The Boston Bruins have won Game 2 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final by a score of 2-1 after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks in their second consecutive overtime affair. This one only reached one overtime period, but it was one to remember.
One that will be forever remembered for the rise of Daniel Paille.
It was a strange, but entertaining, game at the United Center.
Paille led the charge for Boston, tallying a goal and an assist, including the game-winning score, to tie the series up at 1-1. Chris Kelly scored the other goal for Boston, tallying his first point of the entire postseason.
It was an important one.
For the Blackhawks, Patrick Sharp scored off of assists from Patrick Kane and Michal Handzus. Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa combined for another goal, but it was waved off after an early whistle by the referees.
Regardless of how controversial it may have been, the Bruins have tied this series at 1-1 as they head back to Boston for Game 3.
The action started early, as the Blackhawks absolutely dominated the first period of play. They put 19 shots on goal to the Bruins' four, but Tuukka Rask held his ground and rejected every shot that came his way.
Until the 11:22 mark of the first period, that is.
Sounds about right.
Sharp slipped it past Rask with a slick wrist shot. It took a frenzy in front of the net and a gorgeously aimed attempt from Sharp, but Chicago finally broke through.
With the goal, Sharp moved into a tie for the postseason lead.
How's that for stepping up when it counts?
The Blackhawks saw the puck cross the line for a goal again, but the attempt was negated. After an early whistle blew, Toews' wrap-around shot rolled past Rask and into the net.
Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, the game remained at 1-0.
Hossa pushed the puck into the net, but the play had already been whistled dead. As a result, a 2-0 lead was erased and a 1-0 deficit became manageable for Boston to overcome.
For those who need a better look, check the video provided below.
That played a major role in this game and will likely be referred to in a controversial fashion over the next few days.
Neither team scored in the first period after that, as both goaltenders held their own. In fact, Rask made so many stops that the scoreboard appeared as if we had a relatively even game.
In the second period, his teammates rewarded him for his efforts.
The Bruins have proved to be one of the most opportunistic teams in NHL history, piling on goals with unsung heroes. During the second period, that was put on full display, as they received a goal from a player who hadn't tallied a single point this postseason.
With no points in 17 games, Kelly decided to strike when it mattered most and evened the game at 1-1 with 5:02 remaining in the second period.
Welcome to the Stanley Cup.
During the third period of play, neither goaltender gave an inch, defending their respective nets with poise and precision. More importantly, neither defense allowed very many shots to get through, as the two sides combined for 12 total shots on goal.
That includes a late one-timer by Andrew Ference that Corey Crawford stopped without knowing where the puck was.
At the end of three periods, we were in familiar territory, as neither team could break the deadlock. Meanwhile, Crawford and Rask had each stopped more than 95 percent of the shots sent their way.
What else is new?
Who's ready for overtime?
Come the extra period, both teams put the puck on net and gave the opposing goaltender all he could handle. From Rask's gorgeous glove to Crawford's magnificent pad saves, neither goaltender gave the opposition any sense of satisfaction early on.
Brent Seabrook even dove in front of the net and nearly took a puck to the face to prevent a goal from ending this one.
At the 13:48 mark of the overtime period, however, the Bruins had seen enough and took this one home. Surprisingly, it was the man who assisted the first goal and had tallied just five points in his first 17 postseason games.
Paille scored off of assists from Tyler Seguin and Adam McQuaid, thus displaying the depth of this Bruins team. More importantly, it tied this series at 1-1 and sent the teams to Boston with an even split.
The only question remaining is simple: Who will win the Stanley Cup?
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