Overtime, 10:09, 6-5 Blackhawks: The Stanley Cup Final is tied.
With a big old mess in front of the net, Brent Seabrook fired a slap shot from the right point. With Toews in front of the net, Seabrook’s shot had eyes and beat Rask to the blocker side, just inside the right post, for the game-winner.
Overtime, 10:49, 5-5: It’s funny how quickly a wide open game can close up when it gets to overtime. Shots are at just 4-3 in favor of Chicago, with both teams locking down defensively.
Overtime, 15:48, 5-5: Some back-and-forth action, with Brad Marchand’s wide wrister in the opening minute being the best opportunity either way thus far.
Overtime, 20:00, 5-5: The next goal will win the game, and it will go a long way in determining the Stanley Cup winner. Overtime is under way.
End of regulation, 5-5: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Bruins and the Blackhawks are going to overtime.
If you had said before the game that we’d be seeing overtime, it would make good sense. After all, we know these two teams are very evenly matched. However, nobody could have predicted how this game got here, and nobody would have ever thought there could be an 11-goal game, given the way this series had been shaking out.
Alas, hockey is a wild sport, full of wild bounces and lucky breaks, and these two teams have gone back and forth all night. And now, the next goal will win it. A 3-1 series lead or a 2-2 tie is at stake, so be prepared for the most intense period of the season.
Third period, 4:22, 5-5: It’s been a crazy game thus far, and it’s been one that doesn’t necessarily make a whole lot of sense. We’ll do that after the game, but for now, the two teams have four minutes to try to finish this one in regulation.
Third period, 7:46, 5-5: The Boston Bruins just don’t quit.
Johnny Boychuk teed up his patented slap shot at the top of the slot, and the resulting missile beat Crawford to (where else?) his glove side. Once again, tie game.
Third period, 8:41, 5-4 Blackhawks: The Lucic turnover proves costly, as Tuukka Rask gives up a rebound to his right. Patrick Sharp was right there to chip the puck over Rask’s right pad for the go-ahead goal.
Third period, 9:40, 4-4: A terrible turnover by Lucic leads to walking in all alone. Krejci was forced to hook him to prevent the scoring opportunity, so he’ll have to serve two minutes here.
In 32 seconds, the Blackhawks will get 22 seconds of 5-on-3 and then a little over a minute of 5-on-4.
Third period, 10:47, 4-4: Well and there goes that. Jaromir Jagr tried to bat a puck out of midair but instead caught Duncan Keith’s face. Power play negated, and we’ll get 1:39 of 4-on-4.
Third period, 11:09, 4-4: Jonathan Toews whacked Nathan Horton right in the kisser with his stick blade, and, well, the rules say you can’t do that. Huge power play opportunity upcoming for Boston.
Third period, 11:46, 4-4: Things are getting chippy out there, and Johnny Boychuk’s textbook hip check on Patrick Sharp surely angered the Blackhawks forward. Chara was also seen screaming at someone in a white jersey in a post-whistle scrum, and I think it might have been Bickell, who had kicked out Krejci’s skate from behind moments earlier.
Third period, 17:55, 4-4: It looked like two-on-five, but those two were Patrice Bergeron and Jaromir Jagr, and they’re pretty good.
The duo worked along the boards behind the Chicago net for a good 20 or so seconds, before Bergeron slipped out to the top of the right faceoff circle. Jagr fed a pass to Bergeron, who one-timed a slap shot to (where else?) Crawford’s glove side, and the game is now tied.
It was a nice goal by Bergeron, but Jagr deserves loads of credit for his work along the wall.
Third period, 20:00, 4-3 Blackhawks: Twenty minutes left in this one, and it begins now.
End of second period, 4-3 Blackhawks: Wow, the Bruins erupted after that Bergeron goal, and the Blackhawks are lucky to still have a lead. Rich Peverley sent a pass from the corner to Kelly in front for a redirect, but he just missed, catching the post clean. The goal horn actually sounded and the spotlights went on, but play continued. Moments later, Jaromir Jagr was denied by Crawford on a furious backhand attempt from the slot.
It wasn’t a perfect period for the Bruins, but the way they ended it couldn’t have been much better. Strap in for what should be a wild third period.
Second period, 2:38, 4-3 Blackhawks: On Monday, they talked about bad ice conditions. Tonight, the Blackhawks get caught with some bad glass conditions.
Zdeno Chara’s wrist shot from the blue line got deflected over the Chicago net, but the puck took a wild bounce off the glass behind the net. It checked back over the net and landed in the crease. Brad Marchand was nearby but couldn’t get it, but Patrice Bergeron was there to chip the puck past Crawford (who had made two nice glove saves on the Boston power play) to once again cut the lead to one.
Second period, 3:36, 4-2 Blackhawks: A huge power play coming for Boston, after Patrick Kane gets sent to the box for hooking. The Bruins need one here.
Second period, 4:28, 4-2 Blackhawks: Well, there goes that life.
Frolik and and Kruger skated in on a 2-on-1, and though Kruger was initially stopped, the rebound didn’t go too far, and he jammed it inside the post to stretch the lead back to two.
Second period, 5:17, 3-2 Blackhawks: In the Bruins’ unforgettable Game 7 comeback against the Maple Leafs, a Zdeno Chara shot and Milan Lucic score on the rebound cut the lead to one in the final minutes and gave the Bruins life. Tonight’s situation may not have been quite so dire, but it was nevertheless the same scenario on the goal that cut Chicago’s lead to one goal.
Chara flicked a wrister on net from the half wall, and Lucic scored on the rebound. The building is once again alive.
Second period, 7:20, 3-1 Blackhawks: The Bruins are able to kill a bench minor for too many men on the ice, but it’s all Blackhawks right now. Shots are 20-12 in favor of Chicago. Twelve shots through 33 minutes is not going to cut it.
Second period, 11:19, 3-1 Blackhawks: Two goals in two minutes, and the Blackhawks have a 3-1 lead.
Dennis Seidenberg blocked a shot in front of the net, but the puck bounced to Bryan Bickell. His shot was saved by Rask, but the rebound was kicked out into a dangerous area. Patrick Kane was there to pick up the rebound and backhand it over a sprawled-out Rask to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead.
The crowd is a bit stunned, and Claude Julien just called his timeout to settle his team.
Seidenberg block, Bickell shot, rebound Kane
Second period, 13:27, 2-1 Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews is on the board. The captain carried the puck into the corner behind the Boston net and sent it around the boards to the right point. Michal Rozsival sent a shot on net, and Toews was there to tip it past the outstretched reach of Tuukka Rask.
It was a tough play for Rask, as Bickell had dumped Chara to the ice just before the shot, sending Chara into the crease. The mayhem worked for the Blackhawks, who now lead 2-1.
Second period, 18;47, 1-1: The B’s nearly cashed in on that power play, as a point shot through traffic deflected to Nathan Horton, behind the goal line to the left of the net. He swiftly kicked the puck to his blade and tried to jam it inside the post, but Crawford made a stick save to keep it out.
Quenneville just used his timeout after an icing, because his players have been out there for the entirety of the period. Keep that in mind if the Blackhawks need a rest later on.
Second period, 20:00, 1-1: Second period is under way. After 16 seconds, the Bruins will have 42 seconds on the man advantage.
End of first period, 1-1: The Blackhakws blew their power play chance, thanks to the hard work of Chris Kelly to break up a pass and then chip the puck deep into the Chicago zone. Rich Peverley also busted his hump to beat Duncan Keith to the loose puck, drawing a tripping call on Keith, his second penalty of the period.
The Bruins have to feel good about the way they responded about getting outplayed so badly early on. I expected a surge from Chicago to start the game, and sure enough, it came. The Bruins weren’t sharp but it wasn’t nearly as ugly as the first period of Game 2. The Blackhawks, to their credit, imposed their will on the Bruins for the first time since that first period, and they were rewarded with the shorthanded goal.
Rask has been tested with a variety of different shots, and he’s stopped 11 of 12 of them. Crawford, meanwhile, seems completely unable to lift that left arm, and the Bruins are exploiting it by repeatedly targeting his glove side. It worked for Peverley, whose shot was in the back of the net before Crawford even reacted.
The Blackhawks are also in this game because they’ve won 13 of 20 faceoffs. They won just 16 total the other night, and they’re seeing how effective they can be when they actually have the puck.
First period, 5:17, 1-1: Torey Krug fired a shot off the post, and the Bruins looked to be headed toward another unsuccessful power play. However, with just a few seconds left, the Blackhawks won a defensive zone draw but couldn’t clear the puck. A loose puck bounced in the slot, and Peverley fired a wrister high to Crawford’s glove side. Crawford never reacted, and the Bruins tied the game.
First period, 7:15, 1-0 Blackhawks: An odd-man rush with Peverley, Kelly and Paille gets wiped out, but the Bruins get a power play out of it. Duncan Keith got called for hooking.
After the whistle, Kelly went flying in for a hit, leading to a whole big mass of humanity along the boards. Kelly and Shaw got matching roughing penalties, so the Bruins will have two minutes on the man advantage.
First period, 8:03, 1-0 Blackhawks: Through nearly 12 full minutes of play, the Blackhawks lead in shots 9-2. It’s not quite as lopsided as Game 2, but it’s close.
First period, 13:12, 1-0 Blackhawks: Tyler Seguin’s weak pass back to the blue line didn’t make it to Zdeno Chara, leading to a Chicago 2-on-1. The shorthanded opportunity led to the Blackhawks finally solving Tuukka Rask, with Michal Handzus burying Brandon Saad’s pass while falling to the ice, giving the Blackhawks an early lead.
First period, 14:42, 0-0: The Bruins are fortunate to have survived an early onslaught by Chicago, which has a 5-0 lead in shots. But right now the Bruins’ power play gets an opportunity with Johnny Oduya heading to the box for interference.
First period, 20:00: The Krejci line is out there to start this one, up against the Toews line. Toews won the opening draw, and Game 4 is under way.
8:16 p.m.: Marc Fucarile, who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings, waived the Boston Strong banner moments ago, as the Giant Bruins flag made its way around the lower bowl. We’re just an anthem away from a hockey game now.
8 p.m.: As expected, the Bruins had no changes to their lineup.
For the Blackhawks, it looks like Patrick Kane will be back on Jonathan Toews’ wing, with Bryan Bickell occupying the other. The second line of Patrick Sharp-Michal Handzus-Marian Hossa should be an interesting one, after Handzus was terrible in the faceoff dot in Game 3.
7:51 p.m.: Head coach Joel Quenneville said Marian Hossa was “fine” and would play, and so far that looks to be the case, with Hossa participating in warmups. He looked to be skating a little tight early on, but he then went to the bench to tie his skate. He looked OK after that, which doesn’t say much, considering they’re all skating at half speed anyway.
For the Bruins, Zdeno Chara hasn’t wiped out into Milan Lucic or anything, so it’s a good start for them.
7 p.m.: With a little over an hour until this one gets under way, check out my four keys to the game for the Bruins. It probably will fill at least three minutes of your waiting time.
6:51 p.m.: Hello and welcome from a mostly empty TD Garden. Jaromir Jagr just completed his pregame twirl, and fans are slowly starting to trickle in to the noticeably colder TD Garden. After some questionable ice conditions the other night, it seems as though the TD Garden staff is determined to fix it. And what better way to do that than by pumping up the air conditioning?
It’s a milestone night here for Jagr, who will be skating in his 200th career postseason game. Of those, 140 came with the Penguins, six with the Capitals, 23 with the Rangers, 11 with the Flyers and now 20 with the Bruins.
On the other side, provided he does indeed play like expected, Marian Hossa will be playing in his 150th playoff game.
4 p.m.: It wasn’t surprising that the Bruins were able to win in Game 3. It was surprising to see a complete lack of desperation on the part of the Blackhawks.
Once they fell behind 2-0, they hardly fought to get back into the game. Shots in the third period were tied at 4-4 more than 13 and a half minutes into the third period, and the Blackhawks really didn’t send much toward net until they got a late power play. For whatever reason, the Blackhawks never fully clicked in Game 3, and they have a 2-1 series deficit to show for it.
Tonight, I cannot imagine the Blackhawks pull another no-show, though really, I never would have guessed it would have happened last time out. Perhaps losing Marian Hossa just before the game threw them off a bit, but tonight, they have no excuses. If they let up tonight and allow the Bruins to build a lead, the series is all but over.
The Bruins, meanwhile, don’t have to change much. Their strong defensive game has proven to be infuriating for the Blackhawks, and sticking with that will guarantee another tight, hard-fought game. Their penalty kill has been perfect since the end of the second round, so keeping that effort level at a 10 is vital to making things difficult for Chicago. The Blackhawks showed a glimpse of wear in Game 3, and the Bruins might smell blood. Another heavy game tonight, and they could have themselves a 3-1 series lead.
Of course, this is a sport played on ice, with a bouncing rubber puck controlled by long composite sticks. That is to say … anything can happen. That’s why we’ll watch, and that’s why I’ll provide updates here in the live blog from the pregame scene, through warmups and throughout the entire game. Check back throughout Game 4 to see whether these two teams will head back to Chicago tied 2-2, or whether the Stanley Cup will be on its way to the United Center for Saturday.