Game 4 saw the Blackhawks get a much-needed road win at Boston’s TD Garden. It was a night where 11 goals were scored and where the Blackhawks looked like the potent offensive team we’re used to seeing.
For Game 5, the Blackhawks hosted the Bruins at their sold out United Center, and the home fans and the Blackhawks players were hoping the momentum from a win in Boston would carry over, allowing the Blackhawks to take the lead in the series.
The first period of play took shape, and it was apparent that Game 5 would be a return to the style of the first three games, which meant exceptional team defense and disciplined play for both teams.
It would take almost the entire first period before a goal was scored. With a little more than two minutes left, Patrick Kane scored his eighth goal of the post-season for the Blackhawks, poking the puck past the Bruins’ goalie Tuukka Rask after a shot by Johnny Oduya broke the stick of Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and fell near Rask’s left post.
The first period of play would end with the score 1-0, in favor of the Blackhawks.
The second period found the Blackhawks in a scoring mood again, this time much earlier on. Bryan Bickell rushed the net at around the 5-minute mark and Rask turned his shot away, but skated behind the net, getting his own rebound and throwing it back in front of goal.
Rask got his blocker to the post as it hit off the right side, but Kane was there again, this time to backhand the puck into the goal, making the score 2-0.
The rest of the period saw both teams playing excellent team defense and both goalies making important stops; it also saw Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews rocked by Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk, forcing him to leave the game after his head smacked the ice.
The Bruins also lost a key player in the second, with Patrice Bergeron unable to finish out the game with what was described as a “body” injury. The period ended with the score 2-0 and the Bruins hoping for better luck in the third.
The Bruins finally got a goal past the Blackhawks’ Corey Crawford at around the 4-minute mark in the third period. Zdeno Chara got a great pass from David Krejci who sent the puck to him from behind Crawford’s net. Chara blasted the puck past Crawford’s glove side and made the score 2-1.
Crawford’s glove side has come under question as of late, as he let in ten goals on that side. The rest of the third period was marked by Crawford making key saves, and the Blackhawks helping him by turning up the pressure on Rask. Rask had to make two great saves from scoring chances created by, guess who, Kane.
The Blackhawks added one more goal for good measure in the dying minutes of the third as Dave Bolland scored an empty-net goal. The Bruins pulled Rask in order to add another skater on the ice and try and score another goal to send the game into OT. This was to no avail, and the Blackhawks won their first game in regulation 3-1.
The Blackhawks took the lead in the series 3-2 after Game 5’s win, putting the Bruins on the brink of elimination, and positioning themselves one step closer to hoisting the Conn Smythe trophy for the city of Chicago.
The Bruins are now faced with a “do or die” situation, needing to win Game 6 and force a Game 7 if they want to bring home the Stanley Cup. The Bruins have over come this type of situation before, as they did in 2011 when they came back to beat Vancouver, and ultimately the Cup.
Game 6 will be June 24 and will be held back at Boston’s TD Garden, with the Blackhawks looking to win their second trophy in four seasons, and the Bruins looking to keep their dreams alive and force a Game 7.
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