“We played a perfect first period there,” Quenneville said. “In the second, we were going along fine, too, but I thought we slowed down a little bit in that period.”
The Blackhawks have struggled on the power play throughout the playoffs, and their inability to score after Boston’s Johnny Boychuk was penalized for holding at 8:15 of the second period may have turned the momentum in the Bruins’ favor.
Less than seven minutes later, Chris Kelly tied the game with his first goal of the postseason.
“On the power play, if you’re not going to score, you always want to at least build momentum somehow by getting chances,” Kane said.
You see with special teams in this playoffs, you can either get a lot of momentum off a big (penalty) kill or some momentum off a good power play or scoring a goal on the power play.
“Our penalty kill’s been great all year, to the point where we’ve won a lot of games because of it. It’s given us a lot of momentum. It would be nice to see the power play return that.”
The Blackhawks are scoreless in six power play opportunities against the Bruins and in 14 over their last five games. They’ve scored just once in the last 24 times they’ve had the extra skater.
“There’s not a lot of high-quality chances” when the teams are at even strength, Quenneville said. “We’ve got to look to maybe simplify it and play anything at the net.
“The pretty plays aren’t there. If we think the pretty plays are there with power plays, they evaporate quickly.”
Just like momentum.
In a series in which both teams take extra care to play disciplined hockey and avoid risks that could lead to costly mistakes, all it takes is one play — a big hit, an intercepted pass, a goal — for control to shift from one team to the other.
“We got away from what made us successful in the first period” Saturday night, Quenneville said. “You know your opponents are going to get their turn.”