Bruins bang way to overtime win against Blackhawks

Bruins forward Daniel Paille (left) celebrates his overtime game-winning goal against the...

Bruins forward Daniel Paille (left) celebrates his overtime game-winning goal against the Blackhawks with teammate Andrew Ference during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final at the United Center in Chicago, June 15, 2013. (JEFF HAYNES/Reuters)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:53 AM ET

CHICAGO - The message was simple in the Boston Bruins dressing room after 20 minutes of hockey far from worthy of a Stanley Cup final.

"The message was basically to wake up," defenceman Dennis Seidenberg said after yet another overtime period, this time with a much happier ending for the Bruins. "We really slept through the first period and didn't play very well."

The alarm also came in the form of a "ring the bell" call to start hitting the Chicago Blackhawks before the Bruins were blown right of the Windy City.

That message was received loud and clear and ultimately resulted in a 2-1 overtime win for Boston to even the best-of-seven series at a game apiece.

Daniel Paille, who set up the first Boston goal in the second period, was the overtime hero, ripping a wrist shot past Corey Crawford 13:48 into extra time.

Teammates were heard shouting "Yippee Paille, motherf---er!" – an ode to the famous catchphrase from the Die Hard film series – as reporters gathered to interview the grinder after the game.

It was an appropriate reference because nothing, apparently, is going to come easy between the Blackhawks and Bruins in the Stanley Cup final.

Where Wednesday's opener went to a third overtime period and thus nearly lasted as long as two full contests, Saturday's affair at the United Center felt like two distinct games in one.

Yes, the Hawks were dominant in the opening 20 minutes with a 19-4 edge in shots on goal and lead 30-5 in shots attempted. They only led 1-0, however, after an apparent second goal from Jonathan Toews was waved off after officials ruled the whistle had blown before the puck crossed the line behind Tuukka Rask.

That break and a call to arms at the intermission was the opening the Bruins needed as they take the series back home to TD Garden on Monday night with the home-ice edge.

"They definitely came out with a lot of speed in the first period and we wanted to somehow change that," said Paille, whose third goal of the playoffs was helped by a terrible Hawks turnover.

"Playing physical is a part of our game where we've been successful. I think that's been huge for us. We started to pick up the pace after that."

Boston had a 50-34 edge in hits – returning to the Big Bad Bruins identity they love – and by the third period you could see the effect it was having.

Milan Lucic – who else? – led the way with 10 hits and the Hawks, high-flying and carefree through the first seven periods of the series (six Wednesday and one Saturday) were suddenly tentative.

"I told our guys we've got to show up on time for these kind of games," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It could have cost us tonight."

Besides the talk between the first and second periods Julien, desperate for a spark, made another key move. He put Paille and Chris Kelly on a line with Tyler Seguin and suddenly he had a trio that would be responsible for both Boston goals.

Kelly got the first after banging in a Paille rebound and Seguin, whose game has stepped up noticeably in the final, set up the overtime game-winner.

"At one point, I thought that line would give us something," Julien said. "They responded well. It's a hunch from a coach. I know that Dan is a great skater, can make a lot of things happen. I put those three guys together and they answered."

Just how Chicago answers in Game 3 will be a big story for a series that, after the first period Saturday, was starting to smell like it would be a quick one.

"Maybe we left something out there," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We had some good looks, too."

The Bruins are now 10-2 in their past 12 games and those losses were both in overtime. And as was the case in Game 1, the winning team did not hold a lead until overtime.

That the Hawks could only get one puck officially past Tuukka Rask – a thread-the-needle wrister from Patrick Sharp at 11:22 of the first period – dramatically changed the outlook of the series going forward.

"There's momentum that's for sure but you could see it switching," said Bruins forward Jaromir Jagr, who nearly won it in overtime when he fired a shot off the crossbar.

"If somebody would watch the first period, they would say 'Oh, give them the Cup right now.' "

Not so fast. As the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs learned before them, nothing is as easy as it seems against the Bruins.

rob.longley@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/longleysunsport


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