask down in the crease, Sharp lifted a high shot into the net at 11:22 for his ninth goal of the playoffs.
About a minute later, Chicago thought it had added to the lead on a wraparound attempt by Jonathan Toews. But it was ruled no goal on the ice and the call stood upon video review.
The Bruins were outshot 19-4 in the first period but almost scored about nine minutes in. However, a Jagr shot from the slot was gloved by Crawford.
Rask stopped 18 shots in the first period, after making a career-high 59 saves in the opener. His most impressive save came six minutes in when he robbed Nick Leddy with a quick glove.
Despite their limited scoring chances, the Bruins were able to tie it 1-1 in the second period on a Kelly goal at 14:58. A turnover behind the Chicago net was grabbed by Paille, who skated to the front and fed Kelly for his first goal of the playoffs.
"On my goal, it was a great five-guy effort," said Kelly, who hadn't scored since April 17 against Buffalo. "Andrew (Ference) made a pinch, Tyler (Seguin) was in on the play and got it to Daniel, and Daniel took it to the net. I just happened to be there, tapped it in."
Marchand nearly gave the Bruins the lead late in the second period on a short-handed chance. He beat Brent Seabrook to a loose puck in the Blackhawks' zone, but his shot hit the post to Crawford's left.
NOTES: Horton was back in the Bruins' lineup despite leaving Game 1 on Wednesday night in the first overtime and not returning with a reported shoulder injury. ... Sharp (6) and Marian Hossa (5) had more first-period shots than the Bruins (4). ... Teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals are 32-3 all time, but two of those losses came in the past four seasons. The Bruins lost the first two games to Vancouver before rallying to win the 2011 Stanley Cup. ... There hasn't been a split of the first two games in the Finals since 2004.