Three of the four games in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final have gone to overtime, including the Chicago Blackhawks' 6-5 victory in Game 4 to tie the series as it returns to the United Center.
Close, competitive games are one of the trends players have identified.
"Back in 2010 when we played Philly, Game 1 was 6-5, Game 2 was 2-1. Who knows what's going to happen?" Hawks forward Patrick Sharp said. "I can probably tell you it's going to be evenly matched. It's going to be close games from here on out. Just like every game has been. Both teams deserve to be here."
The Blackhawks returned to Chicago but with Game 5 not being played until Saturday, the Boston Bruins chose to spend their two days of preparation at home. Coach Claude Julien said the team would be in Chicago sometime Friday.
Julien is angling for answers as to why the typically sound defense of the Bruins was picked apart for six goals on Wednesday. Boston had to rally from two-goal deficits twice, including tying the game 4-4 in the third period, but the Bruins couldn't protect goaltender Tuukka Rask, who let Brent Seabrook's game-winner in blocker-side.
"I think there's a lot of positives to take from (Wednesday) night. The loss really is what's really negative, maybe the fact that we didn't play as well as we could have," Julien said. "You give credit to guys for bouncing back twice from two-goal deficits and getting ourselves back in the game. A lot of times you could have seen the game being over at that point. But our guys showed a lot of character. There's a lot of positives, to take from that game."
The Blackhawks earned positive energy and multiple scoring chances with the talented tandem of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews on the same line, a strategic shift coach Joel Quenneville rarely employs. The focus Friday might be defensive, namely adjusting to the Bruins' peppering the glove side of goaltender Corey Crawford.
All five Boston goals were to Crawford's left in Game 4, and he said it's clear the Bruins are going right at his glove.
"You noticed that?" said Crawford, who had 28 saves. "Yeah, I don't remember too many on the blocker side. But you can't start thinking. Once you start thinking everything is going to go glove, you're in trouble. So you just have to play the shot and the situation like any other situation."
Quenneville said there was "no chance" he'd pull Crawford for Ray Emery for Game 5. Emery hasn't played since April 24, Quenneville pointed to Crawford's 1.86 goals-against average and said Wednesday was just one of those games "pucks were going in."