(Reuters) - Dan Paille scored in overtime to lift the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday to level the best-of-seven series.
It marked the second straight game that needed overtime to find a winner after Chicago won Game One on Wednesday in triple-overtime.
Another tight game unfolded on Saturday and it looked like multiple overtime periods might be needed again until Paille, who also assisted on Boston’s other goal, took a pass from Tyler Seguin and unleashed a wrist shot that fluttered underneath netminder Corey Crawford’s outstretched glove off the far post and into the net.
The series now shifts to Boston for Game Three on Monday.
“I don’t really remember,” Seguin told reporters when asked about setting up the game winner. “I just kind of got the puck wide and saw the weak side high and saw (Paille), put it over to him and went to the net.”
With the buzz from Wednesday’s Game One thriller still echoing through a packed United Center, the Blackhawks came out looking to deliver the early knockout punch in Game Two.
Patrick Sharp scored from a wild scramble in front of Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask to stake Chicago to a 1-0 first period lead as the Blackhawks dominated the early play, outshooting Boston 19-4.
”I thought the first period, we just weren’t there. We were on our heels,“ said Bruins coach Claude Julien. ”They had total control of that period. Tuukka kept us in there.
”I thought the second, we started turning it around. Third, same thing. We got better as the game went on.
“Like I told our guys, we got to show up on time for these kinds of games. It could have cost us tonight.”
After a one-sided first period by the Blackhawks that had the ‘Madhouse on Madison’ rocking, the momentum slowly shifted to the Bruins over the final two frames and into overtime.
”I thought we lost the pace of the game on that end of the rink,“ said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville. ”We had the perfect start to the game, then we stopped doing what made us successful.
“We stood around. They countered.”
The Bruins came out stronger in the second period and were rewarded with the equalizer when Chris Kelly banged home a rebound for his first of the postseason.
Game Two featured another sensational display of goaltending at both ends of the rink but Rask was particularly brilliant in the opening period as the Blackhawks peppered him with shots.
Rask faced 34 shots while Crawford faced 28.
”We definitely were in survival mode there for a bit,“ said Rask. ”It looked like they had more guys out there than we did.
”They were bouncing on every single puck in front of net, had a lot of chances. We definitely played pretty bad.
“It was good that we were only down by one and regrouped after that.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford