Chicago level series in thrilling 6-5 win over Boston
Blackhawks coach shuffles his team to ensure vital game four victory
Coach Joel Quenneville shuffled his deck and came up with a winning hand as the Chicago Blackhawks' aces found their target in a wild 6-5 win over the Boston Bruins to level the Stanley Cup finals at two games each.
Despite the offensive explosion and end-to-end action, overtime was still needed for the third time in four games before Brent Seabrook unleashed a rocket from just inside the blueline that sailed past netminder Tuukka Rask and silenced the soldout crowd at the TD Garden.
The pulsating best-of-seven series now shifts to Chicago for game five on Sunday (Hong Kong time).
"I like shooting in that spot," Seabrook said. "[Patrick] Kane made a great play putting it on the ice, [Bryan] Bickell tried putting it there, it bounced around a little bit, our forwards did a good job of getting in front and boxing out. It was just a great play."
In an effort to generate some scoring Quenneville shuffled his lines for the pivotal contest, the Chicago coach reuniting his top two forwards Jonathan Toews and Kane with Bickell and the unit produced instant magic.
Toews broke out of his post-season slump in the second period to put Chicago ahead 2-1, while Kane, who had not scored in the finals, followed Toews' lead when he jumped on a big rebound and lifted a backhand over a diving Rask.
The trio were also on the ice for the game winner.
"I like that line," Quenneville said. "Big picture getting reunited, they seem to have some chemistry. Scoring certainly helps. It's a nice combination."
And a winning one that left many wondering why Quenneville had waited so long to reunite the unit, especially after enjoying so much success against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals.
"You always get second guessed," said Quenneville. "There's reasons why. At the same time, I think we didn't mind the way we played the first game, first part of the second game.
"Game three we were disappointed with our offence so we went to the well."