It was a wild back and forth game between the two teams. Both Tuukka Rask and Corey Crawford were forced to be sensational at times as their teams turned the puck over in their zone. The first strike belonged to the Blackhawks as Niklas Hjalmarsson sprung Patrick Sharp with a pass. Sharp had the patience to wait for the trailer before passing the puck to the front of the net and the puck went off of the stick of Marian Hossa and past Rask at 4:13 for his 20th goal of the season and fifth in five games. The Blackhawks appeared to have command of the period but the Bruins would strike back at 19:41. Brad Marchand got behind Duncan Keith and beat Crawford with a beautiful wrist shot that went over the stick side and into the top left corner of the net.
Fortune was the name of the game in the second period. It didn’t take long for the Bruins to grab the lead as Brad Marchand again got behind the defense and make a couple of beautiful moves before slipping the puck through the five hole of Crawford 50 seconds into the period. In perhaps the strangest play in a while, Jonathan Toews received a 10 minute misconduct when his stick broke and he flung it behind him and over the glass. But the Blackhawks got a lucky goal when Brandon Bollig threw a puck from a bad angle that deflected off of Rask and squirted into the net at 9:44. The Blackhawks would survive the rest of the time without Toews and head into the locker room tied.
The third period saw the Bruins take control with a 14-7 edge in shots. However, Crawford was spectacular as he bailed out the Blackhawks time and time again. In overtime, the Blackhawks could not convert on a 4 on 3 power play sending the game to a shootout. The Blackhawks deferred in the shootout leaving the Bruins to lead off. Ryan Spooner beat Crawford but his shot rang off of the post. Toews beat Rask with a shot over the stick side shoulder. Patrice Bergeron was next and used some stick handling to try to beat Crawford and missed the net. Sharp had a chance to win the game but his shot was saved by Rask. Marchand was next up and his shot beat Crawford to the stick side. Patrick Kane would have a chance to win it. He slow played the puck with some fancy stick handling and sent a shot past the stick side of Rask for his first shootout goal of the year.
What it means
The Blackhawks have now won two games in a row and gotten five out of the last six possible points. The Blackhawks improve to 32-8-11 for 75 points. The Blackhawks have a six point lead on the St. Louis Blues for first in the division; however, the Blues have four games in hand on the Blackhawks.
3 stars of the game
3. Brandon Bollig- It isn’t often that Bollig gets to be a star of the game. But it was a good game for Bollig who scored his fifth goal of the season. Perhaps the biggest contribution by Bollig was matching the physical play of the Bruins with seven hits.
2. Brad Marchand- The pesky rat of the Bruins had a good game with two goals. Marchand was the best skater on the ice and was a plus one with four shots on goal. On the year, Marchand has 14 goals.
1. Corey Crawford- It has been two strong performances by Crawford who had to make several great pad saves on rebounds. Crawford made 34 saves on 36 shots for his second consecutive win.