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Photo Credit: si.nhl.com
As the puck dropped last night in the United Center, It looked like Game 2 was going to be a long, unpleasant one for the Bruins. After playing a grueling and exhausting triple-overtime game on Wednesday night, Boston came out of the gates slow and sluggish, as it seemed that they were in some pretty serious danger. Chicago started its night with much more aggression and speed that was tough for the Bruins skaters to contain.

The Bruins once again struggled with Chicago’s intense fore-check as the Blackhawks got the puck to the net with ease outshooting the Bruins in the 1st period 19-4. Once again Tuukka Rask played phenomenal in the first period blocking a flurry of shots before Patrick Sharp was able to score on a rebound with many players screening Rask in front of the net. Not long after, there was another play at the Boston net in which the puck looked to have squeezed by the pad of Rask and across the line. However, after much deliberation the refs ruled it a no goal as the Bruins caught a break and remained down by one.

Claude Julien made the coaching move of the night when he moved Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille up to the third line to play with former All Star Tyler Seguin. This helped spark the Bruins offense as they played with much more life in the 2nd period and later into the game. That line was able to create offense in front of the net as Chris Kelly scored his first goal of the playoffs. This in game adjustment immediately paid dividends for Claude Julien as the Bruins tied the game up at 1 and found new life.

The third period was scoreless as the Bruins were able to outshoot Chicago 8-5, but nobody was able to score as the teams were headed to their fourth overtime period in two days. The Bruins looked to have completely shaken off their sluggishness as Jaromir Jagr rang a wrist shot right off the cross bar very early into the period. Both teams engaged in up and down hockey while each team had to make its shift in perfect timing since the benches were located across from the defensive zones. At 13:48 into the first overtime, Daniel Paille was able to get a clean look at Corey Crawford and put the puck right in between the glove and left pad of Crawford to score the game winner. This once again showed that the change that Julien made going into the second period was the X-factor in this game as the Seguin-Kelly-Paille line accounted for both goals in game 2.

The series now shifts back to Boston where both teams will look to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Look for the Blackhawks to keep rushing the puck into the offensive zone, as they will try to get to Tuukka Rask and fire as many shots as they can. The Bruins will need to come into Game 3 with fresh legs that are ready to skate all night long. They can’t afford to be outplayed as badly as they were in the first period of game 2. This is he first time a Stanley Cup final has been tied 1-1 sine 2004 when Tampa Bay beat Calgary in seven games. The puck will drop for game 3 Monday night at 8:00 PM EST in Boston.

 





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