The Bruins and Blackhawks came out of the locker rooms in the first period ready to play hard, physical hockey. The Bruins sported a new look tonight as they placed Carl Soderberg on a line with Rich Peverley in place of Kaspars Daugavins. Through the opening minutes, both teams traded opportunities back and forth, but as the period drew on, almost eighteen minutes in, the Blackhawks would get on the board first with Patrick Kane weaseling the puck in past Rask. The goal would be the only mark of the first frame, providing the Bruins to fight their way back on the score board for the next twenty.
To begin the second frame, the Bruins had the idea to slow things down and force the Blackhawks to play at their pace and their style of game. Unfortunately, Chicago had another plan in mind. One that included Patrick Kane scoring his second goal of the night to instill a 2-0 lead within the first five minutes of the second. As the clock winded down, the emotions ran high with the Bruins playing a much more physical game and losing their focus on scoring. As the final five minutes approached on the clock, Adam McQuaid went to the box for cross-checking Andrew Shaw in the face. Despite giving the Hawks an even larger advantage as they put them on the power play, the Bruins were able to hold them to a single shot on net and kill off the penalty. The major concern for the third period, aside from evening the score and coming from behind, was the health of Patrice Bergeron. Through the middle frame the forward only took a total of two shifts, totaling :49 seconds. In order to come out strong and ready for a comeback in the third, the Bruins had to neutralize turnovers, tighten up defensively to shut down the Toews/Kane combination and take more shots on net to alienate the glove-side of Crawford.
Commencing the third period, Boston’s worst nightmare occurred as Patrice Bergeron did not make his way out of the locker room and onto the bench for the third period, leaving only seventeen skaters for the team. Despite being down one of the most (if not the most) important player on their team, the Bruins were prepared to play. The Bruins littered Crawford with shots and just under four minutes in Zdeno Chara blasted a shot that beat Crawford to cut the lead back to a single goal. Along with the Bruins beginning to control the play, they were also at a slight advantage or level playing field at best as Chicago’s best defensive forward Jonathan Toews failed to take a single shift in the third through the first five minutes. Despite both men being absent, they still managed to trade opportunities back and forth, bringing the game down to the wire. With 31.8 seconds remaining the Bruins used their time out to configure a game plan in the absence of Rask between the pipes. With 13.6 remaining, Bolland was able to get the puck deep enough for the empty net and seal game 5 up for Chicago 3-1.
The series now heads back to Boston with the Blackhawks with the golden opportunity to close out the Bruins at their home arena. The next game is Monday night at 8:00pm ET and we promise as soon as an update regarding Bergeron is presented, we will have it here. Until then, cheers to Bergeron and hoping everything is alright!