Mistakes, bad bounces doom Rask, Bruins in Game 1
CHICAGO – Key mistakes by his teammates late in regulation and one wild deflection at the end were simply too much for Tuukka Rask to overcome.
Now, the Boston Bruins trail the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals. Don’t blame their goalie for that.
Rask did his part, but the Bruins fell, 4-3, in triple overtime in a riveting Game 1 that ended with the puck deflecting off Chicago’s Andrew Shaw and into the net for the winner.
It was a fitting conclusion to a game that saw the Bruins blow a two-goal lead late in regulation through no fault of Rask’s.
Michael Roszival shot the puck from the right point into traffic. It deflected off Dave Bolland and Shaw before slipping past Rask to complete the comeback in a game that more than lived up to the hype.
In the first championship meeting in 34 years between Original Six franchises, the Bruins were sailing along with a 3-1 lead after Milan Lucic scored twice and Patrice Bergeron added a power-play goal just over six minutes into the third period.
Then, in a flash, everything changed for Boston. What looked like a safe lead quickly evaporated thanks to one big turnover and one unfortunate bounce for the Bruins.
The comeback started when Shaw picked off a clearing attempt by Torey Krug and fed Bolland on a two-on-one rush to pull Chicago within one with 12 minutes left in regulation. Lucic then got stopped on a two-on-one by Corey Crawford midway through the third, and Johnny Oduya tied it for Chicago when his shot from the point deflected off Andrew Ference defending at the side of the crease and bounced past Rask.
Just like that, the game was tied.
Rask came in with a league playoff-high .943 save percentage, and he stopped 59 shots in this one. He went 149:36 without giving up a goal before rookie Brandon Saad scored off a feed from Marian Hossa to make it 2-1 and bring the crowd to its feet.
They were really roaring in the end, and now, the Bruins will have to shake this one off after winning nine of the previous 10 games.
It’s not the first time they’ve had to pick themselves up in these playoffs. They nearly got knocked out by Toronto in the first round, blowing a 3-1 series lead and then rallying from three down in the third period of the seventh game.