CHICAGO — These Boston Bruins are one resilient bunch.
Daniel Paille scored at 13:48 in overtime and the Bruins shrugged off a sluggish start to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Saturday night and even the Stanley Cup finals at a game apiece.
Three days after a three-overtime thriller in the opener, Boston and Chicago once again were tied after regulation. The Bruins then turned up their play and finally cashed in after goaltender Corey Crawford had singlehandedly kept the Blackhawks in the game.
Brandon Bollig had a turnover in the Chicago end and Tyler Seguin passed it to Paille, who shot it under Crawford’s glove and off the right post for his third goal of the playoffs. The slick shot sent the Bruins back to Boston with the momentum ahead of Game 3 on Monday night.
“We just kept the pressure on and Seggy threw the puck to me,” Paille said. “I just popped out and had to shoot the puck quick, get it off my stick. I was able to send it post low. He made a good play passing it over instead of shooting.”
Patrick Sharp scored for Chicago, which looked more and more gassed as the night wore on. Crawford made 26 saves in another terrific performance.
Paille also had an assist on Chris Kelly’s tying goal in the second, and Tuukka Rask made 18 of his 33 stops in the first period.
“We got rewarded because I thought from the second period on, we were a good team, a better team, and by the end I thought we had more chances,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
The first two games of last year’s Stanley Cup also went to overtime, with Los Angeles taking a 2-0 lead at New Jersey before going on to defeat the Devils in six games. Before last season, it had been 61 years since the first two games of the finals needed an extra period to decide the winner. In that 1951 Stanley Cup, each of the five games went to overtime, with Toronto taking the series against Montreal.