BOSTON – Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final featured 11 goals, back-and-forth action and wild swings in momentum. It was the most entertaining game of the series between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins.
Unless your name is Tuukka Rask and your job is contingent on not allowing the glorious catharsis of pucks entering nets.
“It’s not fun,” said Rask, after the Chicago Blackhawks’ 6-5 overtime win to even the series at 2-2.
“We battled back many times. Didn’t make it easy on ourselves. At the end of the day it was a one-goal game.”
True, the margin was a single goal, as it was in Game 1’s triple-overtime classic and Game 2’s tightly played sequel. But the six goals allowed by Rask equal his goals allowed in his previous five games, and it’s the first time he’s allowed a 6-spot since Jan. 31.
“It’s a 10 goal game after three,” said Rask. “Neither team was playing that well defensively, so it becomes ‘attack, attack.’”
Chicago’s attack was in stark contrast with their punchless Game 3 effort. They score on second-chance efforts on Rask, crowded his crease and screened him on shots that were finding their way through the Bruins defense in ways they hadn’t in previous games.
“Sometimes games like that happen, that are out of character for us and for them,” said defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
What was out of character for the Bruins: The way they hung Rask out to dry. While his rebound control wasn’t as sharp as in previous games, Boston’s support for its netminder was glaringly nonexistent during Game 4. When Zdeno Chara is a minus-3 and was on the ice for five goals, something's gone amiss.
“I felt they got a lot of second opportunities,” said Rask. “It’s not on anybody. It’s things that happen. Tough breaks.”
That said, the defense admitted they didn’t bail out Rask enough in Game 4.
“We could have helped him a little bit more,” said defenseman Johnny Boychuk.
It was an odd game for the Bruins, who had shown incredible defensive poise in the previous two games – “it wasn’t a Bruins type of game,” said Coach Claude Julien.
They have two days to regroup before Game 5 back in Chicago. Two days to figure out how mistakes were made and Rask was exposed by six Blackhawks goal-scorers.
“It hasn’t been like this in a while. We don’t really like … that,” said Boychuk.
"I don't think we played our best game tonight. A lot of different reasons. I think our decision making wasn't very good at times. Didn't think we were moving the puck as well as we had been in the past."
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