CHICAGO -- Tuukka Rask stood in front of his stall in the Boston Bruins locker room and summed up their Game 1 triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks concisely.
"We had the game," said Rask.
"We were up 3-1 in the third, then a terrible turnover leads to a second goal and then a tough bounce leads to the tying goal. We just gave it away."
The Bruins entered the Madhouse on Madison and fought off the early energy from both the 22,110 fans inside United Center and the Blackhawks themselves, whose early gameplan was dishing out hits at every opportunity. Patrice Bergeron's goal 6:09 into the third period, to give Boston a 3-1 lead, was quickly answered 1:51 later by Dave Bolland as the Blackhawks began their comeback.
"We were making some plays that maybe we could probably play differently," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. "You've got to learn from that."
While the game was slipping away from the Bruins, they still managed to create chances. Boston finished with 85 shot attempts, but 23 were blocked by the Blackhawks and two which will stick in their minds were Kaspars Daugavins' missed opportunity in the third overtime and Zdeno Chara's slapper from the point with 11 seconds left in the second overtime, which deflected off Jaromir Jagr and rang off the post.
After the game, the Bruins weren't sulking after the disappointing loss. They knew they had opportunities to both extend their lead in regulation and win the game in one of the three overtimes. And when you start moving up the ranks in the NHL playoff record book, a tough bounce is typically in store for the winner.
"I thought we had some real great looks in overtime," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
"With a little bit of luck, we could have ended it before they did. But that's the name of the game. They got a good break on their tying goal going off one of our skates. That's the way the game goes. Some nights you get the break going your way, some nights you don't."
With two days off until Game 2 on Saturday, the Bruins will have time to think about how this game slipped away from them and also, most importantly, rest up. The pain from Game 1's ending might linger for a night, but the Bruins know they have to be ready to bounce back.
"It's that time of year," said Shawn Thornton. "There's no choice."
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
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