Game One of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals was as competitive of a contest as there has been in this year’s playoffs. It took three overtimes, but the Chicago Blackhawks defended their home ice and beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 on a game-winning goal by Andrew Shaw. On Saturday, the Bruins will look to even up the series in Game Two.
The Bruins were in control of Game One for much of regulation. They took the lead midway through the first period and didn’t relinquish it until the latter part of the third. Chicago made a late comeback by capitalizing off a Boston turnover and tying the game with a goal that bounced off Andrew Ference’s skate.
If Boston can take another early lead in Game Two, it’s not likely that they will fail to hold on for a second straight time. In the 2013 NHL Playoffs, the Bruins’ strength has been their ability to stymie opposing offenses. Tuukka Rask had another strong performance, saving 59-of-63 shots on goal, and the Boston defenseman were able to keep Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp in check.
The Blackhawks got down early, but were the aggressors in the second and third periods. After the last two periods of regulation, Chicago had 31 shots on goal, compared to Boston’s 14. With players like Kane, Sharp and Marian Hossa, the Blackhawks should be able to have more success on offense if they can continue to attack the net. However, they will have to be more careful with the puck.
Corey Crawford matched Rask with a stellar performance of his own, saving 51 of 54 shots on goal. It’s no coincidence that the Blackhawks and Bruins are meeting in the Stanley Cup Finals, since both teams have the two goaltenders that have played the best this postseason. In Game Two, the loser may be determined by whichever goalie slips up first.
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Game One Stats
Chicago: 63 shots, 61 hits, 18 giveways, 24 takeaways, 56 faceoff wins, 0/3 power play
Boston: 54 shots, 59 hits, five giveways, 16 takeaways, 58 faceoff wins, 1/3 power play
Chicago -155, Boston+135
Boston 3, Chicago 2