BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins find themselves in a 0-1 hole after Wednesday night’s triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final, but they aren’t hanging their heads in defeat.
“Last time we won the cup we lost the first two in Vancouver and it never stopped us from coming back. This certainly won’t,” said head coach Claude Julien.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 3-Day Total Of 176 New Cases, No Additional Deaths
Boston held 2-0 and 3-1 leads in regulation, but sloppy play and some unfortunate bounces in the third period let Chicago back in. Rookie defenseman Torey Krug turned the puck over trying to clear it deep in his own zone, leading to Dave Bolland’s tally to make it 3-2 Boston, and Johnny Oduya got an assist from Andrew Ference’s skate on the game-tying goal with less than eight minutes to go in regulation.
Boston had opportunities in the overtime frames, with Zdeno Chara hitting a post at the end of the second overtime and forward Kaspars Daugavins whiffing on an open net chance just minutes before Chicago ended it. The game-winning goal hit off a pair of Blackhawks before finding its way past Tuukka Rask, but after 112 minutes of play, those are the kind of goals that decide such an important game.
“We had some chances, probably a couple of odd-man situations, but both goalies played a really strong game,” said captain Zdeno Chara. “It came down to an innocent play, but it was simple – they got a goal.”
“I’m not disappointed in our effort. There are certain things you want to fix for the next game, but as far as the game was concerned it was a hard-fought game,” said Julien. “I thought we had some good looks in overtime and with a little luck we could have ended it before they did. But that’s the way the game goes. Sometimes you get the breaks going your way and sometimes you don’t.”
“They’re a good team, they’re going to get their chances and create some pressure,” said forward Shawn Thornton. “They did a great job on their fore-check. Give them credit, they worked extremely hard tonight. It could have gone either way so it’s not one that you go home and sulk about.”READ MORE: Row House Cinema In Lawrenceville Returning In September After Being Closed Since Pandemic's Start
“It is what it is. When we get the lead we have to do a better job at keeping it because we know they’re a resilient team and they’re not going to quit,” said forward Milan Lucic, who scored Boston’s first two goals. “There were plenty of chances we had in overtime, and we had a two-goal lead. We have to do a better job not letting it come to that.”
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For the first time this postseason, the Bruins find themselves trailing in a series. During their Cup run of 2011, Boston trailed in three of the four series en route to their championship, so coming from behind isn’t anything new for this club.
Now, the focus is on bouncing back in Game 2 on Saturday night.
“You have to. You’re in a position now where you have to,” said Lucic. “When you come on the road, start a series on the road, you want to get Game 1, and when you can’t accomplish that you put all you can into Game 2.”
“There’s no choice, you just bounce back,” said Thornton. “We had our chances, it’s not like we got dominated. We’re not sitting here with our hands on our heads. Hopefully next game is better.”MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Police Looking For Help Identifying Graffiti Suspects
Tune in to every game of the Bruins-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Final on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the Boston Bruins. Pregame coverage begins one hour before the puck drops, with full postgame analysis following each game.