CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t had much luck in Game 3 these playoffs.
They have lost the third game in each of the series they have played this spring.
Now, they face the task of having to go to Boston and beat the Bruins in Game 3 to avoid falling behind in the Stanley Cup final after dropping a 2-1 overtime decision to them at the United Center on Saturday night, tying the series 1-1.
“All three of those games have been on the road. We feel like we have a team that can battle on the road and play well. We’ve done it for a couple of years,” said Chicago forward Patrick Sharp, who scored the lone Hawks goal. “We know the challenge going into Boston is going to be tough, knowing how well they play in their building. We can’t look at what’s happened in Game 3 up to this point. We know what’s on the line. We have to find a way to play our best game.”
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews had a similar approach.
“It doesn’t matter what game we’re in and what the score is in the series, we try to play like it’s Game 7, no matter what,” he said.
“No one said it was going to be easy. No one said everything was going to go our way. Some moments, you feel pretty darn good, like when we won Game 1 in triple overtime and tonight it doesn’t feel good. You’ve got to find a way to get over it to move to the next time you’re going to be on the ice, and not let it affect you.”
The Hawks dominated the early part of the game and got up 1-0 on a goal by Sharp 11 minutes into the game, but couldn’t get that second goal. A puck that crossed the line shortly after Sharp scored was not ruled a goal because the referee had blown the play dead.
“I thought we were playing well. I don’t think you ever have a team like Boston on the ropes, but I thought we came out and attacked the way we wanted to, used our speed to get pucks to the net,” said Sharp. “Scoring that first goal was nice, but it would have been nice to get that second and third one.”
Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford wouldn’t let the loss get him down.
“We’re a good team. They’re going to create stuff once in a while. We played a good game. We had some chances. We have to keep playing our game and not get down,” said Crawford, who had a shot by Boston’s Daniel Paille go under his glove to end the game in overtime.
“We wanted to go there up 2-0, but that’s not the case. We’re tied. We just have to get prepared to play hard.”
The Bruins carried the physical play to the Hawks, mostly because the Bruins didn’t have the puck much and had to do it that way, and it seemed the banging took a toll on the ’Hawks as the game ground on, but Toews didn’t see it that way.
“I think we could have brought a little more physical play, but we were moving our feet. We were the aggressors early on in the game and their physical play didn’t really affect us too much,” he said.
“We just let them play their game and make the plays they wanted midway through the game and toward the end. It had nothing to do with them trying to slow us down.
“When you score a goal and are playing the way we were playing in the first period, you need to find a way to sustain that and we didn’t quite do that tonight.”