Coach Joel Quenneville and the Chicago Blackhawks had a double-length feature to break down during their off-day film session. Of all the takeaways, none was as evident as the award-worthy performance delivered by goaltender Corey Crawford.
Crawford had 29 saves in overtime and 51 total stops in the epic five-and-a-half period opening game of the Stanley Cup Finals.
“Corey had an excellent game last night,” Quenneville said. “Several key saves, particularly in overtime. Seemed to just move forward from the next save to the next save, didn’t get rattled. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on, as well. All year long, all playoffs long, he’s been very consistent. You love his approach, his demeanor … welcomes the next challenge, and keeps looking forward.”
Neither team needed a film refresher to know rest would be prescribed on the first of two off days before Game 2 on Saturday. The fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup Final history ended at 12:08 of triple-overtime.
“That was an easy decision after coming in after the game last night,” Quenneville said. “Got a morning skate on Saturday, I think everybody should be fresh.”
Brent Seabrook welcomes the two-day break.
“I think having the two-day break between Game 1 and 2 is huge. Same as last night,” he said. “Get a lot of rest, stay hydrated, getting as much as healthy, good food in your system as you can. Just get ready and focus for the next one.”
Andrew Shaw was credited the game-winning fourth goal for the Blackhawks after midnight Central time Thursday morning, a double-deflection that never touched Shaw’s stick.
After limiting Chicago’s squad deep in scorers to one goal into the third period, goaltender Tuukka Rask let in two shots in the third period and another in the third overtime. He had an epic performance of his own. Rask saved 59 shots in 63 attempts for Boston, and was critical of the Bruins’ performance on the power play in overtime.
“It just looked like it wasn’t our night. You know right on that power play, a deflection and (it hits) inside the post. We can’t get it in,” Rask said. “And then there were a lot of loose pucks in front of the net, we couldn’t pounce on those. (Kaspars) Daugavins has an empty net. It wasn’t our night, I guess.”
Coach Claude Julien didn’t mind the passionate response to the loss.
He’s also quick to remind his team and others that Game 1 doesn’t get anyone’s name etched on the Stanley Cup. The Bruins were written off earlier in the offseason before overtaking Toronto, and they’ve had revivals in the Cup Finals before.
“Last time we won the Cup, we lost the first two games to Vancouver. It never stopped us from coming back,” Julien said. “This certainly won’t. When you look at the game, it could have gone either way. I thought we had some real great looks in overtime. With a little bit of luck, we could have ended it before they did.”
NOTES: Bruins F Nathan Horton sustained an upper-body injury in the first overtime and didn’t return to action. Julien said he didn’t have an update on Horton’s condition after the game. …F Brandon Bollig replaced Viktor Stalberg in the Blackhawks’ lineup. Bollig hadn’t played since Game 3 of Chicago’s Western Conference quarterfinal victory over Minnesota. … This is the first time the two Original Six franchises have met in the Stanley Cup finals. … The Bruins played the first playoff game in their history on March 29, 1927, a 6-1 win over Chicago in a game played at Madison Square Garden in New York since Chicago Coliseum was booked for another event. … The Bruins are 5-1 in all-time playoff series vs. Chicago, with their only loss coming in the 1975 opening round.