January 19, 2014

Marchand does it all, but Bruins fall to 'Hawks in shootout

By Jesse Connolly

Brad Marchand tallied twice in Sunday's matinee. (Getty Images)

Final: Chicago 3, Boston 2 (SO)

Recap: Things were looking a little bleak in the opening frame for the Black and Gold, who were giving up too many odd-man rushes and got beat by the Blackhawks' top line on a goal from Matian Hossa 4:13 into the contest. Boston started to settle down and got a big goal from Brad Marchand with 19 seconds left in the period.

They picked up right where they left off in the second, with Marchand coming in alone and tucking a shot through Corey Crawford to put Boston up 2-1. Chicago responded at 9:44 when Brandon Bollig scored from an atrocious angle on a shot that found its way in between Tuukka Rask and the near post.

The B's dominated the third period, outshooting Chicago by a 2-to-1 margin (14-7). But they squandered two precious power-play chances along the way and set the 'Hawks up for a man advantage when Matt Bartkowski boarded Connecticut native Ben Smith with four seconds left in regulation.

Boston was able to kill off the penalty and the game went to the shootout, where Marchand answered a Jonathan Toews tally, but Patrick Kane's pace-changing deke between the hash marks was enough to fool Rask, as No. 88 in red buried the game-clincher in the third round.

Records: Chicago 32-8-11, 75 points; Boston 30-15-3, 63 points

Key Play of the Game: When Doc Emrick pointed out that Patrick Kane was 0-for-9 in shootouts right before he, of course, scored the game-winner. Holler at a jinx!

Connolly's Commendations: Marchand is officially on fire, and that's not a reference to The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 (then again, really, who would've suspected that?). No 63 literally did it all for Boston in this one. He now has 10 goals in the last 17 games.

Despite letting in a soft goal in the second period, Rask was dynamite throughout the rest of the contest. It's been a roller-coaster month for No. 40, but he stepped up big time against the league's highest-scoring offense.

Connolly's Critiques: If Boston could've done anything on one of their three power plays, overtime never happens. Chicago's under 80 percent on the PK, but the B's still have just one goal on the man advantage in 2014.

Notes: Milan Lucic had a game-high eight hits. ... Boston won 28-of-53 faceoffs. ... Reilly Smith  now has a three-game point streak (0g, 3a).

Final Thoughts: The Bruins got smacked around by the Ducks and Kings earlier this month, which wasn't a great sign if you were hoping they'd stack up well against the best of the West. But in Sunday's matinee, they fared well against the Central Division-leading Blackhawks and, had they caught a break in the third, probably should've come away with the two points.

Next: The B's will fly home to host the Kings Monday at 3 o'clock.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com