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"Losing their balance in the Stanley Cup finals, the Chicago Blackhawks righted themselves Wednesday night with a 6-5 overtime victory in a wild Game 4 that they almost frittered away," Jeff Z. Klein writes for the New York Times.
"The Blackhawks tied the series by reverting to what they do best, even though it was hardly a masterpiece and they blew a pair of two-goal leads.
"They played a wide-open game and broke through the Bruins' neutral-zone blockade. They got another clutch overtime goal from defenseman Brent Seabrook, whose overtime goal in Game 7 beat the Detroit Red Wings in the second round. And Coach Joel Quenneville reunited his stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for the first time in this series.
"Toews and Kane each scored a goal, the first of the series for both of them. Along with their linemate, Bryan Bickell, they combined for 11 shots on goal. They were all on the ice for Seabrook's winner at 9 minutes 51 seconds of overtime that was assisted on by Kane and Bickell, with a screen provided by Toews. Kane and Toews finished at plus-2 each, and Bickell finished at plus-3."
Kane was mic'd up for it.
"At 9:51 of overtime, Brent Seabrook lifted his stick, ready to rip a slap shot on Tuukka Rask. It was the third attempt of Chicago's game-winning flurry," Fluto Shinzawa writes for the Boston Globe.
"Just seconds earlier, Patrick Kane had cruised past Dennis Seidenberg to slip a sharp-angle shot on Rask. The netminder stopped Kane's shot. But the rebound skittered out to Bryan Bickell at the left circle. Bickell hammered a shot that deflected off Patrice Bergeron and rolled out to the point.
"So when the puck squirted out to Seabrook, the Bruins were in full pursuit. Jaromir Jagr couldn't clear the puck. Bergeron couldn't fill the shooting lane in time. The Blackhawks made the Bruins pay. Seabrook whistled the puck over Rask's blocker to give the Blackhawks a 6-5 overtime win in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden."
Seabrook takes us through it.
From Bryan Bickell's blog:
"We had a plan coming into Game 4 on Wednesday, and we knew we had to execute it or the Bruins were going to take a commanding 3-1 lead on us in this series. We couldn't let that happen.
"I thought our first period was what we wanted. We emphasized our speed, and I thought in the first we brought it. We created turnovers because we used our speed.
"Unfortunately, we got into some penalty trouble and they got some power-play goals, so a couple of our mistakes kept them in it. But other than that I thought we stuck to our game plan of using our speed and it really worked. We probably made it very interesting for a lot of fans back home, too.
"We had a lot of chances. Our puck-possession game was there. Overall, it was a good game and it was fantastic to get the OT goal from Brent Seabrook.
"I was on the ice for it and it just felt great. Patrick Kane shot it, it came off the scrum and I shot it. I think the puck hit Patrice Bergeron and it went to Seabs, who walked it and then hammered it past Tuukka Rask."
The view of the game-winner from inside Tuuka Rask's net.
"The Bruins and goalie Tuukka Rask had been playing better defense than the 1985 Chicago Bears, holding the Blackhawks to five goals in three games and shutting them out in Game 3," Christopher Gasper writes for the Boston Globe.
"But Chicago battled for the valuable real estate in front of Rask and relied on the oldest axiom in the game. A goalie can't stop what he can't see.
"That was the case on the game-winner, a long shot from defenseman Brent Seabrook at 9:51 of the extra period that came with captain Jonathan Toews bivouacked in front of the Boston net.
"'If they're ugly goals, fine we don't care,' said Toews, who notched his first point of the series on a tip-in goal in the second period that gave Chicago a 2-1 lead. 'We'll find a way. That's what we need to keep doing.'"
"I like that line,'' said Quenneville. "They seem to have some chemistry. Scoring certainly helps. Everybody on that line brings something different to the party. Bicks, off the rush, can shoot. Kaner has possession. Jonny gets through. It's a nice combination. So it was nice to see them back and productive, too. I'm sure they're excited about returning together. Jonny had the puck more today. I thought he was more friendly with it. That line was dangerous, be it off the rush, in the zone. Obviously, scoring has got to help him. The excitement of that line, Kaner in possession, Bick around with the big body, they scored some different kinds of goals but Jonny had a nice night.''
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Posted on Dec 11, 2017