The Blackhawks were bombarded with 40 shots and 32 scoring chances by the Bruins in a 2-1 overtime loss Wednesday at United Center.
Robin Lehner was spectacular with 38 saves, including 13 high-danger saves, and was the main reason Chicago even had a chance at overtime.
Adam Boqvist was hit from behind by David Krejci early in the second period and didn’t return to the game due to a right shoulder injury.
Jeremy Colliton on Adam Boqvist's injury: "Don't think it's anything super serious. We'll know more in the next day or so." #Blackhawks— Eric Lear (@BHTVeric) February 6, 2020
How it Happened
The first twenty minutes was nearly completely controlled by the Bruins, but Lehner was on his A-game and made six high danger saves on 16 shots. Chicago only mustered five shots, but showed heightened competitiveness and effort compared to the first period in Minnesota on Tuesday.
Lehner made his best save of the game at 18:09 after the Blackhawks killed off Slater Koekkoek’s holding penalty. The No. 2 ranked power play in the league had a couple nice looks, but Lehner read a backdoor pass to Brad Marchand and then made a spectacular diving save on David Krejci.
Early in the second period, Krejci hit Boqvist from behind on a breakout attempt. Boqvist fell awkwardly into the boards and had to leave the game in some pain:
On the resulting power play, Patrick Kane adeptly picked off Brad Marchand’s clearing attempt and snapped a pass to a wide open Kirby Dach in the low slot. Dach turned to his backhand and got a shot off that bounced to Alex DeBrincat, who buried his first power play goal since Jan. 15.
Dach extended his point streak to five games with the primary assist.
Not much later, Jonathan Toews was blatantly tripped and Zack Smith was also hit from behind, but there was oddly no call from the referees.
At 12:49, Sean Kuraly outworked multiple Blackhawks behind the goal line, including Duncan Keith, and fired a weak shot through Lehner’s five hole. That’s one Lehner will want back.
Lehner quickly brushed that soft goal aside and made a handful of quality stops, especially on a couple rebound opportunities for Kuraly.
Then, Kane drew a high sticking penalty from Jeremy Lauzon at 16:43. Erik Gustafsson came inches away from giving the Blackhawks the lead going into the third period, but hit the post.
The third period started with an impressive hit by Brandon Carlo on Toews’ offensive zone entry attempt:
Brandon Carlo with a solid hit on Jonathan Toews. pic.twitter.com/3OlZSfrEfT— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 6, 2020
With 5:14 minutes left Dach made an excellent play stealing the puck from Chris Wagner in the neutral zone and then zoomed past the Bruins’ defensemen on a breakaway, but was slashed by Wagner.
At 17:34, Smith went to the box for contact to the head on Torey Krug, but Krug ended up in the sin bin for tripping Olli Maatta to make it 4-on-4 hockey.
Then, one of the strangest plays all season happened. Maatta was tripped and fell to the ice as he tried to make a breakout pass to Drake Caggiula, but as he fell Maatta used his hand to bounce the puck forward to Caggiula. The referee didn’t call the hand pass right away and Caggiula went down to score a seemingly massive goal for the Blackhawks to give them the 2-1 lead with a minute to go. However, the referees huddled up and called the goal off.
After the game, the referees owned up to their mistake for disallowing the goal:
Would be nice to be able to review plays like that because the replay showed the puck deflecting off Maatta’s stick after the hand pass.
Yet, the Bruins claimed the extra point after dominating at 5-on-5 for the vast majority of the game. After an unsuccessful 4-on-3 power play to start overtime, Krug jumped out of the penalty box and picked up a bouncing puck in the neutral zone for a breakaway. Lehner stoned him, but almost immediately after the breakaway save, Charlie McAvoy poked home the game winner on a backdoor pass by Jake DeBrusk 1:19 minutes into overtime.
There were a couple strange missed calls throughout the game and a tough break on Caggiula’s potential game winning goal, but earning three out of four points this season against one of the top five teams in the NHL is an impressive feat.
Plus, Lehner’s heroics helped Chicago inch closer to a Western Conference wild card spot:
1. Robin Lehner (CHI) - 38 saves on 40 shots, 3.68 expected goals against
2. Sean Kuraly (BOS) - One goal, five shots
3. Kirby Dach (CHI) - One assist, four takeaways, 17:54 TOI