BOSTON – Here are five thoughts (plus one) from the first period, with the Bruins and Blackhawks tied at 1-1 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden.
1) The Bruins wanted to get off to a good start, but did anything but that while getting outshot by a 14-2 margin to start the game. Once again, though, the Blackhawks only managed a single goal during the onslaught, and can’t seem to maintain that speedy, wide-open pace for long stretches of time. They had it for about half the first period, but then the wheels started falling off.
2) Corey Crawford allowed his first bad goal of the Finals. The Chicago goalie seemed to have a pretty good look at the Rich Peverley glove-side wrist shot off the Brandon Saad turnover, but never reacted until the shot was already snapped into the back of his net. It was crucial from a momentum perspective as the Bruins really seized back control of the game from that point on through the rest of the first period. The Chicago turnover was a real “Kneel Before Saad” kind of moment.
3) Weak play along the boards by Tyler Seguin on the Bruins power play that led to Brandon Saad and Michael Handzus breaking in on the 2-on-1 and scoring the game’s first goal. (It also wiped out a 129:14 shutout streak for Tuukka Rask and the Bruins.) No. 19 has to be much stronger than that, but at least Saad gave it back later in the period when he fumbled the puck right onto Rich Peverley’s stick for the Bruins goal. He’s been in the first two games, and he really can’t afford to back-slide into bad habits at this point.
4) Where has this Rich Peverley been? A goal and a pair of shots on net, and it looks like he’s got the good skating jets tonight whole drawing a tripping penalty on Duncan Keith at the end of the period. The Keith penalty, by the way, was taken in the offensive zone when the Blackhawks were on the power play. So that certainly qualifies as a boneheaded penalty for the Hawks defenseman.
5) Five more hits for Milan Lucic in the first period, who continues to do damage to the Blackhawks defenseman corps with hit after hit. Those are starting to add up in terms of collateral damage and overall effect.
6) Marian Hossa skated 4:54 and had a scoring chance early in the game. He also went to the Chicago dressing room briefly in the period, but returned without missing a shift.