CHICAGO -- Not only did the Boston Bruins drop Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Saturday night at the United Center, but the Bruins were without the services of arguably their best player.
Patrice Bergeron missed most of the second period and all of the third with an undisclosed injury. He needed to be hospitalized "for observation," the Bruins announced.
The Blackhawks lead the best-of-seven series 3-2. The last time the Bruins trailed 3-2 in the finals, they won the Stanley Cup, rallying to win Games 6 and 7 in 2011 over the Vancouver Canucks.
Bergeron played his regular shifts throughout the first period but was limited to only two shifts in the second period for a total of 49 seconds. He remained on the bench for the second period but did not return for the third. Midway through the final period, the Bruins announced he had been taken to a local hospital by ambulance.
Bruins forward Carl Soderberg, who was inserted into the lineup and made his NHL playoff debut, replaced Bergeron and centered Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr. It was Soderberg's first game since April 28.
The Blackhawks were without Jonathan Toews for the third period, but he remained on the bench. During the second period, he was on the receiving end of a big hit by Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk.
The Blackhawks' Patrick Kane scored a pair of goals to give the victory to Chicago, which also got an empty-netter from Dave Bolland with just 13.6 seconds remaining.
Prior to Game 4 in Boston, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville decided to reunite Chicago's top line of Kane, Toews and Bryan Bickell, and it worked then as the Blackhawks won 6-5 in overtime.
That line continued its surge in Game 5.
The Blackhawks opened the scoring at 17:27 of the first period with a little help from a broken stick. Chicago had sustained pressure in the offensive zone when Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya's slap shot from the left point broke the stick of Bruins blueliner Dennis Seidenberg. The puck was pinballing toward Tuukka Rask when Kane stuffed it home on the short side to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
The Blackhawks gained a 2-0 lead at 5:14 of the second period when Kane scored his second goal of the game. The Bruins were late getting back on the forecheck, and Kane buried a rebound with ease.
With the Bruins trailing by two goals, they started hitting everything in sight, but they couldn't capitalize on the scoring chances they were able to create.
The Bruins came out hard and heavy to start the third period, and it resulted in Boston's first goal of the game. The Bruins sustained pressure and were rewarded for their efforts when Zdeno Chara's slap shot beat Corey Crawford to the high glove side to cut Boston's deficit to 2-1.
The Bruins kept the pressure on in the final period and Rask made timely saves, but Boston couldn't respond. Chicago added an empty-net goal with 13.6 seconds remaining in regulation as Bolland scored.
The series shifts back to Boston for Game 6 on Monday, when the Bruins will attempt to stave off elimination and prevent the Blackhawks from celebrating a Cup-clinching victory on Garden ice.