BOSTON — In the Blackhawks’ previous biggest game of the year, against Detroit in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals, it was Brent Seabrook who ended it with a goal in overtime.
In a game Wednesday night that winger Bryan Bickell called the biggest game of some of their lives, it was Seabrook scoring again in overtime at 9:51 to give the Hawks a wild 6-5 win over Boston in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Seabrook beat Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask through a Jonathan Toews screen on a slap shot from the right point to give the Hawks a happy ending in a game in which they lost multiple leads.
“It’s one of those things we talked about all year, getting to the net,” Seabrook said. “Tazer made a great screen in front, and I just tried to get it on net.
“I just tried to get it past the first guy. I thought all the forwards on the ice did a good job of getting in front and boxing out.”
Toews didn’t get an assist on the winning goal, but he occupied two defenders in front, including Zdeno Chara.
“I definitely have to give credit to Seabrook for the shot he made,” Toews said. “Maybe Rask didn’t see it at first. I think I kind of pivoted and maybe let him see it. Obviously it was a little too late.
“(Patrick) Kane’s goal came from two guys being in front with traffic. Ugly goals; we don’t care. We’ll find a way. It’s something we need to keep doing.”
The series is tied at 2-2 heading back to the United Center for Game 5 on Saturday night.
“There’s definitely a big difference between going back tied and being down 3-1,” Hawks goalie Corey Crawford said.
Johnny Boychuk’s goal with 7:46 to play sent the game to overtime tied at 5-5 after Patrick Sharp scored on a power play at 11:19.
Sharp’s goal put the Hawks ahead for the third time at 5-4.
“It was entertaining hockey and a lot of fun, especially with us winning,” Sharp said. “Two good teams. It’s easy to say that because we won, but this has been a great series.
“We feel good about going home, best of three with two home games, but I don’t think it matters where we play. Boston has been tough to play against in their building and they’ve been tough in Chicago.”
Patrice Bergeron’s goal 2:05 into the third period on a shot Crawford probably would like back tied the game 4-4. The Hawks had leads of 1-0, 3-1, 4-2 and 5-4 and couldn’t hold off the Bruins.
“They keep coming,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “They’re a hardworking team with skill on all their lines. They have a mobile and active defense. They have big shots. Defensively you’re always going to get challenged and tested, but I thought we did a better job of our offense putting some pressure on their defense.”
There were 5 goals scored in the second period alone, 3 by the Hawks.
In a wild second period that couldn’t end fast enough for the Hawks, goals by Toews and Patrick Kane a little more than two minutes apart snapped a 1-1 tie.
Both goals were set up by Michal Rozsival point shots.
Quenneville again pushed the right button by reuniting Toews, Kane and Bickell as a line.
Toews got his second of the playoffs at 6:33 when he tipped a Rozsival right point shot past Rask.
Kane got his seventh of the playoffs at 8:41 when he got a long rebound of a shot by Bickell and backhanded it past Rask.
Rozsival’s point shot started the sequence.
Then the goals started coming fast and furious.
The Bruins got a goal from Milan Lucic from in the slot at 14:43 of the second period to make it a 1-goal game again, but Marcus Kruger got that goal right back less than a minutes later at 15:32.
The Bruins dug down deep and pulled within 4-3 at 17:22 on Bergeron’s fluky power-play goal.
A shot from straight out by Chara was deflected in front, bounced off the class behind Crawford, went straight up in the air and dropped in the crease for Bergeron to bang home.
The Hawks got the start Quenneville wanted when Michal Handzus scored short-handed at 6:48 on a 2-on-1 with Brandon Saad. But Saad gave it right back when his turnover allowed the Bruins’ Rich Peverley to score on a power play at 14:43 to tie it.
“I don’t think anyone expected that before the game,” Rask said of the 11 goals scored. “They’re a good offensive team. When you give them goals and they get the lead, obviously you have to start opening up, too, and creating some offense. That’s what happened.”
“I don’t think we played our best game tonight for a lot of different reasons,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “They came out hard and played extremely well. Somehow, again, they had the better of us for the first half of the game until we got ourselves going here a little bit.
“Those are things that happen in the Final where you don’t feel like you played well enough to win.”
ŸFollow Tim’s hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.