Blackhawks, Bruins recovering from 3OT game
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, a physically demanding and mentally exhausting battle of attrition Wednesday night, ended with the Chicago Blackhawks celebrating a 4-3 triple-overtime victory over the Boston Bruins.
Seattle Times news services
CHICAGO — Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, a physically demanding and mentally exhausting battle of attrition Wednesday night, ended with the Chicago Blackhawks celebrating a 4-3 triple-overtime victory over the Boston Bruins.
The teams combined for 117 shots, 120 hits and 1,523 shifts in the fifth-longest game in finals history. Nineteen players logged more than 30 minutes of ice time.
As the game wore on, the pace slowed. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said he repeatedly cramped and managed to keep going by “digging deep and just telling yourself you’re not tired.” Dressing rooms grew increasingly chaotic between overtime periods as players replenished fluids, changed into dry equipment and tried to eat to maintain energy.
“It seemed like we had more trainers than players in the dressing room,” Chicago’s Marian Hossa said.
On Thursday, neither team practiced for Saturday night’s Game 2 as they tried to overcome fatigue.
The psychological toll, though, could be different. The Blackhawks orchestrated a stirring comeback, erasing two-goal deficits twice, including a 3-1 hole in the third period. The game remained tied 3-3 until Andrew Shaw’s goal on a shot that deflected off his knee at 12:08 of the third overtime.
Patrick Kane said that responding to five hours of hockey would be easier for the Blackhawks, who prevailed. NHL teams that have won playoff games lasting three or more overtimes have captured 38 of 47 series.
Meanwhile, the Bruins hope right wing Nathan Horton will be available for Game 2. He left the ice with an apparent upper-body injury in the first overtime and didn’t return.
• The Pittsburgh Penguins and star forward Evgeni Malkin agreed to an eight-year deal that will keep the 2012 NHL MVP and franchise cornerstone Sidney Crosby in the fold well into the next decade. The $76 million deal begins with the 2014-15 season.
• The Toronto Maple Leafs signed tough guy Colton Orr to a two-year contract extension.