The aftermath of Game 1 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins was simply the scene of 112 minutes and eight seconds of thrilling hockey in the Stanley Cup final opener. It was a night to remember.
CHICAGO -- The scene inside the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins dressing rooms was a recycling company's dream after the triple overtime, double-deflection game winner from Blackhawks third-liner Andrew Shaw.
There were plastic water bottles strewn on tables and benches. Some had water in them. Some were sports drinks. Others had those protein and vitamin concoctions that are so popular with athletes these days. There were empty cardboard pizza boxes and energy bar wrappers also scattered around.
What a mess, but what a game.
This wasn't the usual dressing-room landscape after an ordinary game because the diligent NHL equipment managers around the league keep the player safe havens nice and tidy and orderly. This looked like a tornado had ripped through it.
Not quite - although one was spotted in the Northwest part of Illinois around game time - it was simply the scene after 112 minutes and eight seconds of thrilling hockey in the Stanley Cup final opener. It was a night to remember.
"It was fun to be part of, and thank God it's over," Chicago veteran Patrick Sharp said, exhausted but smiling that his team came out on top 4-3 in the fifth longest game in Stanley Cup final history.
It's hard to remember that far back, but the Bruins had built up a 3-1 lead on a Patrice Bergeron goal early in the third period. Uncharacteristically, the usually responsible Bruins surrendered goals from Dave Bolland and Johnny Oduya to send the game into overtime.
Shaw comes through for Blackhawks
Then after some chances from both sides, two overtime power plays for Boston after a pair of too-many-men-on-the-ice penalties from Chicago, and a golden opportunity missed from Bruins left wing Kaspars Daugavins a few shifts before Shaw's game winner.
The young Blackhawks forward got his stick on a point shot from teammate Michael Rozsival that initially was deflected by Bolland.
"Obviously emotions are high," Bolland said. "Too exhausted right now to express it."
It was the Blackhawks unheralded players who bailed out their team in this dramatic series opener. Brandon Saad, Bolland, Oduya and Shaw scored the goals. For the most part, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Co., were not given room to roam.
Shaw, on the other hand, could be excused for his post-game faux pas when during a live interview on NBC, Shaw let out an f-bomb. That's sure to get some play on Howard Stern's popular satellite radio show.
"Slip of the tongue," Shaw said with a smile. "I couldn't think at all actually. I could barely breathe. I think I made up a word in there, too, actually. I was never good in English."
Daugavins probably would have added a few dollars to the swear jar, too. But he was despondent after his miss. He was off balance as his backhand trickled wide of an open net.
"I had him beat," he said. "But while I was shooting I got tripped and my hands got tied up." A replay, however, showed Oduya had his stick between the legs of the Bruins forward after he had taken the shot and fell off balance.
The exhaustion level these players must feel. It's a good thing Game 2 isn't until Saturday evening (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET). There were 117 total shots on goal: 63 for Chicago, 54 for Boston. There were 120 hits: 61 for the Blackhawks, 59 for the Bruins. There were 63 blocked shots: 40 for Boston, 23 from Chicago.
Chicago's Duncan Keith led all skaters with 48 minutes, 40 seconds, followed by Boston's Dennis Seidenberg (48:36), Andrew Ference (45:19) and Zdeno Chara (45:05).
The Bruins also were dealt a blow when Nathan Horton appeared to hurt his shoulder when he jostled with Blackhawks defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson in front of the Chicago goal midway through the first overtime period. He took another shift a few minutes later, but then called it a night.
Bruins coach Claude Julien did not have an update afterwards, although as he walked to the team bus he looked fine.
The kid can't get a break. In his previous visit to the final in 2011, he was knocked out of the final with a concussion in Game 3.
Tim WharnsbyTim's worked the sports beat at The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Sun, specializing in Canada's one true sporting obsession - hockey. He knows the players, the coaches, the backroom boys and most importantly, the fans. That's what he brings to his stories. Knowledge, fairness and understanding are trademarks of a Wharnsby story. That's what you will get here as he writes for CBCSports.ca.
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