B's expecting another tight, exciting Game 5
June, 22, 2013
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
CHICAGO -- The Stanley Cup finals between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks has already been compelling, and it's only going to get better.
The series is tied at two games apiece entering Game 5 Saturday night at United Center.
With the help of ESPN Stats & Information, this is the 23rd time the Stanley Cup finals have been tied at two games apiece since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939. The team that won Game 5 has captured the Cup 15 times (68.2 percent). However, the team losing Game 5 has rebounded to win the series four of the past six times since 2001. The Bruins (2011), Pittsburgh Penguins (2009), Tampa Bay Lightning (2004) and Colorado Avalanche (2001) all lost Game 5 before eventually winning the Cup.
In this series, three of the four games have gone into overtime, including Game 1's epic triple OT contest that ended with a 4-3 win by the Blackhawks. The Bruins won Game 2 in overtime 2-1. After Boston won 2-0 in Game 3, Chicago responded with a 6-5 win in OT in what turned into a classic run-and-gun game on both ends.
So, if Game 5 needs an extra period or two, it wouldn't be surprising.
"We realize games are going to be tight and they'll go to overtime, so I don't think we get too carried away about it," said Bruins forward Daniel Paille, who scored the game winner in Game 2.
If the overtime trend continues in Game 5, no matter how well or poorly a team has played during regulation, OT offers a chance for redemption.
"Anything can happen in overtime," said Bruins forward Tyler Seguin. "It's a brand-new game when you step into those type of periods and you just try to be ready as best as you can.
"It could happen every game. Every game is tight. It's two great teams with not too many holes. It comes down to the battles, the determination and who wants it more that night. We need to respond correctly here tonight."
Each team has won a game on the road, so the Bruins are confident they can win here tonight for an opportunity to close out the series on home ice in Game 6 on Monday.
"I think it helps a little bit," Seguin said about having confidence in knowing the Bruins have won on the road in this series. "It's a brand-new series here, the best two out of three for the Cup and who's going to want it more."
Besides Boston's 2-0 win in Game 3, each game has been decided by one goal in overtime. For the most part, it's also been a low-scoring affair, so Game 4's offensive onslaught surprised both teams. So, it's anyone's guess what happens in Game 5.
"I expect a really good game," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Obviously it's 2-2. Do we know how it's going to go? I don't think either coach could have told you before last game it was going to be a high-scoring game. I think we were surprised. Will that continue? I don't know, I really don't know. Again, it's how well the teams play, how good the goaltenders are and everything else. It depends on a lot of things.
"Is it going to be penalty-filled, is it going to be five-on-five? I think it's really hard to predict this time of year. The only thing I'm capable of saying here, based on the first four games, they're all tight and they're all close and they're all exciting."
Buckle up, because it's going to be another thrilling game.