The Chicago Blackhawks have evened the Stanley Cup series at 2-2 with a win over the Boston Bruins Wednesday night. This was the 3rd of the 4 games that has gone into overtime. Brent Seabrook scored the Overtime winner with a blast from the point. This was Seabrook’s second Overtime winner of the playoffs, with his first being the series clincher against the Detroit Red Wings.
Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final was nothing short of entertaining. It was filled with back and forth scoring and carried a high intensity level. The two teams combined to score 11 goals, tying a NHL Stanley Cup record set in 1982 by the New York Islanders and the Vancouver Canucks.
With the Blackhawks down 2-1 in the series and struggling to score, Coach Joel Quenneville reunited Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on a line – something that was successful earlier in the playoffs. This seemed to spark the Blackhawks and give them the high power offensive attack they were looking for.
With such an action packed game, there is a lot to talk about. Let`s do a quick recap of Wednesday's Game 4:
- The Blackhawks got on the scoreboard early with a shorthanded goal by Michal Handzus. It was set up by a great steal and pass from Brandon Saad.
- In the 2nd period, Jonathan Toews finally broke out of his 10 game scoreless drought as he tipped in a Michal Rozsival shot from the point past Tuukka Rask. Toews was a force in Game 4 as he played physical with Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara all night and he screened Bruins Goalie Tuukka Rask during the game winner by Seabrook in Overtime.
- Patrick Kane also found the net to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead. This game marked the first time all postseason that Toews and Kane scored in the same game. Toews and Kane`s goals were two of the five that the teams combined to score in the 2nd period.
- Another positive for the Blackhawks is that they were able to finally produce on the power play. In the 3rd period with the game tied 4-4, Patrick Sharp positioned himself in front of the net and put a rebound shot from Marian Hossa in the back of the net. It was their first power play goal since Game 2 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings.
- The Blackhawks did, however, surrender another goal after taking a 5-4 lead and the teams headed to Overtime – something that has been become nothing but expected from these two evenly matched teams. Both teams had several chances in the Overtime period and at around the half way mark, Brent Seabrook slapped the puck past Rask to give the Blackhawks a Game 4 victory.
One cause of concern for the Blackhawks was the goaltending of Corey Crawford. Crawford has been great for most of the postseason but has also been very shaky at times. Wednesday night was one of those shaky nights as it seemed like he couldn't catch anything with his glove. He let in a few questionable goals that could maybe have resulted in him being pulled from the game, but Coach Joel Quenneville stuck with him throughout the whole game.
As the two teams head back to Chicago for Game 5, there will be many things to keep an eye on. Will Corey Crawford`s goaltending improve? Have the Blackhawks finally found an answer to beating Tuukka Rask? Will Jonathan Toews find the back of the net again? Here’s hoping that Game 5 will be as entertaining as the first 4 games. Let’s Go Hawks!
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