An incredible back and forth series is down to the best-of-three games, as the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins meet in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night at United Center.
The Blackhawks evened the series with a blistering 6-5 overtime victory, capped by defenseman Brent Seabrook’s goal halfway through the extra period. It marked the third goal of the playoffs for Seabrook, and knotted the series at 2-2.
In a series better know for its defense, five of the 11 goals were scored in the second period of Game Four. Chicago took a 3-1 lead after Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored. Neither had scored in the previous three games, with Kane adding an assist.
Boston responded with a goal from Milan Lucic for a 3-2 score, but Marcus Kruger padded the Blackhawks lead with a score with just over four minutes left in the second. Bruin Patrice Bergeron totaled two goals, including one to cap the second period, and opened the third with a goal to tie the game at 4-4.
Chicago's Patrick Sharp took back the lead with a power play goal, his tenth score of the season, but Johnny Boychuk responded less than a minute later with goal that eventually forced the game into the fifth overtime of the series.
It was miserable a game for both goalies, but Chicago’s Corey Crawford caught the most heat afterwards even though he picked up the victory. Crawford had 28 saves, while Boston’s Tuukka Rask made 41 saves off 47 shots. Both will start Game Six, determined to make up for their mistakes.
While Chicago re-discovered their second ranked offense, the Bruins saw their best strength, their defense, whittle away. Boston was holding opponents to just over two goals a game this postseason, and had limited Chicago to one goal in the previous two games.
The Blackhawks missed Marian Hossa in their skate around Friday, but he is still expected to play Saturday. Hossa also sat out practice before Game Four, but played anyway with an upper body injury.
The game begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time and will be broadcast by NBC, or what their free live online stream at NBC Live Extra here.
Betting Odds: Blackhawks favored by 1.5 goals.
Over/Under: 5 goals
Prediction: Chicago 4, Boston 3 OT