CHICAGO – The Bruins talked quite a bit about fixing their mistakes from a wild Game 4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. But, unfortunately for them, it was more of the same Saturday night, as the Blackhawks took advantage of Boston defensive miscues in posting a 3-1 victory in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center.
The B's may have lost more than a game. Patrice Bergeron skated only 49 seconds in the middle period and wasn't on the bench for the start of the third period. Soon afterwards, the Bruins confirmed multiple reports that he had been taken to a local hospital in an ambulance.
The Blackhawks' victory gives them a 3-2 series lead and puts them in position to win the Stanley Cup Monday night in Boston.
"It's do or die," said Bruins coach Claude Julien, but -- noting that the Bruins also trailed Vancouver, 3-2, after five games of the 2011 Cup Finals, added: "We've been there before, and we've done well in that situation. So we've got to, again, win the next game.
"Right now our goal is to create a Game 7, and to create a Game 7 you've got to win Game 6. So that's our approach to it. We've been good at home, and we need to be good at home, obviously, [in the] next game. It's as simple as that."
They need to be better than they were Saturday night. Patrick Kane scored a pair of goals in the first two periods, and the defense pairing of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg was victimized for both goals while getting caught by Chicago’s incredible speed and skill level.
The Bruins defense was caught in transition after a Seidenberg pinch in the first period, and the play finished off with Jonathan Toews shattering Seidenberg’s stick with a point shot and Kane knocking home the loose puck in front.
In the second period, Bryan Bickell beat Seidenberg wide to the left and then found Kane alone in front as Chara went to attack the Chicago power forward.
The B's broke up the Chara/Seidenberg pairing in the third period and it seemed to work, as they closed to 2-1 early in the third period when Chara beat Corey Crawford with a rocket to the high glove side. They had multiple chances to tie the score the rest of the way, but Crawford was equal to the task. However, Tuukka Rask came up with several superlative saves, keeping the Bruins within one and enabling them to pull the goalie for a sixth skater in the game's final minute with a chance to tie.
But they didn't score, and David Bolland closed things out with an empty-net goal with 13.6 seconds left.
And now it's 2011 all over again . . . and that's fine with the Bruins.
"We didn't come this far just to give it away," said David Krejci. "We're going to fight."
"Again, there is no panic," said Julien. "You're not going to push us away that easily. We're a committed group, and we plan on bouncing back."