Down went Marcus Kruger, slammed into the end boards by usually disciplined D-man Dennis Seidenberg.
Down went Andrew Shaw, who appeared nearly TKO’ed by 6-foot-4 Adam McQuaid. The defenseman’s two-handed jab with stick in hand sent the much-shorter Shaw sprawling and then checking for damage by pinching his nose with thumb and index finger. A Blackhawks’ hockey-scarred face pained but was unblooded.
Down went Bruins two-way star Patrice Bergeron, who mysteriously played just 2 shifts in the second period and reportedly was taken to a hospital for observation. He did not return, his injury was not made clear, and his status for the rest of the series was left uncertain.
“I’m not going there,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Bergeron’s injury.
“You can’t replace a guy like that,” center Rich Peverley said of his teammate. “He’s probably one of the best players in the league at what he does.”
Down went Boston, 3-1, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals at the United Center on Saturday night. The Bruins, who trailed 2-0 after two periods, are down 3-2 in the series and will try to “create a Game 7,” Julien said, by winning Game 6 Monday night at TD Garden.
The Blackhawks’ power play failed to capitalize on the second-period penalties to Seidenberg (boarding) and McQuaid (roughing) by the gritty Kruger and the sandpaper-scrappy Shaw, respectively, but it was evident the visiting Bruins were growing frustrated. A slowed-down, low-scoring game was what Boston sought after the Blackhawks’ 6-5 overtime win in Game 4 at TD Garden. The Bruins were getting it — along with desired physicality — but were losing on the scoreboard.
A final bit of Boston frustration came compliments of forward Milan Lucic, who swung his stick mightily and broke it on a goal post after Dave Bolland’s empty-net tally with 13.6 seconds left.
Boston showed resiliency nearly immediately in the third period, cutting its deficit in half when Zdeno Chara earned some redemption. The 6-9 defenseman, who was on the ice for the Blackhawks’ first two goals — and 5 strikes in Game 4 — one-timed a wicked shot from the left faceoff circle past goalie Corey Crawford just 3:40 into the third.
“As a team, we were making things happen,” center David Krejci said after the Bruins peppered Crawford with 9 shots in the final period. “The second goal just didn’t happen for us.”
One loss from losing the series, Boston finds itself in an identical predicament it had in 2011, when it captured Games 6 and 7 to beat Vancouver for the Cup.
“That was two years ago,” Peverley said. “I think some experience can be used, but it’s a different game and we can’t take anything for granted. It’s going to be a battle (Monday night). We just have to take one game at time right now.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.