CHICAGO – The look on the bench afterward said it all for Kaspars Daugavins.
The 25-year-old winger has shown plenty of fancy moves in regular-season shootouts at the NHL and AHL level over the last few years, but he couldn’t pull the trigger on a chance to win Game 1 in triple overtime.
The Daug Man was then caught by video cameras with his head buried on the bench as he couldn’t bear to watch what was going on afterward.
“I had him beat,” lamented Daugavins, who finished with three shots on net in 15:09 of up-and-down play in his first Cup Finals appearance. “But while I was shooting I got tripped and my hands got tied up. I had time definitely to put it up there, but I just missed it. I looked up [at the replay on the jumbotron], and it was painful to watch.
“If we win the game, we get a 1-0 lead in the series, then 2-3 minutes later we go down, 1-0. I should take a little blame for it. I should’ve put it in there, and given us the [series] lead.’’
Daugavins had a chance in tight at the net off a good feed from Tyler Seguin and had Corey Crawford beat after faking forehand, and then carrying the puck across the net for a backhanded chance inside the far post.
But the move also gave Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya enough time to get back into the play, and disrupt Daugavins ever so slightly with a stick to the body. Daugavins missed wide right with his shot, and a short time later a pinball shot in front for the Blackhawks bounced off Andrew Shaw’s knee for the 4-3 game-winner at the United Center.
Daugavins' shot was one of several chances that the Bruins had in overtime. Zdeno Chara rattled the inside of the post at the end of the second overtime and there were a handful of good scoring chances for Seguin and David Krejci in all three overtime sessions.
“It's never easy to lose a game when you're in the third overtime period. I liked our first period. Second period was okay until those three penalties. Kind of gave them momentum and took it away from us,” said Claude Julien. “I thought that in overtime we got better. We got a little stronger. We had some great looks, some great opportunities, we just didn't bury them.
“Eventually somebody is going to score a goal as fatigue sets in. I’m not disappointed in our effort. There are certain things you're going to want to fix for next game. But as far as the game is concerned, it was a hard-fought game.”
But it wasn’t meant to be for the Daug Man or the rest of the Bruins in Game 1, and now they set their sights on stealing Game 2 before heading back to Boston for a pair of home games.