By: Dan Cole | KFAN.com
Saturday night marked the Chicago Blackhawks' third-straight overtime playoff game, this time coming out on the losing end to pick up their second loss in their last 10 games and even the Stanley Cup Finals at one game apiece.
Bruins winger Daniel Paille netted the overtime winner at the 13:48 mark of the extra period to knot the series at one before the teams head to Boston for Monday night's Game 3.
Patrick Sharp buried the first goal of the game for the Blackhawks in the first period, moving him into a tie with Bruins center David Krejci for the league lead in goals with nine this postseason. The goal was Sharp's first since Game 1 of the Blackhawks/Kings series back on June 1.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask stopped 29 of 30 shots on Saturday night and has now stopped 254 of his last 262 shots faced dating back to Game 5 against the Rangers on May 25.
That's a .970 save percentage and an average of 36 saves per game in that span, making him one of the leading candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy should the Bruins win the Cup.
Home ice advantage will likely play a deciding role the rest of the series, as well.
The Blackhawks are 10-1-1 at home this postseason compared to a 3-3-1 record on the road. They're averaging 3.17 goals per game at home and just 2.0 on the road.
This could be problematic for Chicago on Monday night as the series moves to Boston, where the Bruins are 7-2 in the playoffs and haven't lost since May 10 against the Maple Leafs.
Fatigue is also certain to become a factor, as the Blackhawks and Bruins have already played over 185 minutes in the first two games of the series as opposed to the usual 120.
The Bruins have played in seven overtime games this postseason, more than any other team in the league.
Game 3 is slated to begin at 7 p.m. on Monday night and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - Josh Harding's heroic battle with multiple sclerosis was marked by another milestone Friday afternoon as the Professional Hockey Writers Association named Harding the winner of the 2013 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
Each year the Masterton award is given to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice. Harding's journey (on and off the ice) from his MS diagnosis before the season, through a roller coaster year and all the way to starting game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Minnesota Wild exemplifies all the necessary characteristics to have earned the accolade.
The annual award is named after former Minnesota North Star player Bill Masterton who died after suffering an on-ice injury during the 1968 season. The honor itself was first awarded following that very season.
Harding, who appeared in only five regular season games during the shortened season, was thrown between the pipes and started each of the Wild's five playoff games this year saving 123 of the 135 shots sent his way.
Harding is the first Minnesota Wild player to ever have won the award.
By: Dan Cole | KFAN.com
The clock had just struck midnight in Chicago when Andrew Shaw brought three overtimes to an end.
The 21-year-old winger deflected a shot off his right leg and past Tuukka Rask just over 12 minutes into the third overtime on Wednesday night, sealing a 4-3 comeback victory for the Blackhawks and a 1-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The goal was Shaw's fifth of the postseason and first in his last four games. It wasn't pretty, but it brought an end to the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup Finals history, just when it was beginning to look like the game might go on four a couple more hours.
''We knew it wasn't going to be pretty at that point,'' Shaw said. ''You could tell both teams were physically exhausted. We preached it -- go to the net, you'll find a way to get a greasy goal. We did a heck of a job of it there in the third overtime.''
Game 1 ended up taking about four-and-a-half hours in total, so both teams will take full advantage of their two off-days between now and Game 2 on Saturday night.
The Bruins had a lead in this one, earning a 3-1 lead on the powerplay just over six minutes into the third period when Patrice Bergeron blasted a one-timer over Corey Crawford's glove hand.
But it was all Hawks from there.
Dave Bolland answered Bergeron's goal with a one-timer of his own just two minutes later, followed by a Johnny Oduya slapper that trickled past Rask and tied the game at three with eight minutes left in the third.
''We were up two goals and all of a sudden the game was tied,'' said Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.
It was at this point that Rask and Crawford starting turning everything away. For the rest of the third period and through two full overtimes, the two goalies seemed capable of stopping any madness that transpired in front of them.
"Both teams are just kicking, trying to survive," said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. "Every time you go back on the ice, you try and get that feeling that it’s going to be that one chance that makes the difference."
Flailing bodies and pucks hitting pipes became commonplace. Crawford made 22 saves in the first two overtimes to Rask's 18. In total, 117 shots were fired.
These goaltending appearances should come as little surprise. Crawford and Rask rank first and second in the league in wins, goals against average, saves and save percentage during these playoffs. The two are considerable Conn Smythe candidates depending on which team wins the cup.
The Krejci/Horton/Lucic line continued to produce rapidly for Boston, with the trio still ranking 1/2/3 in the league in scoring this postseason. Lucic had two goals and an assist on Wednesday while Krejci added two helpers, as well.
Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith and Bryan Bickell all went without a point in over five-and-a-half periods of play on Wednesday, and the Hawks were still able to win, speaking to the real depth of this team. Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad are the only players on the top two lines that recorded points -- one apiece.
Game 2 between the Blackhawks and Bruins is slated to begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday night in Chicago.