OT no surprise when it comes to Bruins / Blackhawks

OT no surprise when it comes to Bruins / Blackhawks
January 19, 2014, 6:45 pm
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CHICAGO – While the game ended in a shootout loss for the Bruins, it was just another Boston/Chicago tilt that needed a little extra to decide a winner between the two elite Original Six hockey clubs.

The Bruins eventually lost to the Blackhawks in a 3-2 shootout once Patrick Kane pulled his stop-and-start move as Chicago’s third and final shooter, but the game hardly felt like a loss to a B’s team looking to find a foothold. Boston returns home with three out of four points on the two-game Western Conference road swing against Dallas and Chicago, and fell just short of taking all four points in an incredible evenly matched display of hockey at the United Center.

“I thought we played a really good game,” said Claude Julien. “Win or lose, I don’t put too much emphasis into these shootouts because it comes down to individuals.”

The Bruins outshot the Blackhawks by the narrowest of margins (37-36 shots), both teams finished with even strength goals in each of the first two periods before a scoreless third and OT, and it took all three shooters to determine the final outcome. Counting last year’s Cup Finals, it was the fourth time in the last seven games that OT-plus was needed to finally decide a winner between the two powerhouse teams.

“I thought it was a great game, and that both teams played well,” said Julien. “Both teams competed hard, and I thought it was a pretty even game. We had some chances that we wish we could have buried, but it continues to be the same as it was last year. They need overtime to resolve these games against us.”

The loss dropped the Bruins to 1-3 in the shootout, and 5-3 overall in extra session games this year. The one positive for the Bruins: there won’t be any shootout ending if the Bruins come back to the United Center again this season five months from now for a reprisal of their Stanley Cup Final roles. Instead it will be the best team winning with both clubs prepared for many, many overtime sessions given their recent history against each other.