High-scoring Game 4 raises questions about what's next in tight Stanley Cup finals

  • Article by: JAY COHEN , Associated Press
  • Updated: June 21, 2013 - 6:39 PM
hide

Blackhawks center Michal Handzus scored past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask during the first period in Game 4 in the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday in Boston.

Photo: Charles Krupa, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

CHICAGO — Finding room to roam in the first three games of the Stanley Cup finals was next to impossible, and scoring goals was even more difficult.

Not so much in Game 4, raising all sorts of questions about the rest of the deadlocked series.

Chicago's 6-5 overtime victory at Boston on Wednesday night was the highest-scoring game in this year's NHL playoffs. There were breakaways, rebounds, long slap shots and tips. Eleven goals in all, coming from all over the ice.

When it was over, the Blackhawks and Bruins were tied at two games apiece heading into Game 5 on Saturday night.

"I guess a series like this can take some unexpected turns sometimes, and you saw that last night," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said Thursday. "I'm not going to make any predictions for what happens in the next game, but obviously there's a lot of things we want to carry into this game, Game 5, here."

The biggest variable could be the recovery of goalies Tuukka Rask of the Bruins and Corey Crawford of the Blackhawks, who have a couple days to find their game again before the series resumes in Chicago.

Rask and Crawford had been the best two goalies in the playoffs before each of them stumbled under heavy pressure in Game 4. Rask gave up too many prime rebound opportunities, and Crawford was beaten repeatedly on his glove side.

"Every goal is stoppable, but I don't think there was any weak one, so to speak," said Rask, who was coming off a 2-0 shutout and had allowed just eight goals in the previous eight playoff games. "Mistakes piled up and I wasn't able to bail our guys out. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't."

Crawford was great in each of the first two finals games in Chicago. He had 51 saves in the three-overtime series opener, keeping the Blackhawks in the game long enough for Andrew Shaw to score the winning goal in a 4-3 victory.

Crawford had 33 stops when the series shifted to Boston for Game 3, but Chicago was unable to get anything going against Rask. And then came more of the glove-side problems on Wednesday night that the Bruins have exploited all series long.

"A couple tough breaks last night, especially when we had the lead at 3-1 or 4-2, Boston is going to open up a little bit," Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said Thursday. "I think for us that we can play better defensively, maybe get in some shooting lanes and block some of those shots."

Chicago held leads of 1-0, 3-1, 4-2 and 5-4, but Boston rallied each time. The glove-side issue is a tricky little one for coach Joel Quenneville and the Blackhawks, who know that's where the Bruins are trying to go, but don't want Crawford to focus so much on that area that it gets into his head.

"We're very comfortable with Corey," Quenneville said, dismissing the idea of inserting backup Ray Emery. "Corey has been rock solid all year for us, and when he's got the ball, he's been outstanding, and he's the biggest reason why we're here today."

Rask was working on a shutout streak of 129 minutes, 14 seconds when Michal Handzus had a beautiful sliding score in the first period Wednesday night off a nice pass from Brandon Saad on a fast break.

It was a sign of things to come for the Bruins, who had sustained trouble with the Blackhawks' speed for the first time in the series.

Marcus Kruger completed a 2-on-1 break in the second period with his third goal of the playoffs. Kruger and Michael Frolik got down the ice so quickly that there was time for Kruger to poke home his own rebound after Rask stopped his first attempt.

"I thought we gave them a lot of space," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It doesn't mean they don't have a pace to their game, but it means we gave them too many options. And the neutral zone for me, not just on the forecheck but even our neutral zone on the counter, wasn't very good."

Zdeno Chara, Boston's 6-foot-9 defenseman, was back during the rush by Kruger and Frolik but was unable to break it up. The 2009 Norris Trophy winner was on the ice for five of Chicago's six goals, with the Blackhawks using their speed to make life difficult on the captain of the Bruins.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close