CHICAGO – The Boston Bruins appreciate history, but they prefer a victory instead.
Avoiding what nearly became a second consecutive interminable Stanley Cup Finals battle, Bruins forward Daniel Paille scored 13:48 into overtime to seal a 2-1 Boston win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 on Saturday night at the United Center, tying the series at one game apiece.
Bruins winger Tyler Seguin and defenseman Adam McQuaid assisted on the laser wrister by Paille – a good friend of Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi with both from Welland, Ontario – after Blackhawks forward Brandon Bollig failed to control the puck on the wall in his defensive zone. The Bruins had been outshot, 19-3 in the first period but overcame an early 1-0 deficit built on Chicago winger Patrick Sharp’s team-leading ninth goal of the playoffs.
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The Blackhawks strike first, with Patrick Sharp scoring in the first period against Tuukka Rask.
“We all knew that we had a terrible first period, and they came out flying. You would expect better from us,” said Paille, who also had the only assist on Chris Kelly’s goal in the second period. “But we kept each other accountable, and we had (coach) Claude (Julien) come in here and tell us, and all of us players telling each other, just realizing that we all need to be better, not just one guy.”
Boston also caught a break in the first period, as video review showed that Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews’ wraparound had crossed the goal line, but a referee’s early whistle prevented any reversal of the call and kept the score 1-0 Chicago.
Still, Tuukka Rask again was stellar, making 33 saves to push his total to 92 saves on 97 shots in two games. He outdueled the Blackhawks’ Corey Crawford (26 saves).
“It’s always about will,” Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said.
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The Bruins retaliate on Chris Kelly’s second-period goal, setting up another overtime.
Including Chicago’s 4-3 triple-overtime Game 1 victory on Wednesday night – which was the fifth-longest game in Finals history at 112 minutes and eight seconds – the Bruins and Blackhawks have played 185 minutes and 56 seconds hockey in two games, which is the equivalent of more than three regulation finishes.
“Old people, don’t watch (this series), because you might die just watching,” joked Bruins winger Jaromir Jagr, 41.
Said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville: “We had the perfect start to the game, then we stopped doing what made us successful. We stood around. They countered.”
The series shifts to Boston for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Wednesday nights, respectively. The Bruins have won six straight at TD Garden, with no losses at home since Game 5 of their first-round series against Toronto.
NO ROYAL REPEAT
The Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist (55 points, three first-place votes) finished second in voting for the Vezina Trophy behind the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky (110 points, 17 first-place votes). Lundqvist won the award, given to the NHL’s top goalie in the regular season, in 2012 and this season was a finalist for the fifth time in his eight-year career.
Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin received his third career Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s MVP, as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA), while Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby took home his second career Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s most outstanding player, as voted by fellow members of the NHL Players’ Association. Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau took home the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year, and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s top defenseman, both as voted by the PHWA.